Waitara is 18 kilometres north-west of the CBD, it is a word in the New Zealand Maori language that means hail, pure water or hail, wide steps. Waitara is a centre for all things automotive, car dealerships both new and used, car maintenance and smash repairers.
Waitara has just one hotel, the Blue Gum Hotel. There has been a hotel on the site since 1884, but two fires have destroyed the older buildings. The current building dates from 1962. The public school is Waitara Public School, which has two O.C (opportunity class) classes. (Located in Wahroonga). The Catholic school is Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School. It was established in approximately 1918 and was located on the Pacific Highway opposite the railway station. It has since been relocated to Yardley Avenue.