When you think of activities to do out West, many immediately think of the Waitakere Ranges.
However, with many parts of the Waitakere Ranges under restricted access in a drastic attempt to save the forest from kauri dieback disease, what else is there to do in the wild west?
West Auckland is not only blessed with beautiful black-sand surf beaches like Piha and Muriwai, but there are a number of destinations to suit all the family.
From children's paradises and outdoor adventures to craft breweries, here are four must-do experiences you should dive into when heading out West.
1. Whoa! Studios Urban playground/cafe
Whoah! Studios is the perfect place for families.
It is equipped with a mammoth playground and waterslide, Australasia's first crochet play-net, a modern film set with live shows and five-star family dining at The Grounds restaurant/cafe headed by chef and former My Kitchen Rules NZ host Ben Bayly.
Whoa! Studios also has an inflatable playground in view of the restaurant, leaving kids in heaven and parents with peace and quiet.
Located at 8-14 Henderson Valley Rd, Henderson, it is the only studio open to the public in New Zealand.
It has been called the "most exciting new family destination in Auckland" and has a number of live shows and performances running most days.
If you're wanting to let the kids run wild while sampling some of New Zealand's tastiest drinks and meals, Whoa! studios is a must-see.
2. Bethells Lake - Lake Wainamu
If surf beaches and strong waves aren't your thing then Bethells Lake is the hidden gem for you.
Located near Bethells Beach, the lake is hidden behind the towering sand dunes where the Warriors often do pre-season training.
The track follows a stream to the base of the dunes where you can decide to either climb the dunes or scoot around the side following the shallow river.
Bethells Dunes are famous for locals and tourists sand boarding down to the river. The climb over the dunes is also described as like "being on the moon" or in the desert.
If you climb over the dunes, your view is soon met with the stunning Bethells Lake, equipped with a wharf to jump off.
The water is crisp and clear and the hills surrounding the lake are smothered in native bush.
The walk takes about 30 minutes to complete and is a great way to explore the west without the crowded beaches.
3. Hallertau Brewery and Restaurant
If you're looking to quench your thirst, Riverhead's Hallertau Biergarten will certainly do that.
The brewery has more than 20 taps of Hallertau and New Zealand's finest craft beers.
Hallertau has a retractable roof and seats in the garden for the ultimate relaxation, and you'll be blown away by the taste of some of New Zealand's most delicious craft beer.
With two kitchens and a brewery on site you can relax in the biergarten with a range of yummy food items or take a tour of the brewery before receiving an expert tasting session with one of the brewers.
The biergarten is described by its regulars as a place with "great vibe, friendly service and brilliant tasting beer".
Hallertau was one of the original leaders in the craft beer boom in New Zealand.
It is located at 1171 Coatesville-Riverhead Highway and a great stop off if you've been out to Muriwai beach.
4. Woodhill Forest
Mountain biking, high-course ropes, and paintball - If you're into extreme activities, Woodhill Forest has it all.
Woodhill Forest is Auckland's only managed and purpose-built rider accessed single track network.
With plenty of tracks for all ages and abilities, day passes are available for just $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The bike park comes with all needed gear to hire or you can bring your own bikes and equipment.
If you're feeling a little more adventurous you can take to the high-ropes of Woodhill's Tree Adventures.
There are 10 courses, one flying fox, 110 high wire activities ranging from heights of 3m to 14m.
If heights and off-road biking don't tickle your fancy, you can shoot down your best friends or the family member you don't like in Delta Force Paintball.
Set deep in the forest, the terrain gives players great hiding spots and vantage points.
If you want to turn your Call of Duty campaign on PS4 into real life, Woodhill's Forest's paintballing can help you become the sharpshooter of the family.