Often ignored, frequently degraded, suburban streams are the Cinderellas of freshwater conservation. Yet many are historically significant waterways, and with a little restoration and care can become ecologically robust and a source of recreation for city dwellers. Opanuku Stream is one of two West Auckland streams singled out for special attention by Waitakere City Council. Rising in the lush surrounds of the Waitakere Ranges, it cascades down a series of rocky precipices before levelling out and flowing through Henderson Valley, eventually reaching the Waitemata Harbour at Te Atatu. With ropes, paddles and an eye for adventure, a group of Aucklanders has traced its varied course.