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Arataki Visitor Centre

  The Arataki Visitor Centre is on Scenic Drive between Titirangi and Waiatarua. It is an iconic building, designed by architect Harry Turbott, and opened in the 1990s. The most striking aspect of the building is the central pou, representing the ancestors of the iwi of the Waitakere Ranges, Te Kawerau a Maki. This is  [ Read More ]

Taitomo island

Taitomo island is the only land on the West Coast still owned by the iwi, Te Kawerau a Maki. The name the iwi gave references the passage or tomo through the rock which is used by fisherman to fish off the rocks. Early settlers called Taitomo, Rabbit Island or Camel Rock because of its distinctive appearance from  [ Read More ]

Kitekite Falls

The Kitekite Falls are one of the most famous waterfalls in the Waitakere Ranges with six drops into a large lake-like pool at the bottom. The falls are reached by walking tracks at the end of Glen Esk Road. The usual route is to take the Kitekite Track by the large kauri stump which takes  [ Read More ]

Green Rock

Green Rock, January 2011   At low tide, take a walk from the south end of Piha beach to The Gap and you go past the Green Rock. You walk along a rocky shelf and when you descend to the sand, this is at the Green Rock. It is a huge hollow cave, half a  [ Read More ]

Dr Finlay’s Boatshed

Back in the 1940s, Dr Colin Finlay, an Auckland dentist, built a brick house at the extreme southern end of Marine Parade South. He was not a good sailor, but he teamed up with the surf club members and they used his boat to go fishing. The Hazel Irene, named after his wife, was the  [ Read More ]

Piha Mill puriri

In August 2007 a huge storm swept a torrent of water down the Piha and Kitekite Streams, overflowing their banks, and the winds howled. An old puriri, which for hundreds of years had stood in the flat land at the head of the Piha Valley succombed to the elements and toppled over. The sturdy tree was overweighted  [ Read More ]

The Keyhole

The distinctive tunnel through Camel Rock is called the Keyhole, although the Maori name for the island itself – Taitomo – means a cave through a rock. The Keyhole surges with water but provides a passage from Puaotetai Bay to fishing rocks facing Piha Beach. A rocky shelf allows fishers to access the rocky platform but  [ Read More ]

Te Kamaka

This large pohutukawa grows out of the top of a large rock and has sent soots down into the soil beneath to sustain it. To Te Kawerau a Maki the rock with the tree on it was sacred and was known as Te Kamaka. It is a rare example of a named tapu tree in the  [ Read More ]

The Domain macrocarpas

  There was consternation when Waitakere City Council announced it was about to fell one of the two remaining – of an original three – macrocarpas near the Bowling Club, on the grounds that it was diseased. On questioning it seems that Waitakere City Council had overlooked that the trees are on its District Plan  [ Read More ]

History of Piha through its Maori names

Te Piha talk   Graeme Murdoch held his audience spellbound when he shared his immense knowledge of the Maori history of Piha at Barnett Hall in November 2008. Emulating the oral tradition of telling stories, Graeme explained the many stories of Piha through its places names. He stressed that there was not one Maori occupation  [ Read More ]

Lion Rock

Lion Rock is Piha’s most iconic landmark, its profile from all angles, known nation-wide. Lion Rock sits between Piha and North Piha beaches, offering people who climb it, spectacular views in all directions. It is not possible to climb to the top after a rockfall made access too dangerous. At the end of the short,  [ Read More ]