Auckland/West Auckland

West Auckland (until 2010, Waitakere City) is the western part of the metropolitan area of Auckland and also the Waitakere Range.

Understand

Waitakere was an independent city until the cities of Auckland were amalgamated in 2010. Waitakere City had an area of 367 km², with the urban area being 26 km², and a population of nearly 200,000.

Of the area's residents, colloquially called Westies, 71.9% of people are of European descent, 14.5% Pacific Island, 11.0% Asian and 11.0% Maori, with 68% born in New Zealand. English is spoken by almost all residents, and around 5% also speak Samoan and a similar number speak Maori.

Get in

It is 18 km by road from central Auckland to Henderson in central Waitakere via the North-Western Motorway and takes about 20 minutes in off-peak times. From Auckland Airport it takes 40 minutes in off-peak times. From northern parts of North Harbour take the Upper Harbour Motorway; from southern parts it is more direct to cross the main Harbour Bridge and pass through the Central Motorway Junction.

Regular train services run from central Auckland to West Auckland and there is a network of bus services.

Get around

West Auckland is best seen by car. Buses and trains service the area, but many are slow and serve residents rather than visitors out to see the sights. The Auckland Transport (AT) website provides information on public transport, and allows you to select bus, train or ferry to plan an itinerary.

Piha Surf Shuttle offers transport by mini-bus to the surrounding wineries and beaches.

See

A Kumeu vineyard

West Auckland offers many of the native delights, such as trees, bushes and flowers that make New Zealand unique.

Arataki Visitor Centre carvings

Do

Buy


Eat

Great North Rd, which runs through much of Waitakere, has many places to get food. New Lynn has many cafes and sandwich bars.

Kelston has nothing special except a halal butcher.

Glendene has excellent kebabs, roast dinners and lovely homemade pizza, as well as gourmet burgers (expensive but good) and a regular fish and chip shop. The bakery behind the shops has the best chicken sandwiches out west and the best chocolate chip shortcake caramel slice ever - it's $1.50 and simply divine.

In Henderson there is a Thai takeaway (main & rice $10-13), & a vegetarian Vietnamese restaurant at the far end. Up by the bridge and the bus stop is another fish and chip shop.

Haddad Takeaways, 538 Te Atatu Rd (the main road), Te Atatu Nth, has chicken, fish, potato and kumara (sweet potato) chips and kebabs. Further past the roundabout there is an excellent ice cream parlour where a double scoop of locally made ice cream will cost about $2.20, 5 scoops around $3.70, milkshakes $3. These should be taken in the car and then head down to the beach (2 mins away). You can then sit in the car or walk around the reserve. This looks back uninterrupted across the harbour to the city, which can be very beautiful.

Fruit shops out of the urban area along State Highway 16 offer good selections of fresh seasonal produce. When strawberries are in high season, 3 punnets usually cost about $5.

Drink

Licensing to sell alcohol in Waitakere is controlled by two trusts: the Portage and the Waitakere. Everyone who sells alcohol must be registered by either one. You can't buy beer or wine in the supermarket unlike the rest of Auckland. The trusts are non-profit organisations that reinvest the taxes on alcohol back into local communities, schools, parks and sports teams. Although this is less convenient, the local referendum always supports the trusts as they would prefer money going back into the community and not into supermarkets' profits (lower prices, lower margins, less levied for the community). Alcohol is no more expensive, but it is more controlled and hours are more restrictive. Another argument for this is that there is more control over young people buying alcohol, so it may reduce under-age drinking.

Sleep


Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, January 08, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.