When Is the Best Time
Unfortunately, parts of the Waitakere Ranges got closed due to the Kauri Dieback disease in May 2018. Also, the trail to Fairy Falls has been closed for years already. Check out which trails in the Waitakere Ranges are open and which ones are closed. Hiking Trails Waitakere It is a detailed map with all accessible hiking trails in this area. More information about the disease and the status of closures for hikes and campgrounds can be found here.
Update Closure August 2022: The Fairy Falls Track remains closed.
Sorry, this track is still closed to prevent the spreading of the Kauri dieback disease. Please, don't enter the trail; these remaining Kauris must be protected.
If you travel to the famous Piha Beach, don't miss this marvellous rainforest and the Fairy Falls. The falls are most impressive after heavy rainfall, but hiking is easier in the drier season, with pleasant temperatures from November until April. Important; if you like to hike to the falls, don't leave any valuables in the car!
To plan your trip or explorer the Islands, we recommend the guidebook from Fodor’s. It is packed with maps, carefully curated recommendations and everything else you need to simplify your trip-planning process and make the most of your time onsite.
The warmest and driest months are during summer, from December to March, with pleasant temps. The coldest months in winter are from June to August. Most precipitation during winter but rain already starts in May with its peak in July. Anyhow, moderate to significant rainfall can always occur.
It is a popular trail and easily accessible. Anyhow if you have any mobility issues, it might be too steep to get to the falls. Especially during summer, the peak season and at weekends, more people walk this trail. Nevertheless, this hike is still not overrun. Less busy in March, April and November with cooler temps but still lovely.
Best Months to Visit
Location and Tips
First of all, if you like to hike to the falls, don't leave any valuables in the car! Car break-ins happened recently. The falls are located in the northern part of the Waitakere Ranges. If coming from Auckland, drive the direction of Piha to get to the trailhead and turn right into the scenic drive, even better, stay in Piha for a couple of nights. The car park for the waterfall trail is signposted. The Fairy Falls trail is an easy return hike which lasts roughly one hour through ancient forests and to giant Kauri trees. The last part is a bit slippery, and the stairs lead to the bottom of the lower falls. When entering or leaving a track, please clean and spray your shoes. Prevent the spread of Kauri dieback, a disease that kills iconic trees. Make a stop at the nearby Arataki Visitor Centre
We highly recommend staying west of Auckland for two or three nights. We spent three nights close to the famous Piha Beach, well known for the movie "The Piano". Don't miss the gannet colony at Muriwai. One of the rare opportunities to get that close. We had a lovely stay at the Piha Beach House with a low budget and luxury rooms within walking distance of the famous beach.