Tāmaki Hikoi. For a Māori perspective on Auckland, take this walking tour with guides from the local Ngāti Whatua tribe, who tell ancient stories and recount their history on a trek from Mt. Eden through sacred landmarks to the harbor. The three-hour tour departs at 9 am and 1:30 pm from the visitor centers at Princes Wharf and Sky City. Auckland i-SITE Visitor Centre, Princes Wharf, 137 Quay St., Viaduct, Auckland, Auckland, 1010. 021/146--9593; www.tamakihikoi.co.nz. From NZ$95.
Waitakere Ranges. These scenic hills west of Auckland are a favorite walking and picnic spot for locals. The bush-clad ranges, rising sharply from West Coast beaches, are threaded by streams and waterfalls. The highlight of a great, easy hour-long trail, Auckland City Walk, is Cascade Falls, just off the main track. The 20-minute Arataki Nature Trail is a great introduction to kauri and other native trees. Providing information on the Waitakeres and other Auckland parks, the Arataki Visitor Centre displays modern Māori carvings. Some tracks may be closed as a fungus is infecting some trees and you may be required to use the disinfectant provided to clean your shoes before and after your walk.
To get to the Waitakeres, head along the Northwestern Motorway (Route 16) from central Auckland, take the Waterview turnoff, and keep heading west to the gateway village of Titirangi. A sculpture depicting fungal growths tells you you're heading in the right direction. From here the best route to follow is Scenic Drive, with spectacular views of Auckland and its two harbors. The visitor center is 5 km (3 miles) along the drive. 300 Scenic Dr., Auckland, Auckland, 0604. 09/817–0077; regionalparks.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/aratakivisitorcentre.