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“A Memorable Experience!”
Review of Waitakere Tours - Day Tours - CLOSED

Waitakere Tours - Day Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Small group, personal, active day tours. Waitakere Ranges has been our family home for over a hundred years. Share with us the wild bush, wild black sand beaches, real kiwi kai(food) with real locals and get a sense of the history and culture which has help shape this beautiful place to what it is today.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 5 September 2010

We experienced the Wild Waitakere tour in August--New Zealand's winter--and could not have been more impressed. The tour group consisted of 3 people, but we understand that groups are never larger than 8 people. This allows for a very personal, informative, relaxed and flexible day. The Waitakere ranges are only 40 minutes outside Aukland and the scenery is surprisingly varied with each turn in the road more spectacular than the last. Shane, our guide, was an enthusiastic fountain of knowlege. Special attention to details such as being picked up and dropped off at the hotel door and snack and lunch that took a food allergy into consideration were especially appreciated. The experience felt like being shown around by a friend who lives in the area rather than a formal tour. Well done.
Glenda and Ron, Canada

Thank Ancaster45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviews (97)
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91 - 95 of 97 reviews

Reviewed 21 August 2010

Me and my friend visited Auckland this July. We wanted to see more than just the city. I told her that Witakere is a beautiful place just outside Auckland (I've been there before). We found this tour and booked it. This tour was everything what I expected and so much more!

The day was pretty full, but that made me feel I got everything out the day that I possibly could. We went to see the Gannet colony first. The birds weren't there cause it wasn't breading season. But the coast was amazing. After that we went by Piha beach to go to a black sand dune. This was so unreal and so beautiful. Surrounded by green hills. The tours I did before didn't go to this place. But the guide is a local and knows the area so so well. We walked over the dune untill we came to a little river. We had to take off our shoes and 'run' down the dune into the water and walked our way back to the car. This was such a cool experience. The water was cold, but the guide and warm water and towels in the car to warm us up. These little things made it an even nicer day!

After that we made a bush walk. We saw some pretty awesome Kauri trees and went to the kitekite falls. This place was worth the 40 minute walk. Not that the walk wasn't nice. The nature around us was magical and I had a great conversation with the guide. He told me so much about the area. He really knows what it talks about!

At lunchtime we were very surprised. His wife had made such a great meal! The pie was still warm and the salade was cold and fresh. After lunch we went to a 360 degree view point of Waitakeres. It was so beautiful! It was a clear day so we could see Auckland very well and in the distance we could see some of the shapes of the mountains/hills of Coromandel. Awesome! Of course we also went down to Piha Beach. We walked on the beach, goofed around and had lots of laughter.

I probably forgot to write down one or two parts of the day. It was so much we did and it was all so much fun! The guide made us feel so comfortable. We could ask him anything (and he knew the anwsers most of the time). The lunch made us feel like he ands his wife really want to give you the best experience with the Waitakere area you can get. And believe me, you will!

Sabine from The Netherlands

Thank x_keiko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 July 2010

I got picked up at 8am to begin the adventure of a lifetime. Drove up to this beautiful site where Sean told me all about the birds and history of this rock- Muriwai Gannet Colony. We then proceeded through awesome views of New Zealands coast to the Sand Dunes, Lake Wainamu with a snack (fruits and fresh baked pastry). What an amazing walk as the black sand felt cool on my feet. Followed by a relaxing walk thru Waitakere ranges to work up an appetite for a homemade traditional lunch (egg and ham pie and 2 different salads). The real hiking begins as we head to the cascades. What a breathtakingly amazing walk through the rain forest. His knowledge of all the plants and trees was quiet remarkable. It was the most funfilled day with bits of historical information added in. From one destination to another we stopped for pictures as desired as if the tour was specifiaclly catered to me. To end this extordinary tour of the West Coast there was another snack with New Zealand chocolate. This tour on my last day in New Zealand just was the best way to end my vacation after haven taken the bigger company tours to Bay of Islands, Rangitoto, Waitomo Glow Worm Caves, Rotorua-Te Puia, Waiheke Island and Harbour Cruise tours this by far surpasses any experience. I highly recommend this tour!!!!!

Thank Tanyaeb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 July 2010

The wife and I traveled to Auckland from California in early June of this year. We had found a great deal on airfare so although it was really last minute, we couldnt resist the opportunity to check out what NZ was all about.

Our base of operations was out of the Sky City Grand Hotel in downtown Auckland, so we unfortunately didn't get to experience too much of the wild nature that NZ is famous for. We however decided to go on a "Wild Waitakere" day tour to the nearby Waitakere ranges with the Waitakere Tours company that was recommended by a visitor center, and boy are we happy we did!

The morning started off with the proprietor and guide, Shane picking us up at our hotel. We then embarked on a relatively quick ride out of the city, towards the west coast. Being that it was June, the morning was quite gloomy so we were a bit worried about how our outdoor day would turn out. Our first destination was the actual western coast, where we were able to see first hand, the dramatic, rugged cliffs of this region. Being from California, we are accustomed to beaches and cliffs also, but the distinct black volcanic color of these cliffs topped with lush green foliage, being battered by the rough seas was a sight that I will never forget. There was even a waterfall pouring down into the ocean from one of the distant cliffs. Shane was quite accomodating due to the bad weather as he provided us with some rain gear. They say that you can see all 4 seasons in one day in NZ, and this proved to be true this day, because the weather shortly became clear and beautiful.

The next leg of our tour took us to the amazing black sand dunes not too far inland from the coast. The dunes were huge, with glittery iron particles glistening with the sunlight. It was quite a stunning sight to see these giant, black dunes surrounded by the lush Waitakere forests. We even got to take our shoes off, rolled up our pants and walked through a cool stream that was flowing around the dunes. Shane mentioned to us that this area is one that attracts various movie studios due to its unique beauty. I can see why!

After the dunes, we got to go on a couple walks through the Waitakere rain forests. Shane, being native to this area was well versed in the history and culture of the region, in addition to being knowledgeable of the diverse flora and fauna we explored in the rainforests. The giant kauri trees we saw were quite breathtaking, as they were massive! The walks were followed by a leisurely picnic lunch provided by Ana. Boy was it great to have a home cooked meal after a week of food in the city!

After lunch, we spent the remainder of the afternoon exploring two of the most memorable parts of this day, Piha beach and Kitekite falls. Getting to Kitekite falls involved a nice walk through another part of the rainforest, until reaching this secluded, breathtaking waterfall. After the hike there, we even got to dip our feet in the water (freezing but invigorating) as we took some moments to enjoy our surroundings. After the hike out of the forest, Shane took us to our last destination, the black sand Piha beach. Now, I have never seen a black sand beach before, and perhaps this was why, but I was taken aback by the stunning, sparkling black sand, and the massive volcanic rocks jutting out of the ocean. Just standing there surrounded by the beauty of Piha as the sun was preparing to set will be a memory forever etched in my mind, one I hope I will be able to relive again.

I know that this has been a long review, but if you're still reading, I just wanted to share my story about this fantastic tour that we just stumbled upon! Shane is a down-to-earth, personable, and knowledgeable guide, and we couldn't even imagine having done this tour with anyone else. Shane and Ana conduct this tour in a manner where you will feel like you've made two new Kiwi friends during your trip.

For those of you who think that you have to travel far outside of Auckland to see beautiful scenery, think again. A day in Waitakere with Shane is an experience not to be missed!

Sweet as!

2  Thank rhc12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 31 March 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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