Scenic Drive, Auckland
Scenic Drive is a road that runs through the bush-clad Waitakere Ranges from Titirangi to Swanson on the western outskirts of Auckland, New Zealand. It is part of Auckland urban route 24. As the name indicates, it is famous for the sweeping views over the western parts of the Auckland Region.
The road passes through the village of Waiatarua, but most of it is through native bush, in Centennial Memorial Park or the neighbouring water catchment area. It connects with West Coast Road, Shaw Road, Konini Road and Piha Road to the surf beaches at Karekare and Piha. It is paralleled by the disused Exhibition Drive, now used by mountain bikers.
There are many tramping tracks starting from Scenic Drive. The Arataki Visitor Centre provides displays of the local flora, fauna and geology and well-maintained walking tracks. A tourist tramline/railway runs from northern Scenic Drive to the Waitakere dam, and Rose Hellaby House near Waiatarua is a museum. Along the parts of the road that pass through private land are a native-plant seller, several potters and a disused winery.
Note that what New Zealanders refer to as 'bush' should in this case be read by others as 'sub-tropical forest'.
Scenic Drive was built during the 1930s depression as a Schedule 5 project to provide work for the unemployed. It was intended to be a tourist route and assist with maintenance of the dams in the water catchment area. Subsequent urban sprawl has meant those small parts of the route not protected as reserve or for water catchment have prestige housing at the southern end, and life style blocks at the north. During construction of the south-east portion of the Scenic Drive in the early 1930s, several quarries were opened up to supply coarse fill material. Two of these quarries were in Shaw Road and Carter Road, on either side of a narrow ridge that runs north from the Scenic Drive. During blasting operations, fossils were discovered in the Shaw Road quarry.
- Hayward, Bruce. "AN ALTONIAN, DEEP-WATER, FOSSIL FAUNA FROM THE EASTERN WAITAKERE RANGES, AUCKLAND" (PDF). New Zealand Geological Survey. Retrieved 28 December 2011.