Awhitu Peninsula

Incorporating Awhitu | Big Bay | Grahams Beach | Manukau Heads | Pollok | Waipipi

Stretching northwards from Waiuku, the Awhitu Peninsula, our Sunset Coast, offers some of the best views of both the Manukau Harbour and the rugged west coast along the Tasman Sea. Awhitu, which means 'place of longing' in Maori, was an important early settlement area and gateway to the rest of the country, for both Maori and Europeans.

The turbulent seas of the Manukau Heads at the top of the Peninsula, were the site of New Zealand's worst maritime disaster, when in 1863 the HMS Orpheus ran aground. As a result the paraffin lit Manukau Heads Lighthouse was built in 1874. The present day replica, which features the original light, has become a magnet for visitors seeking out our country's historic icons and this coupled with the other attractions of the Peninsula has stimulated an influx of fun-seeking visitors.

The Peninsula's wild but beautiful attractions range from horse trekking, country markets, kayak adventures, organic foods, wine cellars to natural rambles in a magnificent regional park; sun baking, sand-strolling, fishing, heritage sites and more. All wait to be enjoyed on the finger of land protecting the peaceful Manukau Harbour from the might of the Tasman Sea.