Franklin Eco Adventures  

Awhitu Peninsula, Auckland, New Zealand

**Auckland's Sunset Coast **

A range of accommodation, attractions and eco friendly activities on the Awhitu Peninsula of the Manukau Harbour in New Zealand.



Awhitu Peninsula Map -  Google Land Map and Points of Interest   

Awhitu Regional Park - CSC Campervan ($16 in carpark & $20 per vehicle, in farm park areas). Tent sites $15 Adult & $6 Child. Annual passes, from end of September, CSC $250 per vehicle, Annual Camping Passes $72 adult, $15 child. On a working farm park (no dogs), alongside a Manukau Harbour Beach. BBQs bring your own wood. Three bedroom house also available. Small boat ramp. Brook Road,  Waiuku  (Awhitu Peninsula)  Ph 09 3662000 for bookings   

 Baches -  Holiday Homes - 

          Awhitu Regional Park - 3 bed room house available for daily rental at farm park, ph 09 3662000 option 2

          Big Bay Baches - Bookabach  #20595, Air BnB #191837597S

          Clarks Beach - Bookabach  #19485,   Air BnB #16679660

          Greehock Farm and Beach Cottages - Farm cottage at private beach  Bookabach # 8653   

          Grahams Beach Baches - Bookabach #897,  #26592 

          Hudsons Bay Baches - Bookabach 

          Matakawau Beach - Bookabach #12428, #37291

          Orua Bay -  Orua Bay Bach or Facebook,  Bookabach #19971

          Pollok - Air BnB #17778107 , #16258650

          Te Papa Eco Cottage -  Off grid selfcontained. Farm Cottage overlooking Waikato River  Ph 02108237512

          Te Toro Bach -Bookabach #26104

          Top Nest, Te Toro Beach - 2 x baches/sleepouts - 1 x Dbl and 1 x Twin plus bunks, on small beach, Greenfield Road, Te Toro Peninsula.

                  From $75 dbl/night. 400 metres to all tide boat ramp. Ph 021414643, Email 

           Waiau Pa - Bookabach ...., Air BnB #16794925

           Wattle Bay - Air BnB #17366617       

 B & B - Bed and Breakfast Residences -             

          CabbageTree Cottage - Peace in the country, 2km to Waimatuku west coast black sand beach. 60 West Coast Road.      

          Connemara - Accommodation and wedding events.

          Tasman Lodge Homestay - Manukau Heads Rd, Awhitu. $185 incl room, breakfast and dinner. Ph Gail 092351618  or Air BnB #11125663

          Waiuku BnB - Taurangaruru, Waiuku - New BnB in tranquil rural area on edge of town (3 minutes north of Waiuku). Three rooms with queen bed in each.               

          The Roost -  Homestay with separate accommodation, Columbo Rd, Waiuku, 5 minutes to town centre ph 0275 227653,      

Campers and tenting - 

          Awhitu Regional Park - Ph 09 3010101 for bookings  

          Big Bay Motorcamp (see Motorcamps)

          Clarks Beach Holiday Park  (see Motorcamps)

          Grahams Beach Park over Place ($8/vehicle/night), public toilets over road

          Matakawau Rd Park over Place ($5per vehicle/night - no facilities), ($10per vehicle/night - water and power)

          Caravan Hire - Hire and sales

Castaways Resort - Accommodation and Adventures, Wedding venue. Overlooking New Zealand's wild west coast. Award winning restaurant and conference venue. Accommodation   Ph 092365041 ext226

Discovery River Cruises - Luxury houseboat on the Waikato Riverlands. One or more days/overnight trips for up to 12 persons. Day only trips for up to 40 passengers.  Ph 093576105 / 021 1370066   Email:   

Freedom Camping - (self-contained vehicles), max. stay 2 nights.  More information at Waiuku Information Centre, 2 Queen St

          Te Toro Beach, Waiuku Estuary -  Campervans/buses, up to 10 (no tents). Boat ramp for Manukau Harbour. Te Toro  Road. 

          Hamiltons Gap (Waimatuku Reserve), West Coast - Campervans/buses (no tents). Max 2 day/nights. West Coast Road

          Hoods Landing, Waikato River - Up to two self-contained campervan/buses (no tents). Boat ramp. Max 2 day/nights. Hoods Landing Road         

          Manukau Heads Lighthouse carpark - Up to two Campervans, no tents. Toilets. Picnic area. 

          Waiuku Town - Camper vans only no tents. Public park No1 behind library building, Constable Rd.   Public Park No2, along side library building, King St

          Waiuku Town - Lge Motorhomes/campers, Certified (C S C) only. Lady Jane Franklin Reserve, King Street near wharf. Also has Public Dump Station.

          Ask at Waiuku Information Centre, 2 Queen St opp Kentish Hotel, about 3 new freedom camping places.

Kentish Hotel - see the Kentish Hotel   

Motels and Hotel Accommodation

          Castaways Resort - (See separate listing, Castaways Resort in Accommodation and in Activities)    

             Discovery Houseboat - (See separate listing, Discovery River Cruises in Accommodation and in Activities) 

          the Kentish Hotel -   (See separate listing, the Kentish Hotel) 

          Waiuku Motor Lodge - One and two bedroom units, 279 Kitchener Road, 3 minutes from Waiuku. Ph 092358874.     

          Waiuku Motel - Family units available. In main street of Waiuku, 100 Queen St. Ph 092359237.

Motorcamps -

          Big Bay Holiday Park - Ph 092351132, 

          Clarks Beach Holiday Park and Motel - Ph 092321685,

          Orua Bay Beach Motorcamp and Accommodation -       Permanently  closed 

          Sandspit Motorcamp, Waiuku - Campervan sites, Dumpstation, tent sites, on the beach at 15 Rangiwhea, Rd, Waiuku. Ph 092359913,  0211071181 Email ;

         Waiuku Campervan Dumpstation - 3 King St Waiuku, by the Estuary, look for signs. (100metres before the Waiuku Information Centre)

The Bunkhouse - Bunkhouse facilities (up to 20 beds) plus overflow camping for larger groups, for trampers and horse groups.

                                 Approx $10 pp/night, min $50/night - min 2 nights. With paddock for horses if required ($5.00/horse/night).  

the Kentish Hotel - NZ's oldest continuously licenced hotel. Built 1852. Tavern, restaurant, accommodation. Weddings and wedding receptions at the Portside.

                                   5 Queen St, Waiuku.  Ph 092358367, 0800 Kentish   Email:    www.the     



Awhitu Peninsula and Manukau Harbour Maps and Waikato River Maps     

Adventure Activities - For the Beginners Guide to Kiwi Adventure - seakayaking and mountainbiking for all ages.  

Awhitu Trails -

             Driving - Sightseeing  Awhitu Peninsula Road Loop, up to 100km (Lighthouse, photo stop/rest areas, Awhitu Park, wine tasting at Awhitu

                                                        Wines, black sand surf beaches and safe inner harbour white sand swimming beaches). All roads are tarsealed. 

             Horse Riding                Awhitu Farm Park  /   Karioitahi black sand surf beach   /  Waiuku Forest, Wilsons Rd entrance. Bring your own horse.

             Kayaking                      Waimanu Trail, 43 km of trails along sheltered Manukau Harbour beaches, part of 305km Te Pae o Kaiwaka Trail.     

             Mountain biking           Awhitu Farm Park   /   Waiuku Forest

             Walking                         Awhitu Regional Park to Matakawau Point reserve. Short easy grade bush and beach walk (casual footwear ok), 

                                                          one hour each way, no dogs in farm park. (Take care with recent cliff slips - children need supervision)

                                                          Karioitahi Beach - Black sand surf beach (all tide), up to 9 km one way.

                                                          Tidal beach walk, Orua Bay to Grahams Beach. Manukau Harbour(some rock scrambling), 5km one way.

                                                          Tidal beach walk, follow outgoing tide from Awhitu Park to Grahams Beach (can be muddy), 6km one way.

                                                          Matakawau Bush Walk, opp. church Matakawau Road. Native bush walk, 750metres, very steep takes 25 minutes. 

                                                          Waiuku Estuary (grassed trail).Starts at Tamaki Reserve opp Waiuku Info Centre to Riverside Drive,1 km each way 

                                                          Sandspit Reserve to McCall Drive (dog-friendly), one km each way. 

                                                          Waiuku Town History walk starts opposite the Kentish Hotel, maps at Waiuku Information Centre 

Awhitu Regional Park - Farm park with easy walking and horse and mountainbike trails. Two sandy safe swimming beaches. Brook Road, Awhitu.

Awhitu Golf Course and Food for Thought Cafe- Bistro meals, Friday evening 5.30pm - 8.30pm.  Cafe Sunday 10am - 3pm,

        9 hole golf course ($10 for 9 holes, $20 for 18 holes), Brook Road, Awhitu next to Awhitu Regional Park.  Ph 092351299

Awhitu Wines- Boutique winery at Grahams Beach on the Manukau Harbour and Awhitu Peninsula. Open daily. For onsite tasting and purchases.                      Ph 092351465.  

Bird Watching Kayak Trips - Waiuku Estuary, Manukau Harbour.    


                              Bird life on the Waiuku Estuary (Waimanu Kayak Trail)

Car Hire - Short or long term - From one day or more. 1 to 3 days - $50 per day including insurance, extra days $35 per day incl. insurance.

               - Waiuku Rental Cars   (cnr Kitchener Rd and  Hosking Pl)  0275829818,

Castaways Resort - Accommodation and Adventures, Wedding Venue. Overlooking New Zealand's wild west coast.

         Award-winning restaurant and conference venue.         Castaways Bar and Restaurant  - Ph 09 2365161

Discovery River Cruises - Luxury houseboat on the Waikato Riverlands. Day excursions or overnight trips. 

Fishing Spots on the Peninsula -    Harbour         - *Te Toro boat ramp.   *Matakawau Point.   *Off the beach at Gap Road Orua Bay.

                                                             -    Coast               - *Hamiltons Gap, West Coast Road.

                                                                                           - *Karioitahi Beach - Permit required for vehicle use on beach from www.

Harbour Walks - Awhitu Regional Park to Matakawau Point. Temp closure due to storm damage -from Hatton Road creek use beach to Matakawau Pt -Tidal, care needed.

Horse Riding   - Karioitahi Beach - Waiuku Forest - Awhitu Park. Trails and unloading areas, free (bring your own horse).

                         - Oranmore Farms Trekking - Guided treks over farmland. Minimum age 10 yrs.  Ph 021335500 

                            - Silverfernriding - Riding lessons in an arena on a farm at Baldhill.    Ph 0274380301

Information Centre - Waiuku Visitor Centre, opposite Kentish Queen St, Waiuku,, ph 092356201, (10.00am - 3.00pm Tuesday to Sunday, winter hrs)

Karioitahi Beach Access - Access on foot or by horse is available 24hrs (including the designated area for horse floats/trucks).Access for any other vehicles is by council permit. Annual permits are free of charge and can be obtained from Auckland Council offices or the Auckland Council website. The beach is officially a road, unregistered motor vehicles are not permitted. 

Kayak Hire - Stressfree Eco Adventures. Seakayaks, SOT fishing and recreational Sit on Top and sit in side family kayaks.  

                      All safety gear and camping/overnighting equipment.      Freephone 0800 GoByKayaks, 0800 4629529. email

KayakTrails - 185km of trails. (315 km if Waikato Dam Lakes are included). See below for free downloadable maps and information maps 

      WEKA (Waiuku Estuary Kayak Adventure), *Waiuku.

      Waimanu *Manukau Harbour

      Te Pae o Kaiwaka, *Waikato River    

      Dam to the Sea, *Waikato River

Kohekohe Church - Historic church (1886), on Awhitu Road, overlooking Lake Pokorua.

Manukau Heads Lighthouse - For a stunning view of history. Restored 1874 lighthouse. Open daily. (9.00am to 5.00pm)                  Historic guide service -

Matakawau Bush TrackA short, steep, 750 metre, 20 minute trail through regenerating native bush. Information on native trees. Good family walk.

                                               Starts opposite the Catholic Church at the beginning of Matakawau Road.

Mountainbike repair - Sunset Cycles, 31b Bowen St, Waiuku, next to Mitre 10. Ph 092352070. New and secondhand bikes, parts  and repairs. 

Mountainbike Trails - Waiuku Information Centre or Stressfree Adventures.

New Zealand Steel Mining - Ghezzie Road, restricted access. Lookout over Waikato River Delta, and Waiuku Forest metalled road entrance.

       Magnetic ironsands from this mine are separated and sent 18km via a slurry pipeline to NZ Steel's site at Glenbrook for conversion into 650,000 tonnes pa

       of various grades of steel, including Coloursteel roofing, galvanised pipes and steel plate.      Free school tours (No personal tours). Ph 093758999

Pollok Co-op- Art Gallery and Sculpture Garden. 2141 Awhitu Rd, Pollok, approx 20km from Waiuku. Open 10am to 5pm, 7days in Summer. Ph 092352225

Stressfree Adventures - Scenic kayaking,  Waikato River and Manukau Harbour. Mountainbiking, Waiuku Forest. Family, corporate groups.

the Goodness Grocer - Organic and spray-free fruit and veges, "home " preserves and jams. Ph 092350000,

Tide Charts for Awhitu Peninsula's Manukau Harbour Beaches

Trail Blazers - 4x4 self-drive guided tours on the rugged cliffs at Castaways, Karioitahi.  Contact Castaways Adventures ph 0923 65041      

Waikato River Kayak Trails - the Te Pae o Kaiwaka Trail, from 10km to 142km. Half to 5 day trips.  Free maps, points of interest  


                            Kayaking on the Te Pae o Kaiwaka Trail, Waikato River Delta

Waitangi Falls - Rest stop and swimming hole. No toilets. Waitangi Falls Road, Glenbrook.

Waiuku Estuary Walking Trail a new short walking trail in the township. Begins at Tamakae Reserve opposite the Waiuku Information Centre.                                                            Still being developed, but first and second section to Riverside Drive open, as is Rangiwhea to McCall Drive.

Waiuku Forest - Wilsons Road, (poorly signposted). Parking 300m inside entrance, no driving roads. - Ghezzie Road, Waikato River Delta lookout, 12km forest drive to Tasman Sea and West Coast Lookout. Gates open 7.00am, gates close 6.00pm. Fires or o/night camping prohibited year round.  Free map Downloads  (check with Waiuku Information Centre)     Mtb trails, free bring your own mtb or hire with maps from Waiuku (Stressfree Adventures) / Walking trails, free.  Horse riding trails, free - bring your own horse.   Also at the forest is NZ Steels open pit sand mine. (No tours).                                        

Waiuku Historic Walking Trail - maps and info Waiuku Museum, 13 King St, Waiuku and Waiuku Information Centre, 2 Queen St, Waiuku                  

Waiuku Museum - Open Saturdays and by appointment for bus groups.