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 the Fairy Falls is closed at the moment. Check out which trails in the Waitakere Ranges are open and which ones are closed. PDF Hiking Trails Waitakere More information about the disease, and the status of closures for hikes and campgrounds can be found here.
Update closure August 2019: The Fairy Falls Track remains closed.
If you travel to the famous Piha Beach, don't miss this marvelous rainforest and the Fairy Falls. The falls are most impressive after heavy rainfall, but hiking is much for fun in the drier season with pleasant temps from November until April. Important; if you like to hike to the falls don't leave any valuables in the car!
Warmest and driest months are during summer from December to March with pleasant temps. Coldest months in winter 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.
Where 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 direction 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 stairs are leading 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 is killing the 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 from 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 low budget and luxury rooms within walking distance to the famous beach.