Tag Archives: Auckland City

Walks around Devonport Auckland

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Devonport is one of our favourite places to walks in Auckland. The combination of harbour and city views, Victorian style homes and fabulous cafes makes it an enjoyable place to visit.

We have put together three one hour loop walks starting from the Devonport ferry terminal.

Walks in Auckland North Head Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedDevonport to North Head. Take your torch for the tunnels and your camera to capture the views across the Gulf!

 

Read more: Devonport and North Head Loop Walk

 

Walks in Auckland
Mount Victoria, Devonport

Devonport to Mt Victoria. Spectacular views, historical cottages and interesting shops on this loop walk.

 

Read more: Spectacular views from Mt Victoria Devonport

Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited
Devonport to Ngataringa. Walk along the esplanades and parades of Devonport with the view across the Gulf and to the skyline of the city and beyond. Take the time to admire the beautifully kept Victorian style homes. Followed by the sounds of birds as you walk alongside Ngataringa Park. Read more :Devonport Ngataringa Loop

 

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Devonport Narrow Neck Loop

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Narrowneck Beach © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe dark grey sky and strong winds did not bode well for our walk from Narrow Neck Beach (north of Devonport) to Ngaratinga Bay – a mini coast to coast loop. However, we did stay dry and the walk was invigorating and very enjoyable with plenty of interest along the route.

Fort Takapuna Reserve stands guard above Narowneck Beach and is one of four off leash dog exercise areas. The other off leash areas are: Ngaratina Park, Woodall Park and Cambria Reserve. Cheltenham Beach is off leash at certain times.

From Fort Takapuna Reserve there is a good view across Cheltenham Beach to North Head.

There is only a little of street walking and that provides a peek at the pretty Victorian style houses that Devonport is well known for.

If you have time, you may wish to stop at the Devonport Museum – you will pass by the entrance along the route.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: Wonderful Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, views of North Head and Mount Victoria, historical buildings & sites, Victorian style homes.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms).  Dog off leash areas. Children’s playgrounds.
Start:  Old Lake Road, Narrow Neck. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-090 Devonport Narrow Neck Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

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Devonport Ngataringa Loop

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Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedWith the weather looking uncertain and the wish to keep our shoes out of the mud, today we headed over to one of our favourite places to walk in Auckland – Devonport. We were uncertain of where we were headed, and as it turned out, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well our circular route revealed itself.

As always, it is uplifting to walk along the esplanades and parades of Devonport with the view across the Gulf and to the skyline of the city and beyond. And then the joy of looking at the beautifully kept Victorian style homes.  Followed by the sounds of birds as we walked alongside Ngataringa Park.

Dogs – off leash exercise area in Ngataringa Reserve.

We are then spoilt for choice as to where to stop for refreshments, and choosing from the many cafes can take time!

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see:  Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, historical buildings, Victorian style homes.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms).
Parking:  In Devonport Village near ferry terminal or along King Edward Parade. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-089 Devonport Ngataringa Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

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Orakei Basin Walkway extended

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It’s been a while since we explored the Orakei Basin area.  The Auckland Council has done extensive work with the new boardwalks, repairing the slips on the bush track and concreting most of the walkway.

Families with young children would really appreciate having public toilets – there are none nearby. Either side of Lucerne Road there are steep inclines that could be unsuitable for parents to push a pram with their child in it, and also steep steps.

Orakei Basin Walkway © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedToday we explored extending the walk to include more of the surrounding suburb of Meadowbank – crossing bush-clad gullies and streams, the Waiatarua Bridge, the Orakei Creek Bridge and walking along Lucerne Road ridge.

This is a dog-friendly walk – the off leash area in the Orakei Basin Reserve between the waterski club and the carpark, is very popular.  The grassy area can be very muddy in the winter and gumboots are recommended.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths, steep steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area.(See other Dog Friendly Walks)
To see: Wonderful views of Mt Eden and Auckland City skyline. Small areas of bush. Railway track. Birdlife. Volcano crater.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 6.45 kms) or the shorter route 45 minutes (about 3.45 kms).
Parking: Near Kings Plant Barn, off Orakei Road near train station.
Buses: to Orakei Train Station
(Please note: no public toilets)

Suggested Cafés:Kings Garden Cafe does very good coffee (and lunches) as does Cafe Greenfingers at the Palmers Garden Centre

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-017 Orakei Basin walkway) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our books “Volcanoes” and “Best of the East”)

or…
You can download this free Orakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.

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Takapuna Explorer

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Our walk around Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore was in warm winter sunshine.  It was great to see so many people out walking – some with their dogs off-leash on the beach (check out the Council dog rules), making the most of the day.

Takapuna Beach Auckland Copyright Unleashed Ventures Limited 2013

We followed a route documented by Margaret Scrymgeour from her booklet “Explore the Shore”. This walk takes in the sandy shore as well as the mangrove filled estuaries. The walk is quite undulating, so gave us a good workout. The views of Rangitoto are stunning, and we also enjoyed the view to Auckland City, Mount Eden and the Harbour Bridge.

Description: Mix of flat and undulating paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Takapuna Beach, Rangitoto, Mangrove, native birds, ducks
Coastal walks in Auckland part twoTime: approx. 90-120 minutes. (about 8 kms)
Start: Takapuna Boat Ramp, The Promenade  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-075 Takapuna Explorer) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 2″).

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Walks in Auckland City

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While most of our walks are within urban Auckland, we would like to encourage you to explore Auckland city’s Central Business District (CBD). For visitors on short stays, walking around Auckland city is the best way to explore and discover the backstreets and character.

Many of these walks in Auckland City start from Britomart at the Auckland Harbour end of Queen Street.

The Auckland City CBD discovery walk – starts from Britomart. This walk brochure is free for people who download our FREE report ‘What to do and see in Auckland’. This walk takes you past historical buildings and through parks and reserves. We also take in lanes, arcades and courtyards.

Victoria Park and Markets – begins at Victoria Park Markets and takes you through the suburban streets of Freemans Bay up to Ponsonby Road via the well-hidden gem of Western Park.

Auckland Coast to Coast Walk – starts from Britomart and takes about 4 hours non-stop.  It is split into 4 stages, with directions on where to catch a bus to return to Britomart at the end of each stage. This walk is full of variety from kauri trees, to the Parnell shops and cafes, churches and cathedrals, views of the harbours, volcanoes and Waitekere Ranges and an art collection.

Karangahape Road and Parks – starts from BritomartWalk the back streets and parks of Auckland City.  This walk provides fine views of Mt Eden (down the side roads off Karangahape Road), the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower, and introduces you to the eclectic shopping strip of Ponsonby and Karangahape Road.

Auckland Harbour and Point Erin – starts from Victoria Park Market which is within an easy walk from Britomart. This Auckland walk not only has fabulous views, it is mostly flat (apart from the steep steps at Jacob’s Ladder ), Victoria Park has a great children’s playground and skate park, and there are beautiful old homes and moored yachts to enjoy. View the Auckland Harbour Bridge up close.

Wynyard Quarter Waterfront – starts from Britomart.  Explore the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Quarter boating scene and cafes.  See where the America’s Cup yachts were based.  There is always something to see along the way…

Auckland Museum – starts from Britomart. This mini-tour walk takes in the Auckland Domain,Albert Park, Queen Street, Chancery Lane, Vulcan Lane, High Street, and old Government House.

Auckland Art Gallery – starts from Britomart. The route winds through parks, arcades and past historic buildings.

We have also put together 5 walks for the University of Auckland from their city-side Symonds Street campus.

If you have the time and wish to have a break from the City head to Devonport: Mount Victoria and North Head – start from Britomart and walk to the Ferry Building to catch the ferry to Devonport.  Explore the historic houses and buildings beneath Mount Victoria and/or walk up to North Head.  Stop in Devonport Village to browse the shops and refresh at cafes. Or catch a train or bus to Newmarket and spend the day walking and exploring.

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Orakei Basin walkway

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The  Orakei Basin walkway upgrade that began in 2010 is complete. The concrete has been poured onto a new pathway on the Macpherson Track.  And it is fantastic! The bridge over the Orakei Creek is beautiful. Now Orakei and Meadowbank are connected by a boardwalk along the railway line that both pedestrians and cyclists can use.

Orakei basin walkway

There is a pathway from Orakei Railway station and under Orakei Road that leads directly onto the boardwalk that crosses Orakei Basin beside the railway line. It is now easier to catch the train to Orakei and walk around the basin, then return and stop at the Kings Plant Barn for refreshments at the cafe.
(* Teen friendly walk)

The morning was still, clear and sunny causing the reflections on the water to be almost perfect. This tidal lagoon is in a volcanic crater. It was high tide, which we were not expecting. This walk takes you through small patches of bush and up high onto the ridge for a view of the city skyline.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths, steep steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area.(See other Dog Friendly Walks)
To see: Wonderful views of Mt Eden and Auckland City skyline. Small areas of bush. Railway track. Birdlife. Volcano crater.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (about 4 kms).
Parking: Near Kings Plant Barn, off Orakei Road near train station.
Buses: to Orakei Train Station
(Please note: no public toilets)

12 Volcano WalksSuggested Cafés:Kings Garden Cafe does very good coffee (and lunches) as does Cafe Greenfingers at the Palmers Garden Centre

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-017 Orakei Basin walkway) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our book “Volcanoes”) or…you can download this free Orakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.

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Britomart to Auckland Museum Loop

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Last weekend in Albert Park, we met a couple from California who were trying to find their way to walk to the Auckland Museum from the city. So thanks to them, we have another walk in Auckland!

Auckland Museum

We decided to start the walk at Britomart, but of course, you can start walking from any point along the loop.


The mini-tour walk takes in the Auckland Domain, Albert Park, Queen Street, Chancery Lane, Vulcan Lane, High Street, and old Government House.

 

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.

To see: Auckland City views, Rangitoto Island view, City Lanes, Albert Park, Old Government House, Auckland Domain, Wintergardens, Museum

Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.6 kms)
Start: Britomart Place MAP

For a refreshment break we suggest Cafe Columbus at the rear of the Museum or the Wintergarden Cafe near the Winter Gardens and duck pond.

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-048 Britomart to Auckland Museum Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

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Botanic Gardens and Totara Park Loops

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walks in AucklandA beautiful sunny morning made our trip south for a walk around the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Totara Park walking tracks and the Puhinui Stream forest, a wonderful experience.

We had set out to do a 5km walk but we ended up getting lost due to poor signage.

There was a good side to getting lost 1) we walked further than we had planned and 2) we found a look-out that we did not know existed which gave us a clear view all the way to the Auckland city skyline and across to Manukau Harbour.

The Puhinui Stream Forest Trail (the full loop trail is approx 4 kms) in Totara Park was gorgeous with the sunlight dappling the native ferns and palms. The trail took us past beautiful totara, puriri, nikau and kauri trees. We enjoyed soaking up the beauty of the lush native forest.

There are great spots to stop and picnic along the trail and children’s playground areas (including a  children’s flying fox). Dogs on-leash on the trail, but there are off-leash areas. It makes for a great family day out. (And if you are into mountain biking or want to give it a try, there is a 15 km mountain bike track here too).

Dogs – off leash exercise area between north side of the Gardens and Totara Park.

If you have children then we do recommend a visit to the Potter Children’s Garden (within the Botanic Gardens) – and as adults we enjoy visiting them too!

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Auckland Botanic Gardens, native bush and palms
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms)
Start: Auckland Botanic Gardens Carpark MAP
Miko Cafe at Auckland Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre provided us with much needed refreshments (we especially enjoy the Piazza D’Oro coffee).

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-037 Botanic Gardens and Totara Park Loops ) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 2″ and “Best of the South”).

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Karangahape Road and Parks

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walks in AucklandThe weather did not look too promising this morning (it did improve), so we set out to walk the back streets and parks of Auckland City.  This walk provides fine views of Mt Eden (down the side roads off Karangahape Road), the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower.

walks in AucklandWe got our ‘out in nature’ hit in Myers and Western Parks (with children’s playgrounds and a dog friendly off-leash exercise area). The Children’s playground in Western Park has seven slides and a Flying Fox, making this a short family friendly walk.

Auckland doesn’t seem so big when we walk it – it seemed to take no time at all to walk from Aotea Square to Ponsonby!

This is a great walk for visitors to Auckland and for families.  Catch the train to Britomart to begin the mini adventure!

We walked up to the Art Gallery in Kitchener Street to try the Mojo Cafe on Level One of the Art Gallery for the first time.

Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see:  Views of Mount Eden, Auckland City, Auckland Harbour bridge, parks, K’Rd shops
Dog friendly walks in Auckland - part twoTime: Loop approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms)
Parking: 1 hour meter parking off Queen Street (2 hours on Sundays)

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (GS-036 Karangahape Road and Parks) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 2″).

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Northcote Point and Auckland Harbour Bridge

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Walks in AucklandI felt like a tourist in my home city this morning! The morning was stunning after last night’s opening of the Rugby World Cup 2011. The skies were blue and the water still in the harbour, with just a little mist left around the edges. I had not explored Northcote Point before (it would have been a fine vantage point for the previous night’s fireworks display).

We had not prepared a route – it was a discovery walk and we were well rewarded. Views of Auckland City. Dwarfed by the pylons of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. A new-found path along the motorway. And an interesting mix of old and new residential homes. Plus children’s playgrounds as a reward for children. All made for a fun walk.

Download the Council’s Heritage walk brochure here.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, Harbour bridge foundations.  See if you can spot Mt Eden, Mt Victoria and the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.
Auckland coastal walks part oneTime: approx. 70 minutes. (about 5.85 kms).

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AN-021 Northcote Point Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 1″).

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Mission Bay – walking in the rain

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Walks in AucklandIt was a big decision today, do we do the Mission Bay walk this morning, this afternoon, tomorrow… The weather was looking grim and the weather forecast even grimmer. We decided – this morning. It rained on and off, there was a bit of blue sky, and the coffee at De Fontein was very good!

Mission Bay buzzes on sunny summer bays with lots of activity in the water, the foreshore and the cafes. It was still busy today with people braving the rain because it was not that cold. What is there to do in Mission Bay? Click here.

This walk takes you along the short beach promenade and up on the clifftops overlooking Hauraki Gulf and the city skyline. You do have to look out for cyclists when you walk along the shared pathway.

Walks in AucklandMission Bay has a great choice of cafes, eateries (Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Italian…) and one special ice-cream parlor! Meet your friends by the fountain and enjoy the fresh salt air by the harbour.

 

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: Wonderful views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Dogs: On leash only. Children’s Playground=Yes
Start Point: Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-020 Mission Bay Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Suggested Cafés: Various along Tamaki Drive
(the coffee is very good at De Fontein – reviewed here)

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St Heliers and the Hauraki Gulf

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Walks in AucklandWhat a fabulous day for a walk in Auckland – warm, sunny, no wind….and there were so many people out and about taking advantage of the great weather!

St Heliers is a buzzy little place on Tamaki Drive with a small selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from for refreshments.

Todays walk provides spectacular views looking over the Hauraki Gulf to the small islands and the impressive Rangitoto volcano. And then onto Glover Park another of Auckland’s volcano remains – this one is an ‘explosion crater’.

This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: Wonderful views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5kms) Map

Find this walk over at our Walks Store (GS-016 St Heliers and Glover Park) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog Friendly part 2, Best of the East)

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Glover Park is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

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Things to do in Auckland

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There are many outdoor activities and things to do in Auckland, and I would like to share with you one thing that won’t cost you too much money and won’t take up too much of your time – and thats by going on one our short walks in Auckland!

When you go for a short walk in Auckland, you will not only feel energised from being outdoors in the fresh air, you will also be able to experience the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Auckland. Life is such a rush these days, and a short walk gives you the chance to slow down, unwind and maybe discover something about Auckland that you weren’t aware of previously.

What makes Auckland special?

Auckland is a city with lots of green spaces and native bush. There are lots of places to walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are some areas that are so close to residential house or city streets and yet you could feel very isolated because of the surrounding native bush.

I have spent the last three years finding new places to explore and I am continually being pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness and diversity of Auckland.

Here are seven good reasons to get out walking in Auckland.


1. Volcanoes and Craters

New Zealand is famous for the All Blacks and Rugby, winning the America’s Cup, skiing in Queenstown, Sir Edmund Hillary and the flightless Kiwi. But did you know that the Auckland region contains 55 volcanoes? (Don’t worry, they are extinct.) Two well-known volcanoes are Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. Both have great views from the summits and walking paths around the volcano’s crater, and through fields that feed cattle and sheep (and there aren’t many cities with sheep farms handy to the city center). Mangere Mountain is a volcano with two craters and is more rugged and natural. Rangitoto is an island that can be viewed from many parts of Auckland – you can catch a ferry and then walk to the top of Rangitoto from where you can get great views of the Gulf.

If you would like to learn more about Auckland’s volcanoes, I recommend this very good book Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide
By Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon


2. Beaches

Because Auckland is on an isthmus that goes between two harbours, the shores have many inlets and beaches, making it great for sailing and swimming. However, do take care when swimming – the tidal flow in the Harbours can be strong.


3. First settlers

The Maori people were the first to settle in Auckland and their traces can be found in and around the volcanoes and craters. More information about the Maori people and their way of life before white man came, can be viewed at the Auckland Museum. When the Europeans arrived they built their fences for their fields from the volcanic rock.


4. European History

New Zealand is a young country compared to America and Europe. Man-made structures are fairly recent. The cemetery in Symonds Street under the Grafton Bridge was established in 1848. Part of it has not been maintained which is quite sad because it is a fascinating place to wander around.

North Head looks across the harbour to Auckland City. The strategic position made it one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. During World Wars I and II the fort was expanded as part of Auckland’s coastal defence system.

Pah Homestead in Hillsborough was built between 1877 and 1879. It has recently been restored and now houses an art collection.

Other historical buildings in the Auckland region are listed here at the Historical Places Trust. Find out more about European History at New Zealand History online.

This brochure Heritage Walks  The Engineering Heritage of Auckland can be downloaded for free.


5. Birdlife

There are several places for bird lovers to go to enjoy seeing New Zealand’s native birdlife. There is a large wetland that has been established out east near Pigeon Mountain, and there are breeding places on the edge of the Manukau Harbour for rare species. As you walk along the bush tracks in Auckland, you will hear many birds singing.


6. Native bush

The planners in Auckland have been thoughtful enough to leave areas of native bush. The bush provides cool shelter on hot days. You will get to see native Kauri trees and Nikau ferns amongst the many other varieties. You do not have to look out for snakes and spiders – the spiders are harmless and there are no snakes.


7. Cafes

You are never far from a cafe in Auckland. They are famous for serving up some of the best coffee in the world and the food is pretty good too – just what you need after an energetic walk?

Gather up your walking shoes, friends, family, pet dog and discover the pleasure of walking in Auckland – there are so many things to do and see in Auckland – you may be surprised.

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Walks in Auckland – Mt Eden/Maungawhau

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Mt Eden/Maungawhau is one of the many volcano walks in Auckland, and one of the most popular places to visit.

Mt Eden boasts spectacular views of the city centre and surrounding region. Most people take a coach to the summit, hop out, take photos and then get back on the coach again.

Today, Grace and I walked around and over the summit in the summer humidity.

There are some shady tracks that do give relief from the heat. These tracks can be slippery when wet so we advise suitable footwear. Mt Edens walking paths and tracks are not as developed as the ones in Cornwall Park. It feels like more of a country walk than a city walk. But it does allow us to do the Mt Eden ‘Round the Maunga walk’.

As I mentioned the views are spectacular. Which is the highlight of this walk, as well as of course, getting the outdoor exercise. This is an excellent workout walk for people who are watching their weight because of the steep inclines and steps.

For visitors who have to choose between visiting One Tree Hill and Mt Eden – One Tree Hill is a larger area with more to see, sheep and cattle, a cafe plus a fine view from the summit. Whereas Mt Eden has a huge crater and a fabulous view of Auckland City. There is a good choice of cafes in Mt Eden Village, a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.

Auckland City provide a Mt Eden Heritage brochure for people who enjoy history.  More info online here.

Find this walk and other walks in Central Auckland here.

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