Things to do in the Local Area
Vartamana Retreat is only 25 minutes from downtown Auckland but right on the door step of the magnificent Waitakere Ranges Regional Park.
Some of the most popular hiking tracks such as Cascade Kauri/Auckland City Walk, Fairy Falls and the Waitakere Dam are all within 5 to 7 minutes drive away. For a stunning view of Auckland, or of the sunset, drive 2 minutes to Pukematekeo lookout. Here you can also take a superb bush walkabout on a sealed road (great for when you want a quick workout or you haven’t got serious walking shoes).
Rugged Bethells/Te Henga Beach is about 12 minutes by car. Just before you reach Bethells Beach you pass the start of the track to Lake Wainamu, a unique fresh water lake with huge sand dunes. If you are intending to take on the challenge of the ‘Hillary Trail’, Vartamana could provide accommodation for your group.
We are at the northern end of the Scenic Drive. Titirangi is at the southern end – about 25 minutes away. Well worth a visit on the way to Titirangi is the Arataki Information Centre and lookout. There is also a nature trail and other walks starting from there. Check out the Arataki centre at www.arc.govt.nz for more information about the tracks.
Cafes and Gift shops
If you travelled to Vartamana Retreat by train (50 minutes from the city) you will have discovered the Swanson Railway Station Café, our nearest café.
Crystal Mountain is 5 minutes away. Here you will find a huge range
of crystals, rocks, jewellery and gifts, a mine museum and cafe. A few
minutes further on is the Pukeko Café, situated at Kiwi Valley Farm Park.
Two golf courses are within 5 minutes drive – Redwood Park Golf Course in Swanson and Waitakere Golf Course in Cascade Kauri Park.
The Aio Wira Centre is 5 minutes drive away (toward Bethells). Aio Wira has been offering healing retreats since 1970. Whilst Vartamana offers a different type of accommodation and for smaller groups of people, we have made the connection and intend to support and co-operate wherever or whenever it is helpful to do so.
Vartamana is set in the foothills of the Waitakere Ranges, a short drive to Bethells/Te Henga beach. Only two minutes to the train station and 10 minutes to Henderson and the Northwestern Motorway.