With a moniker like the “coast of ghosts” you know before you get there that Whatipu is going to feel a little different than your average west coast beach and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Head out through Titirangi and keep going through Huia (while you are here the Huia Cafe is a brilliant place to stop and get some thoroughly delicious food or snacks and the best muesli in Auckland!) Steeped in history the Huia Cafe is great for children and grown ups alike for eating in or if you are in a hurry to get to Whatipu to take away.
While traveling through Huia another great spot to stop is the Huia Dam with beautiful scenery and torrents of water rushing into the dam.
Once through Huia, head out along a well posted gravel road for a while and then you will find yourself at Whatipu. There is a small walk from the carpark and then suddenly you are in a whole new world.
For me Whatipu looks like something out of the Narnia books – wild and rugged and yet at the same time lush and green on the nearby hills and islands.
With caves for exploring (we took the kids but they weren’t brave enough) and beach to walk for miles or look at the wild seas that took the lives of 189 crew and passengers aboard the Orpheus in 1863 in what remains New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster.
The caves would certainly be on my next to explore list with one cave being rumoured to hold a kauri dance floor under the shifting sands where balls used to be held.
Nearby is the Whatipu Lodge where the Pink Lady is said to roam. The Pink Lady is thought to be former resident We didn’t see anything on our trip there but with the ghosts of sailors out to sea and the stories of the pink lady lingering in the air anything feels possible here. It’s certainly a place that lends itself perfectly to spooky stories and imagining.
For more spooky stories to prime your trip watch this episode of Ghost Hunt when they go to Whatipu to find out if the ghost stories are real or not.
Ghosts or not, one thing for sure is that Whatipu is hauntingly beautiful and really is a must see in Auckland.
You can stay at the Whatipu Lodge with information on room prices and the Lodge itself here.