I had wanted to experience the Waitakere Ranges that hug Auckland’s west coast since I’d moved to Auckland but had never made an effort to get there. I’d heard of a few good places but for some reason Fairy Falls stood out amongst the rest so on a hunch it was decided that this was the place we wanted to set out and explore.
Due to it being a Sunday, motivation was at an all time low. Eventually we found our enthusiasm and headed off on the motorway through Henderson with the city slowly but surely getting smaller and smaller behind us. Shortly, greenery started to make an appearance till we were surrounded– a stark contrast to the concrete buildings I was quite used to seeing from day to day. Safe to say, it made this country girl very happy.
To be honest, on this trip I had no idea where I was going and even if I did I’m sure I would still have got lost. With zero geography skills and the reoccurring theme of not knowing where I am at the best of times, navigation can easily turn into a challenge. Luckily I had someone with me who grew up in Auckland and knew the area well.
Music and conversation passed the time as the hour trip came to a close with us pulling up to an overgrown entranceway. Water bottles in hand and a clear pathway set ahead, the walk began. We were soon led to views that overlooked the distant city, one that shows the clear line between nature and the man made, quite a vista and one that deserved to be marvelled at. The stunner day continued and after a walk that would be considered a small glute workout (stairs have never been my friend), we found ourselves at Fairy Falls.
We were greeted by an opening that was covered in flat rock with the waterfall itself not looking as big as I had imagined but it was nearing the end of a scorching summer so this couldn’t be much of a surprise. With there being plenty of space, we found a spot in the shade and enjoyed the view while others were setting up picnics, relaxing under the shrubbery and dipping into the small pool where the water gathered at the bottom (little did they know there are eels that take up residence here.. in case you don’t feel like getting bitten).
After a few minutes we noticed that the first tier was climbable so carefully we scaled up and around some of the landscape. We spent most of our time there sitting in the sun, shade and under the cascading waterfall as time slipped away. Eventually the decision was made to make the descent back down and to make the journey back to the car.
The walk back was a little more difficult at parts as this took us uphill so a trek of about twenty minutes on the way there added another ten but with a clearly marked path it’s an easy one. Access to this place is incredibly straight forward so I’d recommend it for a family day out, a couples walk or even if you’re wanting to tackle something on your own (you’d have to be pretty special to get lost). There are a few tracks to get to this beauty, including one that overlooks the falls and the people below. No matter which you decide to take I have no doubt you’ll find something amazing at the end.