Enjoy all that the vibrant West Hills community and its surrounds has to offer, where unique lifestyle meets amazing convenience. Surrounded by wineries and orchards, there’s local summer berry picking to enjoy, plus plenty of nearby parks and markets. NorthWest Shopping Centre and Westgate shopping precinct offer an abundance of dining, retail and entertainment options right on your doorstep. West Coast outdoor adventures beckon including bush walks, surfing, horse riding or fishing options at nearby breathtaking black sand beaches like Muriwai, Te Henga and Piha, or mountain biking and trail runs at Woodhill Forest.
West Coast Beaches
Front row seats to West Coast sunsets, or nearby East Coast beaches if you prefer – West Hills is spoilt when it comes to beach choices nearby. Wild West Coast outdoor adventures beckon including swimming, surfing, fishing and bush walks at nearby breathtaking black sand beaches like Piha, Muriwai, and Te Henga (Bethells). Head along to Muriwai to see the famous gannet colony, look across to Lion Rock at Piha, or soak in the vast scale and rugged beauty of your chosen beach as you sit by the sand dunes and relax in nature. If you decide to head into the water, remember to swim safely where there are surf patrol flags.
Learn to surf
There’s no shortage of good options when it comes to learning to surf at nearby West Coast beaches. Whether you’re a first-timer or looking to brush up on the basics, grab a lesson or two at one of these popular surf beaches. You’ll learn about beach safety, rips, and surfing techniques, in a private or group lesson context. As with other adventure activities, assess the potential risks and make sure that the location is appropriate for your level of experience: look out for rocks, currents, and rips, and take a surf buddy.
Arguably the most famous of Auckland’s beaches, Piha is a surf destination with conditions varying for both beginners and advanced surfers. Piha offers two top-notch surf schools—Piha Surf Academy and Piha Surf School—plus the team from Piha Surf Life Saving Club are on patrol, since this stretch of West coast can be pretty wild. Over at Muriwai, if you’re after the complete learn-to-surf experience the Muriwai Surf School is ready and waiting. Hire a board and wetsuit and book beginner lessons, or something more advanced to improve your technique. There are even blokarts for hire, for more beach fun to enjoy the massive 47 kilometres of windswept rugged coastline.
Muriwai Beach Horse Treks
Discover Muriwai Beach in style, on horseback with Muriwai Beach Horse Treks. If you’ve never been horse trekking before, you’re encouraged to give this amazing experience a go. As well as beginners, the team also caters to experienced riders, and focuses on the well-being of the horses while creating a unique and fun riding experience. Treks traverse the picturesque black sand beach of Muriwai, and travel through the enchanting Woodhill forest. Team building packages are available, along with special event and party bookings, and school holiday programmes. Get ready to saddle up and enjoy the beautiful black sands of Muriwai, with Muriwai Beach Horse Treks.
Enjoy a fun day out amongst the trees at Woodhill Forest, with plenty of adventure and lifestyle activities on offer to enjoy. Covering an awe-inspiring 12,500 hectares, the forest has over 100 kilometres of purpose-built tracks and jumps for mountain bikers, many trail runs, and areas designated for horse riding treks. There’s also a popular tree-top adventure park, with five exciting and diverse high wire adventure options catering to a wide range of abilities so you can challenge your balance, build confidence and unleash your inner monkey – all whilst enjoying the beauty of the forest.
If you’re after more adrenaline-packed fun, Delta Force Paintball’s Woodhill Forest centre is ready with a variety of paintballing themed adventures. Opportunities for 4WD safaris or motocross adventures beckon at the Woodhill off-road 4WD park, plus quad biking. Exciting adventures navigating through the forest, sand dunes, water and mud means you’ll need to pick someone in your group to make sure they’re on car wash duty!
Huapai Golf Club
After some golf in a beautiful location? Located on the Coatesville Riverhead Highway right on the edge of the Waitemata Harbour and only five minutes from the North-Western Motorway, Huapai Golf Club is one of New Zealand’s finest country courses. The course is quiet and picturesque, surrounded by farmland and the water. The Club offers a wide variety of membership categories, with something to suit every golfer, and a qualified NZPGA professional available for tuition bookings, seven days. Over in the lounge bar and cafe, both members and non-members are welcome to relax and enjoy the floor to ceiling windows that provide stunning views out over the course. The Pro Shop is able to assist with all requirements from equipment to advice or repairs and has a large range of golf merchandise from leading brands including golf balls, gloves, hats, shoes and clothes.
Just a minute away from Huapai Golf Club, New Sky Golf Range, is situated on 12 acres of wide-open grass area surrounded by trees to enhance the natural feeling of being out on an actual golf course. The 300m driving range provides 20 covered bays with benches. If you’re keen on something a bit different, try baseball batting with automatic pitching machines.
NorthWest Shopping Centre and Westgate shopping precinct
How’s every shop you need, within walking distance of West Hills? NorthWest Shopping Centre (120+ specialty retailers and restaurants) plus Westgate shopping precinct over the road offer an abundance of dining, retail and entertainment options right on your doorstep. NorthWest Shopping Centre also offers school holiday fun activities, a Justice of the Peace service, and a supermarket. Te Manawa Library and community hub provides full facilities for a range of community groups, meeting spaces, research and study needs, while Event Cinemas have been recently renovated. NorthWest Shopping Centre is part of the Westgate Town Centre, featuring a beautiful village green-style square fringed with eateries.
Pick your own strawberries
Enjoy your choice of nature’s best on your doorstep from berry picking through to local vineyards, many with cellar doors and options for a bite to eat. ‘Pick your own’ strawberries is a quintessential Kiwi summer activity, and nearby Taupaki, Riverhead, and Kumeu encompass a variety of strawberry farms, many with delicious real fruit ice creams on offer too.
For fresh, juicy and sweet berries, choose from Riverhead’s Zaberri for strawberry, blackberry and raspberry picking, Phil Greig Strawberries in Taupaki, Zaknich Farms’ Waitakere and Taupaki strawberry picking locations, Helensville strawberry farm Sweet Red, or other local options. The strawberry picking season usually runs from December to early February. Don’t forget your sunblock, hat, and containers to transport your freshly picked strawberries home safely.
Kopupaka Reserve and playground
Designed with the area’s rich strawberry growing history in mind, newly built Kopupaka Reserve papa tākaro (playground) in Westgate features tons of play areas including a flying fox, water and sand play areas, inground trampolines, swings, fitness equipment, and picnic areas plus barbecues. Children of all ages and abilities are catered for with the play equipment. The playground’s design and climbing towers reflect the local strawberry farming history of the area with the modular crate-like configuration and colour scheme.
Royal Reserve just across in Massey is one of many other great parks and amenities in the area. Recreational opportunities include the playground with swings, trampolines, tunnels and climbing ropes, a basketball court, fitness equipment, sports fields, and the always-popular ‘learn to ride’ bike paths complete with mini signposts and markings, for young cyclists to enjoy. The wide paths throughout the park are suitable for walking, running, wheelchairs and prams. Picnic tables, seating, a barbecue, and drinking fountains are also included, making this a great spot for a weekend picnic in the fresh air.
Boric Food Market
From orchard to store, Boric Food Market and Deli is committed to providing the best seasonal fruit and vegetables delivered straight from their backyard orchard, alongside a beautiful range of artisan foods, locally made wines and craft beers, and a carefully curated collection of homewares. A long-standing local favourite since 1942, Boric Food Market has evolved from a roadside fruit stall to the full food market it is today, now operated by third-generation family members. The market partners with local suppliers to offer a wide variety of seasonal produce that matches the integrity of the fruit and veggies grown on-site. The farm-style playground includes vintage tractors, wooden play spaces and even a mini grocery store. Fifteen traditional varieties of apples are grown in the Boric orchard, along with pears, citrus, figs, plums, peaches and quince.
Catalina Bay Farmers Market
Grab yourself a real fruit ice cream or satiate that caffeine craving at popular boutique Catalina Bay Farmers Market right on the waterfront at Hobsonville Point. Wander the stalls for a selection of local artisan foods and fresh local farm produce including fresh produce, breads, eggs, cheese, honey, baked goods, meats, flowers and much more. The market’s unique undercover setting by the water with live music adds to the vibrant atmosphere. Stay for a bite to eat from the variety of food vendors, and enjoy browsing the unique handmade items on sale. Catalina Bay Farmers Market is open three days a week, Friday – Sunday. Additionally, there are other seasonal events to enjoy including a Christmas twilight market and a mid-winter food truck night.
Hobsonville Point Coastal walkway
Head across to Hobsonville Point to walk around Te Ara Manawa / Hobsonville Point Coastal Walkway. The almost flat, looping 5km track hugs the peninsula’s shoreline and passes through neighbourhoods, Catalina Bay waterfront, bush-clad gullies and scenic spots ideal for you to pause for a harbourside picnic. With plenty of opportunities to relax in nature, play, and take in the local history and harbourside views, it delivers a unique waterside experience. Take your walking shoes, hat, sunscreen, bikes, scooters or pram.
The walk connects a number of local parks, including Harrier Point playground on Launch Road (featuring a flying fox overlooking the water), and the award-winning Hobsonville Point playground on Buckley Avenue. Dogs are welcome but don’t forget the leash, as there are some important bird breeding grounds along the walkway. There is an off-leash dog park at Te Onekiritea Point (Bomb Point).
An immersive experience for the whole family, Whoa! Studios encompasses theatre and studio facilities, playgrounds, and The Grounds eatery by celebrity chef Ben Bayly. Film, television, and show talent is behind the venue’s calendar of live shows, creating unforgettable theatre experiences and lasting memories for families. The state-of-the-art film studio specialises in live-action, puppetry, and miniatures, while the urban park and playground was built by a team of set designers and builders. It features a rocket ship, dragon’s castle, pirate’s cove, and New Zealand’s only crochet play net made by Japanese artist Toshiko Horiuchi Macadam, handcrafted over two years using 70 kilometres of coloured nylon. The Grounds by celebrity chef Ben Bayly provides a modern family eatery for great family meals and occasions.