Awesome Walks is an experience you’ll never forget! It’s action meets indulgence in one of the spectacularly beautiful and diverse parts of New Zealand – less than an hour from downtown Auckland.
All your meals are provided and all the planning is done for you – all you have to do is explore the incredible Waitakere Ranges.
With Awesome Walks, you do the walk and we do the work. After leaving our base at Wharerangi, you’ll spend each night in a fully equipped traditional Kiwi caravan, relocated for you to the end of your day’s journey with your luggage, food and linen inside. All you need to do is relax, unwind and savour the finest produce that our region has to offer. It’s tramping/hiking/walking meets glamping, with all the planning and carrying done for you!
Whether you are tackling the Hillary Trail or any one of the other myriad of options, you’ll walk out in the morning with your day-pack only and enjoy the journey to your next planned stop – savouring the tranquillity of inland forests, gurgling streams and beautiful waterfalls and the raw power of the spectacular West Coast beaches.
When you reach your destination your caravan, personal belongings, delicious food and chilled drinks will be there for you – set up and inviting and ready for you to enjoy.
Awesome Walks is the only tourism provider permitted to host overnight guests in the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park in our caravans – and it’s the only way you can overnight in most of the park campsites without your own equipment. This means you can take your time to explore the many walks in this beautiful region or take on the Hillary Trail without having to carry tents and provisions.
Our season runs from November 1st to April 30th – if you would like to book outside these dates please contact us and we’ll do our best to create a solution for you.
The Waitakere Ranges are criss-crossed by a network of more than 140 tracks that cover a range of habitats from lush native rainforests and scenic coastlines to rocky shores and windswept black-sand beaches. Many rank among the Great Walks in New Zealand. Several of these Waitakere walks cross or intersect, giving the flexibility to plan a walk to match your available time, level of experience and stamina.
The ranges are also home to the Hillary Trail, a self-guided 77 km tramping trip established in honour of mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, who trained for his world-famous mountaineering feats on the rugged slopes of the Waitakeres. Awesome Walks can help you complete this challenge without heavy packs and complicated logistics.
Your Awesome Walks experience is fully catered. We use locally-sourced fresh produce and ensure you savour a variety of the delicious tastes our region has to offer. All dishes are homemade and, in many cases, ingredients and condiments are homegrown in our organic veggie garden. Each day we provide a continental breakfast, provisions for a generous picnic lunch, delicious home-baking for morning and afternoon tea and a sumptuous evening meal and dessert.
A selection of local wines and craft beers can be purchased, or you can bring your own alcohol.
You’ll spend your first night at our base Wharerangi, and each night thereafter in a traditional Kiwi caravan.
The Wharerangi cabins are set in a private bushland retreat where, surrounded by nature, you’ll see native birds like tomtits, tui, grey warbler and native pigeon dart about in the early evening. A pretty stream meanders through the bush nearby. At night you’ll hear the sound of water trickling over the rocks and the morepork calling from the treetops.
Our traditional Kiwi caravans are fully self-contained, beautifully refurbished and well appointed so that you can experience the best of New Zealand’s great outdoors in comfort and style.
Hosts Alec and Philippa Mandis have a shared and infectious passion for the magnificent Waitakere Ranges, the West Coast beaches and the breath-taking array of walks and tracks that connect the two.
This, coupled with their love of food and entertaining and of growing and harvesting was the seed that started their Awesome Walks dream several years ago.
Since then they have swapped their corporate careers and poured tireless energy, attention to detail and a whole lot of love in to bringing it to reality. They are looking forward to sharing it with you.