Category Archives: Flat walks in Auckland

Auckland is mostly hilly and finding flat walks is tricky. Here are a few suggestions. They are mostly flat, some may have a slope or two.

Oratia Stream Loop

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Oratia Twin Streams walk and cycle wayAt last! Beautiful blue skies and sunshine. A perfect Fathers Day. And of course, a perfect day for a walk. We decided to check out the Oratia Twin Streams walk and cycleway to see if we could include it as part of a fun circular walk. We did it!

New soon to Parrs Park  – a playground is due to open at the end of September. Across the road and along to 474 West Coast Road, is Nola’s Orchard where you can buy fresh strawberry ice-cream in Summer. Oratia used to be a large orchard growing district and it is good to see some reminders of the heritage.

There are a few surprises along the route – wetlands, ceramic sculptures, ceramic tiles and a carved maori pou in honour of Hoani Retimana Waititi. Today we were also blessed with a great deal of bird song.

It is disappointing that the Oratia walk and cycleway starts/finishes on the busy Parrs Cross Road. We hope that at some time in the future, this will be remedied. Also disappointing, the stream banks are thickly planted out, restricting the view of the stream itself. There is a good choice of picnic tables within Parrs Park, and an off leash dog exercise area.

 The Packing Shed Gallery and Cafe –   Situated in the original packing shed of the beautiful Tara Orchards, which was 100 years old in 2008 it is a reminder of times gone by.  It’s a lovely spot for lunch, Devonshire tea and to enjoy the artwork of some talented West Auckland artists.  99 Parrs Cross Rd Henderson (opposite and to the right from the Cycle and Walkway) Mon – Sunday 9-4

Oratia Farmers Market is open from 9am to 12 noon every Saturday morning at 99 Parrs Cross Road. Find coffee, breakfast, fresh produce and live music.

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

Best of the West - Short Walks in AucklandDescription: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Wheel friendly.
To see: native bush, wetland  and stream.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.8kms).
Parking:  Parrs Park off West Coast Road. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure over at our Walks Store  (AW-106 Oratia Stream Loop) or find more walks in our books at the Book Store.

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Murphys Bush Scenic Reserve

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Murphys Bush Scenic ReserveAfter a walk around the nearby man-made Sir Barry Curtis Park, we retreated to the native bush of Murphys Bush Scenic Reserve.

There is a variety of walks through the mature native bush with stands of Kahikatea, Puriri, Totara and Rimu, as well as groves of nikau palms.  The tracks can be muddy in places, especially after rain, as there is a stream.  Walks take from 10 minutes to one hour and are suitable for everyone.

Listen out for the sounds of native birds such as Wood pigeons, Morepork and Tuis and be humbled by the height of the tall, straight trees. It is easy to get “displaced” despite the signage – as there is more than one car park and picnic area.

We have not documented this walk as it does fulfill much of our criteria, even though the bush is worthy of exploring.

More Information: Murphy’s Bush
MAP

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Barry Curtis Park

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Barry Curtis ParkSir Barry Curtis Park in Flatbush was opened in 2009 after previously being used for farmland  (and some of the farm’s old  stone walls remain).  Today was our first visit. The walkways are extensive but many of them come to a sudden dead-end. Random hills with no paths. And extremely muddy after rain (today we got mud splashed to above our knees!). As it is a new park, there is a lack of mature trees.

It appears that a great deal has been spent on structures and walkways in this park, and apart from the children’s playground and skateboard park, there is nothing to attract  walkers. We would have liked to have seen gardens and a cafe for starters. And an off leash dog exercise area.  However it looks as though it is a fun place for children to ride bikes and scooters.

Barry Curtis Park is still a “work in progress” and we hope that it will be improved upon. MAP

 

 

 

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Weymouth Walkway Loop

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Weymouth Walkway Copyright 2014 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe Weymouth Walkway south of Auckland, is a mainly flat (suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs), concrete paved path that follows the coastline of Manukau Harbour and the Puhinui Creek mangrove forest inlet.  At low tide you may be lucky to see the shore birds while you explore the exposed rock pools.  The views at high tide on a fine day are spectacular – look west to see Manukau Heads, north to Matukutūruru (Wiri Mountain) and south to Kingseat.

There are reserves and playgrounds adjacent to the walkway that lend themselves to picnics and places to stop to breath in the beauty.

We looked for signs for dog walkers but saw nothing to indicate on or off leash areas. However, in the “Our Auckland May 2014″ publication page 18,  it states: “Dogs must be kept under control and away from local wildlife, and are not permitted on adjacent sports fields or near playgrounds.”
Please check with Auckland Council for the current dog rules.

Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Manukau Harbour coastal views, shorebirds, mangrove forest, historical sites.
Best of the South: Short walks in AucklandTime: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5kms). Plus exploring time.
Start:  Hanford Place, Clendon.  MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AS-101 Weymouth Walkway Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and from our Book Store: one of 12 walks in our book “Best of the South”.

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Botany to Cascades Loop Walk

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It continues to amaze us how the distances between places seem shorter when we are out walking compared to driving. This loop walk in Auckland from Botany Town Centre and back via Cascades Road, was one  that took us from an unfamiliar area to an area we have walked previously. When we start exploring a new area, we are never sure what we are going to find, and we found today’s walk very pleasant.

We made good use of reserve walkways and the suburban streets.  And we had three delightful surprises.

Our first surprise was finding a book –  a travelling book (from BookCrossing) left by someone to be picked up, read and released!

The second surprise was stumbling upon an old farm cottage which has been converted into a cafe that is surrounded by modern suburban housing. The grounds contain a tree that was planted in 1890. A hidden gem with a rural feel right in the middle of an urban wasteland with heaps of character and charm – Hawthorn Dene Historic Country Cafe.

Botany to Cascades Loop Walk Copyright 2014 Unleashed ventures LimitedThe third surprise was an amazing and wonderful wood carving which you would not know was there if you were travelling by car.

 

 

 
Dogs- Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Historical sites, bridges, waterways.
Time: approx. 75 minutes (about 7kms).
Start:The Hub, Ti Rakau Drive, Botany. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-100 Botany to Cascades Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (“Best of the East”).

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Mangere Bridge Walks

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Mangere Bridge Village is a great little spot to start exploring Auckland’s Manukau Harbour area  on our loop walks. There is a rich variety of things to see – with over 10 volcanic craters and cones, as well as Ambury Park Farm, shore birds and the esplanade.

walks in auckland

You may wish to connect two or more of these four walks and make it a half day and/or full day walking experience. Or just do one walk at a time – it’s up to you.

 

 

The Mangere Esplanade Loop Walk follows the Manukau Harbour shore line where during the summer months you will be able to see the migratory birds.

The Mangere Bridge to Onehunga Loop Walk explores the historical parts of Onehunga. And you will be able to see the progress being made of reclaiming the beach and the old bridge replacement.

Ambury Park Farm walks takes you through the farm paddocks and out to the wetlands and the harbour shore for bird sightings, and views looking up to Mangere Mountain.

The Mangere Mountain Volcano Walk provides a birds eye view of the Manukau Harbour and the surrounding area, with views across to One Tree Hill and the Sky Tower, looking down on the explosion crater of Mangere Lagoon, and over to Ambury Park Farm.

If you are looking for a walk that is buggy friendly, then the Mangere Bridge Village loop walk  that starts (and ends, of course) at Mangere Bridge Village, and heads around the harbour edge, under the motorway bridge, partly through the industrial area, along the base of Mangere Mountain and returns along the Kiwi Esplanade will tick the box.

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkwayAmbury Regional ParkVilla Maria Winery and cafeButterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

For information regarding other activities read : Mangere a boiling cauldron

 

 

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Botany and Dannemora circuits

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This short loop walk exploring the reserves from Botany Town Centre to Dannemora is suitable for people who work at Botany Town Centre and enjoy a short walk in their breaks, families with young children (playground, ducks) and dog owners.

Botany-Dannemora walk circuit. Copyright @2014 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe walkways are flat and concrete – ideal for wet days, and for buggies and scooters.  We saw ducks, pukeko and shags on the waterways. There is a children’s playground en-route, picnic tables and off leash dog exercise areas.

Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Reserves and waterways.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (about 3.4 kms).
Start:  Town Centre Drive, Chapel Road, Botany. MAP

Stay on track…Find this walk (AE-102 Botany to Dannemora Loop) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store

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Mt Roskill Explorer

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We had overlooked Mt Roskill as a place to walk and explore… until today.  The volcano double cone and twin craters of Mt Roskill have been destroyed through the installation of a water reservoir, but from the top it is easy to view Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Big King and One Tree Hill.

Mt Roskill © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedOur flat walk (if you choose not to walk up to the summit of Mt Roskill) links up three reserves – War Memorial Park,  Walmsley Park and Underwood Park. Take some bread to feed the ducks in Oakley Creek. The final part of the walk is at the colourful shops of Stoddard Road.

We stopped for a very good coffee at an almost hidden Ethiopean cafe in the Tulja Centre called Cafe Abyssinia.

9th December 2013 – a new cafe has opened at 740 Sandringham Road Extension. Give your support to a community project – the Roskill Coffee Project.

Please note: An upgrade of Oakley Creek storm-water project has been proposed by the Local Board. If it goes ahead, there will be some disruption along this route within Walmsley and Underwood Parks from 2016.
Read about it here.

Dogs- Off leash exercise areas in Walmsley Park and Underwood Park.

Description: Mostly level paths, steep paths ascent to summit of Mt Roskill. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs if Mt Roskill summit is avoided.
To see: Views of Auckland City skyline, Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Three Kings, One Tree Hill. Oakley Creek and ducks.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms).
Start: Corner of Sandringham Road extension/Stoddard Road.
MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-093 Mt Roskill Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

(Click on the photos to see an enlarged view.)

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Mangere Esplanade Loop Walk

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Mangere Bridge - Kiwi Esplanade copyright 2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedIt was a treat to walk along Kiwi Esplanade (Mangere Bridge) at high tide in the sunshine this morning. We had clear views to One Tree Hill and nearby Mangere Mountain, and sighted the migratory South Island Pied Oyster Catchers sitting on the rocks and reserves.

It’s always a pleasure to visit Mangere Bridge Village, with it’s parade of cafes and interesting folk. The area was busy today with walkers and cyclists.

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkwayAmbury Regional ParkVilla Maria Winery and cafeButterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

Other Mangere WalksMangere Bridge to Onehunga LoopAmbury Park Farm WalkMangere Mountain

Description: Mainly level paths, with just one gentle downhill slope. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Views of Manukau Harbour, One Tree Hill, Mangere Mountain, Pukeko and shore birds habitat.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6.23 kms)
Start: Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge Village  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-071 Mangere Esplanade Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2″ and “Best of the South”).

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Pakuranga Farm Cove Loop

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We have now added a fourth loop walk taking in the wonderful Pakuranga Rotary walkway. This 5kms loop walk follows the Tamaki Estuary through Farm Cove and explores the Sunny Hills suburban streets, with views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill.

You may wish to cycle the whole 5 kms of the Pakuranga Rotary walkway, or just stop and watch the tide on one of the many seats along the walkway.  Families may like to take a fun break on the snakes and ladders playground near the Bramley Drive entrance.

Mon Bichon Cafe We stopped for coffee at the French inspired deli/cafe Mon Bichon, a delightful surprise in the Farm Cove village shops. You could buy your pastries from here to take and eat beside the walkway…

 

Description: Mainly level paths (with one small incline).  Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for cycling and push-chairs.
To see: Tamaki Estuary, Mangroves, white volcanic pumice deposits, views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill, residential homes
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5 kms)
Start: Fisher Parade, Farm Cove Village  MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-068 Pakuranga Farm Cove Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (“Best of the East”)

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Wattle Downs Walkway

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Wattle Downs walkway © 2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedWattle Downs in South Auckland was another new area for us to explore. The Wattle Downs Walkway goes around the edge of the peninsula that extends into Manukau Harbour, at one spot there are views through to Manukau Heads.
The day was very calm – the water was like a mirror, and there were also threatening grey clouds hanging overhead.
The walking route is also great for cyclists, and dog walkers (on and off dog leash areas).
There are many points of interest along the way, and friendly people to say hello to. We stopped and spoke to a resident whose house looked out towards Manukau Heads – he told us that they get to view amazing sunsets over the harbour.

There are wetlands and ponds active with shore birds – if you are a keen bird watcher be sure to take your binoculars.

The only thing missing in the area is a cafe.

Find out more: Living in Wattle Downs

Description: Mainly level paths, one set of steps (which can be avoided). Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for cyclists.
To see: Manukau Heads, Manukau Harbour, Wattle Farm Wetland Reserve, shore birds
Time: approx. 120 minutes (about 8.5 kms). Dog off-leash areas. Childrens playgrounds. No cafe.
Start from: Wattle Farm Reserve MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-067 Wattle Downs Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1″, “Dog Friendly Walks part 1″ and “Best of the South”).

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

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Pakuranga Kentigern Loop

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© 2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedToday we set out to explore another part of the Pakuranga Rotary Walkway, this time taking a loop behind Saint Kentigern College and through Manor Park.

This mainly flat 4km walk would suit workers at Pakuranga Plaza as well as residents. Views of Mount Wellington and water craft. Great for cyclists (cycle the full length of the walkway to Pigeon Mountain) and dog walkers (dogs on leash).

The day was calm and the skies blue – perfect for a walk!

Description: Mainly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Views of Mount Wellington, water craft, residential homes
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.0 kms)
Start: Pakuranga Plaza MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-066 Pakuranga Kentigern Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

(Click on photos to enlarge)

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Point England Walk

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Point England ReserveWe are not familiar with the Tamaki and Glen Innes area, so today was our first walk and explore. And we discovered beautiful Point England Reserve.  What a gem! We had no idea that there was a sandy beach here.
This walk offers great views of East Auckland and the Waitemata harbour and as the walkway passes through bush, mangroves and farmland. This route is a part of the 7.5km  Point to Point Walkway.

The lack of rainfall has made the Omaru River smelly, so we do hope that will improve when it next rains.  Part of the path is in great need of maintenance.  We wonder if the local schools could adopt part of the walkway and learn how to maintain and enhance the bush and stream??? (The Omaru River is an outlet of Orakei Basin and runs underneath Meadowbank to Apirana Ave, through Maybury Reserve and out to Wai O Taiki Bay).
Update: a project was kicked off in June 2013. Read: Youth keen to save river

Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. (Take bread to feed the ducks)
To see: Estuary views, boats, wetlands, mangroves, residential housing, view of two volcanoes – Mt Wellington and One Tree Hill, Point England Reserve, Maybury Reserve feijoa trees
Time approx. 80 minutes. (about 7.0 kms)
Start: Glen Innes Train Station (or Point England Road Reserve at end of Point England Road)  MAP
Nearby Walks: Tahuna Torea, Waiaturua Reserve

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-059 Point England Walk) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2″ and “Best of the East”).

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Pakuranga Loop walk

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Part of our Pakuranga Loop Walk is along the  Pakuranga Rotary Walkway which currently extends to Pigeon Mountain, along the Tamaki Estuary and Whakaaranga Creek. 

Pakuranga walkway

It is a safe cycling, jogging and walking route. The walkway is paved and relatively flat, making it suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and a range of fitness levels. The walkway along the estuary is safe for family cycling.

These flat river plains were used to grow oats, hay and wheat up until the 1950’s.   Pakuranga was then known as “the granary of Auckland”.

This walk section looks into the mouth of the Panmure Lagoon from the opposite bank.

Description: A mix of level paths and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Estuary views, boats, wetlands, residential housing,  Mt Wellington, Pakuranga Mall
Time: approx. 40 minutes. (about 3.75 kms)
Start: Pakuranga Mall  Map

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-057 Pakuranga Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Click on the photos below to view in full screen.

 

 

 

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Ambury Park Farm Walk

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The walk around Ambury Park Farm is a fun, family friendly excursion. Close to Mangere Bridge Village, nestled on the foreshores of Manukau Harbour, with Mangere Mountain as the back drop, it is steeped in volcanic history and it’s intertidal mudflats form a birdwatchers wetland paradise. (We sighted many pukeko running about today).

Ambury Park Farm is named after Stephen Ambury, an English Immigrant who farmed in this area. Mr Ambury produced the first shipment of butter to leave New Zealand for the United Kingdom.

Ambury Park Farm
The farm itself has varied animals that young and old always enjoy. (A friend of mine, Robyn P Murray has written beautifully illustrated children’s books about Roger the Rooster and The Spirit of Cameron including other animals in residence at Ambury Park Farm).

On a hot day, be sure to have hats, sunblock and drinks on hand. There are picnic tables and benches throughout the Park.

If you enjoy cycling, there is an easy grade 7km mountain bike track (WaterCare Coastal walkway map) which takes you from Ambury Park Farm to Otuataua Stonefields Historic Reserve.

A fun place to take the whole family. Animals to see and pet (feed the new lambs in August), volcanic history, shore birds, picnic spots…You could spend half the day doing the walk and visiting the farm, have lunch in Mangere Bridge Village and then explore Mangere Mountain.

Other Mangere WalksMangere Bridge to Onehunga LoopMangere MountainMangere Esplanade Loop

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkwayAmbury Regional ParkVilla Maria Winery and cafeButterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

Description: Mostly level paths across farmland and along gravel tracks. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for mountain bikes. Sturdy shoes recommended.
To see: Manukau Harbour, Mangere Mountain, farm land and animals, shore birds, Ambury Park Farm
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.25 kms)
Start: Ambury Park Farm car park MAP

Download the map of Ambury and devise your own route or

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-056 Ambury Park Farm Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1″ and “Best of the South”).

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