Waitakere is the western part of Auckland, also called West Auckland.
English is spoken by just about all residents. Around 5% also speak Samoan and a similar amount speak Maori.
When driving from the north or south of Auckland it is not necessary to go through downtown or to cross the Harbour Bridge.
A train service runs from Auckland centre to Waitakere.
Although buses and trains service the area, many serve those living in the suburbs as opposed to those looking to see the sights. Information on public transport is found at Auckland Transport , it allows you to select bus, train or ferry and plan an itinerary.
Waitakere offers many of the the native delights, such as trees, bushes and flowers that make New Zealand unique.
- Waitakere houses some of New Zealands best wineries. These are in two main areas, Henderson Valley and Kumeu. On summer weekends, these will be packed with those looking to sit in the sun, have a bottle of wine and a relaxed late lunch. On Sundays Pleasant Valley on Henderson Valley road can be a good afternoon, often having live music. Other Vineyards in the area include Delagats and Montana, although these are much harder to find and do not have regular food service.
- The Kumeu area makes for a wonderful day trip. Follow the North-Western motorway to the end and take state highway 16 to Kumeu. Within 10-15 minutes you will start to see a vineyards that have cafes and immaculate gardens. Stop for lunch before heading further on to Muriwai Beach, vineyards include, Coopers Creek, Soljans and Kumeu River.
- Muriwai Beach is more rugged and natural and less unrbanised than Piha. It is a huge black sand beach that stretches as far as the eye can see (it does not stop until the kaipara harbour). The south end houses cabins and a camp ground, an ice cream shop and a fish and chip shop, the main beach and the life guards tower. The north end is dominated by 4X4's and dirt bikes.
- In Muriwai the forest has a bike park where children learn how to ride on tracks amongst the trees. The entrance is 10 minutes further on state highway 16 after the beach turnoff. Other activities in the area include BMX trails and racing and a huge high ropes course set in the forest called Tree Adventures (bookings recommended) there are 8 courses to do and it can take 2-4 hours depending on skill and fitness. Fruit shops offer good selections of fresh seasonal produce. When strawberries are in high season, 3 punnets will usually cost about $5.
- An attraction popular with tour groups it Arataki Visitors Centre on Scenic Drive, Titirangi. Around the centre there are nature trails which signpost the native trees and birds found in the area. Trails range from 10 minutes to 4-5 hours and are all fully pathed and signposted. The centre itself features models, history and facts of native birds and the surrounding area. The view from scenic drive is amazing, the west coast one side and the city the other.
- The west coast beaches, such as Piha Beach, offer sand, surf and are popular for swimming, though dangerous for the unwary, with surf that changes with the tides, unpredictable deep holes, undertows and rips. Swim between the red and yellow flags and pay attention to the lifeguards on duty.
- AWOL Adventures  offer rainforest canyon climbing near Piha Beach
- If the weather is not good try the Waitakere Aquatic Centre, Alderman Drive, Henderson. Home of the 1992 Commonwealth Games competition pools, now the complex consists of 2 x 50m 8 lane pools, a drive pool with 9 boards, a hydroslide, 2 toddlers pools, spa, sauna, steam room facilities, a lazy river and a wave pool. There is also a gym and a cafe.
Great North Road, which runs through a lot of Waitakere, has many establishments offering food. New Lynn has many cafes and sandwich bars.
Glendene is a good place to find excellent kebabs, roast dinners and lovely homemade pizza, as well as gourmet burgers(expensive but good) and a regular fish and chip shop, the bakery behind the shops has the best chicken sandwiches out west and the best chocolate chip shortcake caramel slice ever its $1.50 and simply devine. Last stop on Great North Road is Henderson. There is a Thai takeaway at the far end.
- Te Atatu Peninsula, has the only 24 hour kumara (sweet potato) chips and roast chicken in Waitakere.
- Hadads on the main road has chicken, fish and chips and kebabs. Further past the round about there is an excellent ice cream parlour.
You can't buy beer or wine in the supermarket unlike the rest of Auckland.
- Kauri Suite, Tui Suite, Beach Cabin, 9 Sylvan Glade, Piha, . Three suites close to the beach.
Most parts of Waitakere are close to the rest of Auckland. Auckland Airport can be reached in off-peak times in about 40 minutes. The North Shore can be reached via Upper Harbour drive without the need for the Harbour Bridge. The Waitakere City Council Offices can reach Downtown Auckland Off-Peak in around 20 minutes only being 18km away from Union Street via the North-Western Motorway.