Sunday Drive: Whakanewha Regional Park

Where: Whakanewha Regional Park, Waiheke Island, Hauraki Gulf.

How to get there: There are several ferry services departing from around Auckland to Waiheke. Fullers operates ferries every 30-60 minutes (depending on the time of day, and day of the week) from its terminal on Quay St in the city; several Fullers ferries every day also go via Devonport. Adult return tickets are $28.50 or $14.30 for children. Alternatively, Sealink operates regular car ferries to Waiheke from Half Moon Bay. If you don't take your car there are generally taxis and buses waiting at the ferry terminal at Matiatia.

How long: Both ferry trips take about 40 minutes.

What to do: Whakanewha is a great place to take the family to see a huge range of birdlife. Expect to see fantails, dotterels, oystercatchers, white-faced heron and pied stilts among many others.

Look out for them as you wander the 2 1/2-hour Nikau Track which will lead you up to the Cascades - a series of picturesque waterfalls.

But if that all seems a bit time-consuming, head around the 30-minute School Loop Track which leads up the side of the rocky headland to an extensive pa site before returning via the beach.

Walkers will be rewarded with great views over the park and across the harbour to Auckland city.

The bottom of the Nikau Track and all foreshore areas are wheelchair and pushchair friendly.

Hungry? There is one bookable electric BBQ in the park, near the carpark and toilets, but there are plenty of other picturesque spots to stop for a picnic. Alternatively, make your way to a gorgeous Waiheke winery for refreshments.

- Detours, HoS

- Herald on Sunday

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