Achilles Point, Auckland

4.6
#154 of 395 in Things to do in Auckland
Lookout · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
Achilles Point (Te Pane o Horoiwi – The head of Horoiwi) is a rocky point on the headland at the eastern end of the small sandy beach named Ladies Bay, Auckland, New Zealand. The name 'Te Pane o Horoiwi' can also sometimes refer to the whole headland between St Heliers and Tamaki River estuary. Achilles Point is named after a ship called HMNZS Achilles (70) which defeated the German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee in 1939. The headland, from the point round to the Tamaki heads, was previously known as Te Pane o Horoiwi, named after Horoiwi who arrived in New Zealand on the Tainui canoe (waka).

Ladies Bay is a secluded beach, below steep cliffs, on the headland west of the lookout over Achilles point. Both Ladies Bay and further to the east, the more secluded Gentleman's Bay beach are unofficially places where nudists can often be found enjoying the sun and sand however the fine for indecent exposure is $200. The secluded bays are also popular with the male gay community.

Glover Park is an ancient volcanic crater which erupted about 160,000 years ago. The volcanic tuff ring crater is also known in Māori language as Whakahumu or geologically as the 'St Heliers explosion crater'. It is found in the center of the headland between West Tamaki Head and the eastern end of St Heliers Bay beach. It was filled in during the 1950s to form a public sports field. Before that it formed a seasonal shallow lake or swamp.

The seaward side of the tuff crater is falling away down the coastal cliffs to 'Gentleman's Bay' far below. The tuff ring is made from ash and ejected material. The cliffs were there before the volcano erupted so the volcanic rock draped over the clay hill that once existed before sea levels rose and began eroding it away to become the steep cliffs we see today. Some volcanic rocks can be found on the beach below – some fragments ejected from deep in the earth, or blocks of tuff ring that were once perched on top of the cliff. Rangitoto Island is directly to the north, however Rangitoto is a recent eruption (1,000 years ago) and was not always there to shelter the cliffs from powerful wave action.

There is an old concrete water tower built on the tuff ring formed around the edge of the crater opposite the seaward side.
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Achilles Point reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
34 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • After the Mission Bay Beach, my sister drove me to the Achilles Point. The views from here were simply fantastic. We spent a lovely 15 minutes here admiring the lovely views while enjoying the most...  more »
  • Achilles point has some of the best views in Auckland. You can see the city and the coromandel peninsula. Make sure it is good weather though because there is no shelter. It is a modern viewing...  more »
  • The views from here are amazing. This is one of the less publicised locations but very convenient to get to by car from St Helier's. Named after a famous naval vessel the location has a viewing...  more »
Google
  • Amazing. We found a nice beach nearby. Deserves half a day for walking AND exploring
  • A well laid out visitor lookout point with glorious views of Rangitoto and the small islands. Best viewed on a sunny day in spring when the small islands are still lush green and the waters are sparkling. The area is clean and rubbish free with a nice display explaining the significance of its name "Achilles"
  • Cool spot to just chill out at night or on a sunny day. Scenic views of the ocean and Auckland city. Can get quite windy though, bring a jacket just in case and watch out if you're wearing a hat! Always clean and has a unique Māori Totem Pole which tourists find funny because he's depicted naked, but that's culture man!
  • Excellent elevated look out point with views from west to east.
  • Great views day or night. Definitely a must do

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