300 Scenic Dr, Oratia, Waitakere, New Zealand
NileGuide Expert tip:
This is a nice place to stop if you are on the way out to the West Coast beaches. Bring your lunch and sit out on the deck to take in the sweeping views and listen to native birdsong.There are also clean public toilets.
The Arataki Visitor Centre provides a great introduction to the flora and fauna of the Waitakere Ranges and includes an educational short walk just across the road. There is a gift shop and a children's area where the little'uns can relax on the back of a giant huhu grub, play with the animal puppets or get their first look at a weta. This is also the place for fact finding about local trails including the newly opened 4-day, Hillary Trail named after Sir Edmund Hillary. While not really a cafe, there is a coffee machine and a couple of tables so if you find yourself there on a rainy day, you could wait it out until the sun returns. The views surrounding the centre are worth the stop alone.