Today we headed north out of Auckland to Orewa to walk around the Te Ara Tahuna shared path. This cycleway/walkway encircles the Orewa Estuary for a distance of 7.58km. It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to walk it at a leisurely pace.
The tide was going out as we walked around anti-clockwise. It is a diverse walk, starting from the carpark by the Orewa Visitor Centre (be sure to visit for information on what else there is to do within the Rodney District – this Visitor Centre is run by enthusiastic volunteers).
We walked past beautiful houses and gardens set along the path, crossed bridges, walked on the edge of farmland with picturesque bales of hay and past mangroves – arriving back to the view of the ocean along the Hibiscus Coast Highway.
Look out for all the different wetland birdlife. You will also see kauri trees, pohutukawa trees, cabbage trees and flax. There are picnic tables available at the Orewa end, as well as a skate park. Benches provide views of the estuary and take the time to admire the beautifully carved wooden seats (six in total as of today’s date).
The cycleway is ideal for families with children who are competent cyclists. The pathway is a mix of concrete, bitumen and loose gravel. Be sure to have snacks and drinks with you to keep up the energy levels. And if the weather is appropriate, take beach gear for a refreshing swim afterwards.
We stopped off at Olivers for a delicious lunch accompanied by a wonderful musician.
Download the Auckland Transport Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Map or pick up a free map from the Orewa Vistors Centre.
Posted in Auckland Wetland walks, Family Cycle Rides, Out of Auckland Walks, Teen friendly walks, Things to do with children
Tagged Bales Of Hay, Bitumen, Cabbage Trees, Carpark, Delicious Lunch, Energy Levels, Estuary, Hibiscus Coast, Houses And Gardens, Kauri Trees, Leisurely Pace, Loose Gravel, Mangroves, Olivers, Orewa, Park Benches, Picnic Tables, Refreshing Swim, Rodney District, Tahuna
The walk around Ambury Park Farm is a fun, family friendly excursion. 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.
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, 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.
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…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-056 Ambury Park Farm Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store
Posted in Auckland Coastal Walks, Auckland Wetland walks, Flat walks in Auckland, Things to do with children, Walks in Auckland South
Tagged 60 Minutes, Animals, Benches, Bike Track, Birdwatchers, Cameron, Coastal Walkway, Drinks, Excursion, family friendly walk, Farm Fun, Fun Family, Fun Place, Hats, Hot Day, Map, Map And Directions, Mountain Bike, Picnic Benches, Picnic Spots, Picnic Tables, Rooster, S Books, Shore Birds, Spirit, Spirit Animals, Sunblock, Volcanic History
Another sunny winter morning in Auckland and no wind – perfect for a walk! The Manukau Harbour tide was in and the water was like a mirror!
View of Mangere Mountain from the old Mangere Bridge
Many people were out walking, running, cycling and fishing.
Copyright 2012 Unleashed Ventures Limited
This walk takes in views of Mangere Mountain and Manukau Harbour, the harbour shore birds, mangrove swamp area, Onehunga Wharf, Onehunga Mall, a dog off-leash area in Onehunga Bay Reserve, Jellicoe Park (with it’s historical houses, picnic tables, children’s playground and public swimming pool). With a distance of 7.5kms, it is a bit longer than our usual walks.
There are several cafes to choose from at Mangere Bridge village along Coronation Road as well as a good choice of funky cafes in Onehunga.
You could even catch the train to Onehunga and pick up the walk from the station!
The New Zealand Transport Agency is proposing to replace the old Mangere Bridge….read more here.
For more photos, visit our Facebook Page
Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (GS-049 Mangere Bridge to Onehunga Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store
Posted in Auckland Coastal Walks, Things to do with children, Walks in Auckland Central
Tagged Auckland, Cafes, Coronation Road, Jellicoe, Leash Area, Mangere Bridge, Manukau Harbour, Many People, Map And Directions, Mirror, New Zealand Transport, Onehunga Bay, People Walking, Photos, Picnic Tables, Playground, Public Swimming Pool, Shore Birds, Sunny Winter Morning, Tide, Train, Transport Agency, Walks
It takes only 30 minutes to walk around Panmure Basin – another Auckland volcanic crater, but if you take young children with you then it may take longer. Take the tricycles and scooters – this is a mostly flat walk, as there are only two steep bits.
Panmure Basin is a fun family walk in Auckland with several distractions – there is access to 3 playgrounds, and on weekends there is a mini-train ride (runs on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm) and you can stop and watch people controlling their boats on the pond. Keep an eye on the tide chart – it does look prettier at high tide.
You can see the nearby volcano cone of Mt Wellington from the lagoon and if you look carefully from the Jubilee Bridge, One Tree Hill in the far distance.
Nearby is a skate park and the Lagoon Leisure and Fitness Centre, Lagoon Dr, Panmure - Here you’ll find outdoor pools, a hydroslide, diving boards, and an adventure playground – all kid magnets in the summer. The outdoor area and gardens with barbecues and shaded picnic tables are great for family picnics and functions (source NZ Herald).
This is a dogs on leash area.
This walk has a fitness trail.
Also nearby is Mount Wellington Domain which is fun to explore and has great views of Auckland.
This area does lack nearby cafes but if you have a car you may want to venture to Pakuranga Plaza or Sylvia Park.
More photos on our Facebook Page
Stay on track… download this walk for free HERE
Posted in Auckland Volcano walks, Flat walks in Auckland, Shorter 30 minute Auckland walks, Things to do with children
Tagged Adventure Playground, Auckland, Barbecues, Bridge One, Cafes, Distractions, Diving Boards, Family Picnics, Fishing Rod, Fitness Centre, Fitness Trail, Fun Family, High Tide, Lagoon, Leash Area, Mini Train, Mount Wellington, Mt Wellington, Nearby Volcano, One Tree Hill, Outdoor Pools, Pakuranga, Picnic Tables, Playgrounds, Serious Fitness, Sylvia Park, Tide Chart, Train Ride, Tricycles, Volcanic Crater
Kepa Bush is another short walk in Auckland treasure that contains bush trails and native trees, flora and fauna that is easy to get to.
The circuit takes about 30 minutes, and it provides views of the bush, 3 volcanoes (One Tree Hill, Mt Hobson and Mt Eden) and Orakei Basin, which all happen to be walks that we have documented. Kepa Bush Reserve is a cool shady walk for hot summer days. It is quiet and peaceful – and still in the city! The track is not well maintained, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear.
The grass reserve has picnic tables, and space to kick a ball around.
Kepa Bush Reserve is beside Eastridge Shopping Centre, where you can leave your car and stop for a coffee afterwards.
Download the FREE Kepa Bush Reserve guide and map here
Posted in Auckland Bush walks, Auckland Nature Walks, Shorter 30 minute Auckland walks, Walks in Auckland Central
Tagged 30 Minutes, Auckland, Bush Reserve, Bush Trails, Bush Walk, Coffee, Download Free, Flora And Fauna, Flora Fauna, Footwear, Free Map, Grass, Hill Mt, Hobson, Hot Summer, Kepa, Kepa bush walk, Map, Mt Eden, Native Trees, One Tree Hill, Picnic Tables, Shopping Centre, Volcanoes, Walks
Waiatarua Reserve has something for everyone. The reserve is a large wetland (see the pukeko and other water birds) with paths suitable for walking, jogging, wheelchairs and cycling (paths not suitable for small wheels like scooters).
It has a children’s playground, picnic tables, viewing platforms, a Basketball half court, a Skate park. This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area. It has been called “Auckland’s best dog park” (See other Dog Friendly Walks). This is a mostly flat walk – watch out for puddles after rain.
In some places, you could imagine that you are a long way from civilization, because all you can hear are the birds and all you can see are trees.
The walk is signposted to be 60 minutes long, we walked just over 3 kms, which makes it a short family friendly walk.
Description: Mostly level paths with very slight inclines. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Wetlands, Ducks and Pukeko birds habitat.
Time: approx. 30-60 minutes depending on what you decide (about 3.3 kms)
Start: Car park off Grand Drive MAP
Suggested Cafe: Hollywood Bakery in Lunn Avenue
Find this walk (GS-035 Waiatarua Reserve) and other walks at the Walks Store.
50 Plus Cycling meets at Waiatarua Reserve, Abbotts Way, Remuera, on specific Sundays at 3.30pm, and Mt Albert War Memorial Park on Wednesday evenings. More info: click here.
Posted in Auckland Nature Walks, Auckland Wetland walks, Dog Friendly Walks, Family Cycle Rides, Flat walks in Auckland, Things to do with children, Walks in Auckland Central
Tagged 60 Minutes, Basketball, Basketball Court, Birds, Civilization, dog off-leash area, Evenings, Exercise Area, Fun, Half Court, Hollywood, Hollywood Bakery, Leash Area, Memorial Park, Mt Albert, Picnic Tables, Platforms, Playground, Puddles, pukekos, Rain, Remuera, Sunday Afternoons, Trees, Waiatarua, Walks, War Memorial, War Memorial Park, Water Birds, Wetland, Wheelchairs
It was great to see so many people, with their children and their dogs, out enjoying walking today at Western Springs and Meola Reef.
Other things to do here are to visit the Auckland Zoo and MOTAT – Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. And have a tram ride!
Western Springs Park has a warm spot in my memories. My son loved coming here when he was little. He would ride his tricycle (and bicycle when he got bigger) around this man made lake. He had special places where he would have to stop to participate in the imaginative story he had going on in his head with characters from books we used to read.
Western Springs has a mostly level path suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and children’s scooters and trikes. There are ducks, geese, swans and eels to feed, so be sure to bring your bread scraps. And there is a fabulous playground with a BBQ area nearby. “Timespanners” view: War, water and birds at Western Springs
Meola Reef, is Dog walk friendly with off-leash areas - dogs romp around in a big wide open area. This is a mostly flat walk, apart from one lot of steps in Jaggers Bush.
And when your dog gets tired, there is a seat to rest on…
There are two great places to enjoy your picnic – on the many picnic tables in Western Springs, or out at the point of Meloa Reef.
Unfortunately there is not a cafe within walking distance. But there is a van that sells coffee in a paper cup and icecreams in a cone just by the entrance to Western Springs from the Zoo carpark and not far from the children’s playgrounds. (Weekends only, not July and August).
To see where one of the sources to Meola Creek begins, head to: Mt Albert and Meola Creek
Find this walk (GS-011 Western Springs – Meola) and other walks in West Auckland here.
12 Volcano Walks
Meola Reef is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from Amazon- Short Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)
Posted in Dog Friendly Walks, Flat walks in Auckland, Walks in Auckland Central
Tagged Amazon, Auckland Zoo, Bbq Area, Carpark, dogs off-leash area, Ducks, Eels, Fabulous Playground, Geese, Icecreams, Imaginative Story, Jaggers, Leash Areas, Level Path, Meloa, Motat, Mt Albert, Museum Of Transport, Picnic Tables, Playgrounds, Pushchairs, Reef, Scraps, Springs Park, Swans, Trams, Tricycle, Walking Distance, West Auckland, Western Springs