Firth Of Thames - North Island, New Zealand
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member No Fixed Aboder
S 37° 02.222 E 175° 16.569
60H E 346686 N 5899629
Quick Description: A great view from Waharau Auckland Regional Park.
Location: North Island, New Zealand
Date Posted: 4/26/2010 12:06:49 PM
Waymark Code: WM8P40
Views: 0

Long Description:
Follow the Red and yellow markers to the Waharau Ridge Track to locate this viewing spot.

Waharau extends from the gravelly shore of the Firth of Thames (Tikapa Moana) into the eastern foothills of the Hunua Ranges. The coastal part of this park lies between the Waharau Stream in the north and sandy Waihihi Bay in the south.

The inland section includes two campsites, barbecue areas and information. A series of loop tracks explore the foothills of the Hunua Ranges and link to some of the more rugged tramping tracks in the ranges.

Waharau is the eastern gateway to the Hunua Ranges and a series of loop tracks traverse the foothills and link with some of the more rugged tramping tracks, which cross the Ranges.


The Tainui canoe landed on the beach at the southern edge of the park in the 14th century bestowing the name Waihihi. This area was originally known for its sure aute (paper mulberry) grove, imported from the Pacific (planted there by Marama a wife of Hoturoa captain of the Tainui canoe), and for its beautiful karaka groves, one of which still grows on the foreshore.

Ngati Puku, a hapu (sub tribe) of Ngati Whanaunga, occupied the land from the 17th century and still maintains a reserve and urupa (burial ground) on the park.

Waharau was one of the larger Maori settlements along the coast in the late 1800s and was a place selected by Ngati Whanaunga for their inland tribal relatives Ngati Mahuta, the hapu of the Maori King to stay (on a seasonal basis) and exchange kai (food) as well as gain access to the abundant sea food (mussels and snapper) of the Wharekawa area and the Firth of Thames (Tikapa Moana). This connection is maintained with the Tainui campground on the park to this day.

European settlers milled the area's kauri and beech from the 1860s. They shipped the timber to Auckland and across Tikapa Moana to the gold mining settlements on the Coromandel Peninsula. The Auckland Regional Authority purchased the park between 1970 and 1973 to provide access to Hunua water catchment land. It was subsequently developed as a regional park and opened by the Maori Queen in 1979.

Sea and shore birds along the coast include spotted shags (parekareka), New Zealand dotterels (tuturiwhatu) and both species of oystercatchers (torea) while inland, kereru (wood pigeon), tomtits (miromiro), fantails (piwaiwaka), grey warblers (riroriro), tui and bellbird's (kormako) are found in the forest.
Native bush

The regenerating kanuka-dominated forest on the lower slopes is home to a wide variety of plant species, from club mosses (pukohu), filmy ferns (manuka), ground orchids (tutukiwi) and liverworts, to coral lichens (pukoko) that give bushes a magical 'goblin-like' appearance.

Regenerating mixed kauri and hard beech (tawai) forest grows on the higher slopes beside plentiful tanekaha, rewarewa, hinau and towai. The nearby gullies are draped in tawa forest with emerging rimu, northern rata, kahikatea and totara.

Park opening hours:

8:00am - 8:30pm
8:00am - 5:00pm

Weekend opening hours:

8:00am - 8:30pm
8:00am - 5:00pm

Public holiday opening hours:

8:00am - 8:30pm
8:00am - 5:00pm
(visit link)
Type of overlook: trail

Picnic tables: no

Benches: no

Water/restrooms: no

Overlook designation: not designated

Elevation: 600.00

Firth of Thames, Hunua Ranges, Farmland

Visit Instructions:
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