This walk is through an extensive site of native bush alongside Totara Park & the Manurewa Botanical Gardens is beautiful, challenging and interesting. The most common access for this loop track is from Everglade Rd, which has plenty of parking. An interesting aspect of this walkway is a large flight of stairs at the turn-around point of the loop. The northern side of the track has a number of steeper sections and more stairs. The southern side of the track is largely flat and follows the Puhinui Stream.
Enjoy huge trees, historic buildings, bubbling stream and other points of interest along the way. I have also enjoyed running this track too with it being half flat and half undulating.
45 – 60 minutes
Dirt – flat on southern part of loop
3 – large stairs and undulating
Fine for southern part of loop only
Toilets, Tennis Court and Outdoor Public Swimming Pool
Huge Trees, Stream, Plenty of Points of Interest, near Totara Park and Botanical Gardens
This loop bush track skirts alongside the wonderful Totara Park & Botanical Gardens. The track is unpaved but well maintained. It follows the winding and pretty Puhinui Stream through lovely native bush, alive with plenty of birdsong. The stream itself has a few babbling waterfalls and remnants of past dams.
The southern section of the loop is a relatively flat and easy track, while the northern portion is undulating and contains many flights of stairs, being suitable for those becoming more confident with walking. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
There are several entrances to this walk, however we recommend commencing from the end of Everglade Drive where you will find plenty of carparking in this quiet street. Begin your adventure through the gate and take the right-hand track as we recommend completing the loop anti-clockwise. This direction has one long, steep flight of wooden stairs to climb as you transition to the northern part of the track. However, you are rewarded with many more downhill sections on your return home.
As you walk along the southern section, you are greeted with groves of wonderful, thick green Nikau Palms nestled in among many large trees such as Totara, Rimu and Puriri. The sounds of the tui and other native birds ring through the air from the treetops. There are short wooden posts with numbers that highlight unique aspects along the walkway. Look for remains of an old dam in the stream. The southern section finishes with a stroll through fields, pretty trees and flowers.
The return loop commences when you cross the bridge and are met with a daunting flight of stairs to climb. Take your time to ascend and once at the top turn left and enjoy the undulating walkway that gradually descends back to the start of the loop. There are a couple of side-tracks that can be taken to various lookouts. The upper path contains many fantastic large trees and provides opportunities to enter the grassy farmlands of Totara Park.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The lower southern section is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs but the upper northern section is unsuitable due to stairs and steep sections.
This stunning walk surprised as we set out to discover an original walkway today. Off the beaten track – quiet and peaceful, a wonderful easy stroll of about 4.6km (return) from Whitford Beach alongside the Turanga Creek estuary. Beautiful water views, huge trees, green pastures and majestic houses grace this walkway.
This track is accessed from the end of Clifton Rd from Whitford Beach.
60 – 90 minutes
Dirt and Gravel
2 – easy walking, some steepish sections
Yes – be aware some sections are quite steep
Good wide walkway, water views, swimming possible, large trees, very peaceful. Horses allowed and dogs on a lead.
Note: the yellow line shows the possible return loop via the road.
Huge trees, water views, farmland, majestic houses, wonderful track and plenty of birdlife – this is a beautiful and peaceful walk. The walkway is wide and a wonderful undulating track, making it suitable for most walkers.
Park your vehicle at the Whitford Beach carpark and commence your walk through the gate. The initial part of this track hugs the farms fence-line until it reaches the coast. Continue along the coastline, zig-zagging in and out of little coves and up and down the undulating track. At approximately 2km, the track turns hard left and back up toward Potts Rd. This is a particularly beautiful section of the walk, tree-lined with huge mature trees.
Once at Potts Rd, either turn around and walk back down the coastal track or walk back along the roadway – about 1.9km vs the 2.37km via the track.
Note: there are no facilities along this walkway.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The walkway is a wide and easy mostly hard dirt track. There are aspects of relatively loose gravel, especially on some steeper undulations.
This track is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs – the first km very easy. The remainder of the walkway is suitable but would require significant strength on some of the hills.
Long Bay Regional Park is situated on the northeast coast of Auckland and is one of the cities most popular recreation destinations. The long sandy beach, extensive park facilities and range of walking tracks make it a great place to walk. Enjoy the open fields or native bush. Be refreshed by the ocean air and the stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and its many islands.
Parking is plentiful at Long Bay and there are toilets, water fountains, children’s playground and BBQ’s within the park area behind the beach. Take in some history with the Vaughan Homestead or a walk to the military pillbox.
Long Bay Regional Park offers explorers a range of walks from 15 – 20 minutes up to 3 – 4 hours, all of which are highly rated. There is more detail on each of the walks provided below, but here is a brief overview:
Nature Walk: this is a short loop walk through native bush of about 15 – 20 minutes.
Granny’s Bay Walk: this loop takes you through the wetlands and bush to the ridge, detour to the pillbox and then to Granny’s Bay. Return via the rocks if the tide is low enough. Time approx 45 – 60 minutes.
100 Acre Walk: add this detour to the Granny’s Bay walk and enjoy a kilometre walk through the regenerating native bush. Time is approx 15 mins from the Granny’s Bay walk.
Okura River Walk: this is a good half-day trek and extends beyond Granny’s Bay to the Okura River mouth. At lower tides, you can return along the rocks and beaches.
This short walk is a loop that commences from the end carpark of the Long Bay and takes in the Wetland and Nature Trail tracks. Once at the far carpark, walk northwards through the chain across the driveway. About 100m from the start, turn left at the coastal track sign and head into the flat wetland area. Follow the pathway for a further 300m until you reach the bridge where you will cross the stream that heads to Long Bay Beach. Keep a lookout for a variety of swamp birds.
Head across the bridge and up the hill. 100m on the right is the Nature Trail which follows the stream for about 250m before existing just below the historic Vaughan Homestead. The Nature Trail tracks through attractive NZ native bush. Turn left to view the Vaughan Homestead or right to head back to the start.
Granny’s Bay Walk: 45 – 60 minutes, 3.8km
This is the most popular walk at Long Bay Reserve as it provides stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf and access to the less busy and beautiful Granny’s Bay.
Take the same route as described above for the Nature Trail, however, continue to climb the hill track until you reach grass fields. Once at the top of the hill, walk through the grasslands towards the clifftop. This is where you get your best views across the water and all the way to Auckland.
A small detour on a bush track, through the fence line, near the cliff takes you to a historic pillbox. There are glimpses of views back down Long Bay Beach from here. The track at times is closed due to slips, so be mindful of its condition.
At the fence, take a left and continue to follow the track down the hill to the Beach. At high tide, it is a beautiful swimming beach and very private. As the tide recedes, it becomes part of the ongoing coastline and not so attractive for swimming.
There is a second Bay over the next hill that is also pretty but be aware that clothing is optional here and so most may not want to stop here for the swim and picnic!
The return to Long Bay can be achieved by walking around the rocks if half-tide or lower, or by retracing your steps up and over the hill. Take care though as it can be slippery when wet.
100 Acre Walk: 15 – 20 minutes, 1.6km
Enjoy a tranquil stroll through native bush on the 100 Acre Track. This is a regenerated area of native bush and enjoys great birdlife. The track is wide and grassy, a little muddy in the wet. The flowering Tea Tree and birdsong are highlights.
Access the 100 Acre track from the walkway to Granny’s Bay or from directly adjacent to Granny’s Bay.
Okura River Walk: 2.5 – 4 hours, 9km
Make a day of your time at Long Bay Reserve and complete the Okura River Walk. This is pleasant and spectacular. The track these days is pretty good, although still has some muddy patches in the wet towards Okura River.
This walkway can be completed as an out and back walk or using the track one way and the coast the other. The coastal return should only be attempted when it can be completed within 2 hours of low tide for the entire trip. It can also be very rocky and slippery but is a great option for more confident walkers. I have completed this one many times when it was a route I ran a lot and it is amazing but requires care.
Take the track to Grannys Bay and then continue over the next hill to Pohutukawa Bay. The track then climbs again upwards adjacent to farmland on the left and clifftop bush on the right. The walk is grassy and undulating, with views along the way. As you get closer to the Okura River Mouth, the track heads more westerly until you drop to the Okura River.
If the tide is low enter the ‘beach’ and then turn right to return via the coast to Long Bay. If the tide is not low, retrace your steps to return to Long Bay.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
Many of the Long Bay tracks can be accessed by buggies and wheelchairs. The constraint is more the hills as some are steep.
The Unsworth Heights to Rosedale Park walkway is a spectacular ‘there & back’ walk with many activities and options for variety to make it a loop. Enjoy native bush, streams, playgrounds, fields and even frisbee golf! The core tracks are paved and wide with some more adventurous options of natural bush tracks if desired. It really is a walk (or bike) for the whole family.
This is a wonderful and picturesque walk, with options for all abilities. Enjoy walking on the paved walkway or for more adventure and variety add in some undulating bush track, enabling this to become more of a loop walk.
The walkway has wide paths and boardwalks that at times follow alongside the stream through extensive native bush. The more challenging route runs parallel on the other side of the stream, through bush until it joins the shared path after Barbados Rd. Beyond the bush, there are lovely grass areas, a variety of playgrounds, many sports fields and even a free 9-hole frisbee-golf course en route for your enjoyment.
This track is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, making it an adventure for families and groups. The walk can be completed one-way by leaving a vehicle at each end or could be completed as a return trip, which can involve a few variations to heighten interest and effectively make it a loop track. If completing one-way, commence at the Unsworth end of the path as most of your journey is downhill.
If completing your walk from the Goldfinch Rise entrance, park your vehicle in Azure Grove. Enter the walkway at the intersection of Azure Grove and Goldfinch Rise. The path winds its way downhill, initially past an excellent playground, grass areas and exercise equipment before entering the bush on a wide, fully- fenced boardwalk. The next section is stunning with dense native bush, birds and stairs to little sidewalks through the bush, often ending up near the stream. The river is also alive with wildlife, including eels. At the end of this section, cross the road and either follow the narrow dirt path beside the bush or head to Rook Place and re-join the track at the end of this cul-de-sac. An underpass takes you safely under Upper Harbour Drive and more picturesque pathway to Rosedale Park.
The bushwalk option commences off Caribbean Drive – use the lower of the two entrances – the other entrance joins directly back to the shared walkway. This walk is undulating and winds through pretty bush on a formed dirt track. The bush is wonderful with sounds of tui’s and other birds singing and plenty of ferns, rimu and other natives along the path. This walkway gets muddy in the wet, so be prepared for this during rainy times. There are also many exposed tree roots along the path, you will need to watch where you put your feet! At the end of this track, it uses Mallard Place to reconnect with the shared path. Once across Barbados, take the short bush track on the left or use Rook Place to continue your journey.
Paul Matthews Rd requires crossing to get to enjoy Rosedale Park. This is quite a busy street and so some patience and care are required, especially for children. There are also bus stops at this point making the path accessible via public transport. Cafe’s are also closeby, Cafe Drina is about 60m from the track, heading west.
Once in Rosedale Park, there is a lot to do. Bring your frisbee and enjoy the 9-hole frisbee golf course or make use of the playground beside the football fields. There is plenty of seating with various vistas and some picnic tables.
Rosedale Park has many fields, primarily soccer, so bring a ball and have a kick around. It also hosts softball and hockey. As you progress through the park via walkways or the road, you eventually leave the fields behind you and arrive at the far entrance to the walkway on Rosedale Rd where you can finish or turn around and return Unsworth Heights.
On the return, there are a few variations you can add as shown on the Google Map.
The Loop Track!
Add variety by adding a number of loops to this walk as shown on the Google Map.
Follow the main paved pathway from the start at either Goldfinch Rise, Unsworth Heights or Jack Hinton Drive off Rosedale Rd, depending on which way you are completing the walk. This review assumes walking from Goldfinch Rise.
Complete the walk to Rosedale utilising the main paved/boardwalk. This is a wide and easy walk, suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.
On the return walk, add a number of different routes that add significant interest to this walk and almost make it a loop walk. These are detailed below.
Follow the track through the sports field, rather than follow the track around the road.
Continue past the soccer club and along the road, up the hill and past the pretty duckponds. The frisbee golf-course is on your right. At the top of the hill turn right and walk down the footpath back towards the main track.
Head on the main track until after the Upper Harbour Drive Underpass and then turn left on to the tracks that take you to Rook Place and Mallard Place.
Walk along Mallard Place about 120m and then take the bush track on the right. This winds its way up and down through native bush and some pines until you reach Caribbean Place. This walkway is undulating and has plenty of tree roots, so requires an average level of fitness and health.
To return to the start, you have the choice of using the roadway or hanging a hard right and back into the bush. The bush track joins back to the main pathway and a left turn on to this will take you back to the start. If walking the road, continue on Caribbean Drive and then turn right into Goldfinch Rise.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The main walkway is excellent for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes. It is up and downs, with it slowly descending towards Rosedale. The bish tracks are not suitable for wheels!
As we enter the second half of our Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, we thought it might be a great idea to put together a list of some creative ideas you could try while walking! Of course, all this must be completed locally, in your bubble, with 2m physical distancing and not touching objects such as park benches.
Here are 7 ideas we thought you could try with your Bubble!
1. GPS Walking Pictures
My sister sent me a Facebook post of a guy in the Hibiscus Coast who took to making pictures as he walked using his GPS and running app Strava.
You can use your GPS enabled sports watch or an App on your phone such as Google Maps or MapMyRun.
Construct a list of items you and your bubble must find and ‘collect’ on your walk. This can include physical collection that you can put in a bag or a photo collection using your phone to record your ‘find’.
A sample list of ideas could include:
Collect a leaf
Take a photo of a house with at least 3 teddy bears in the window
Collect a piece of rubbish
Find and photograph a red car in your neighbourhood.
Find and photograph a bird
Find signs around your neighbourhood that start with every letter of the alphabet
Collect a seed, nut or cone or similar that has fallen from a tree
Photo of a road sign
Collect a random object like a discarded ball, sock, pen, tin or similar – anything random that should not normally be just lying around on the footpath, park or roadside
Photo of a rubbish bin
Photo of a power transformer or phone exchange box
Photo of a sign in your area related to Covid-19 eg. Playground closed due to Covid-19 etc
Orienteering is a fantastic family event and while its not quite the same around your local streets, it can still be accomplished. Your unique ‘Bubble’ orienteering can be organised as follows:
Number various stations on your map where you feel you can place a marker.
Prepare a list of clues for each station that provides participants with a little more information about where the Station is located. You can choose to mix up the numbers for various participants, so they are not simply following each other eg. One list goes numbers 1 to 15, the other list is numbered 15 to 1. An example of our sheet can be found here.
Determine what you will use to identify your stations – small flags, cones, stones, wood, tin cans or other things you can find. Try to make them a little bright if possible and then add the ‘Station Number’ and a ‘random 2-digit number’ to each marker. The participant must write the random number on the form for the correct Station as evidence they located the correct point.
Take a walk and set-up the course, dropping your station markers at each location.
Give the participants their Map, Station List and Pencil. This could be done as individuals or pairs/groups depending on the ages of the participants.
Explain the orienteering rules and reiterate the Covid-19 lockdown walking rules and send them on their way.
Pick up your phone, camera or ipad and head outdoors for your walk and focus on recording your lockdown walking experience in pictures. You will be amazed at the extra things you notice in your neighbourhood as you look more closely.
Perhaps you can then produce a presentation using your favourite photo or presentation app/software.
Add Exercises into your Walk
During your walk, simply add in a range of exercises to complete. This provides variety and extra health benefits. Some exercises can include:
The Government provided further clarification regarding outdoor activities and walking under Level-4 Lockdown.
The government reiterated the importance of people adhering to Level-4 Lockdown to ensure the maximum effectiveness is achieved. They confirmed once again that people can walk (and bike) locally to assist with peoples physical and mental health, reiterating the importance of walking in your bubble and maintaining 2m physical distancing.
Activities now specifically prohibited in Level-4 are boating, fishing, hunting, surfing and other water sports and tramping. The emphasis seems to be the prevention of accidents and rescue which will take resources away from other areas of important need.
As a walking community, we need to be aware that tramping is not lawful under Level-4. It is important that when we are out walking, ensure it stays as a local walk that has minimal risk with no need for rescue if someone should injure themselves – maybe sprain an ankle or similar.
It is important to consider if any bushwalks you are engaging in meet the new criteria. For example, some bushwalks can have wide pathways similar to a dirt road, while others are narrow, steeper and uneven.
Walking Loop Tracks only?
One of our walking community wrote in a comment to the walksinauckland website that “we should encourage circular walks, rather than out and back so we do not have contact points at narrow parts in the walkway, bridges etc.”. Liz went on to suggest we could place arrows that ensure people follow a certain direction when walking.
This seems to be a great idea and perhaps one we should try and get some momentum. Maybe we could try using chalk on some of our walks to encourage people to walk in one direction.
Wow – never thought I would ever see NZ in lockdown, but here we are, as we join together as a Nation to fight Covid-19. This brings change and challenge to us all, but it is a sacrifice we all must make for the greater good of society. So, what does walking look like during the COVID-19 lockdown?
As we are all isolated with our bubble for the next 4 weeks or more, we have been allowed at least the simple privilege of heading outdoors for some walking. It is important for our own sense of well-being and fitness that we make the most of these limited opportunities and enjoy some fresh air and nature.
The government have been very clear on some distinct rules
Current advice from the covid19 NZ website (3rd April 2020):
“As long as you’re not unwell, you can leave your house to: – access essential services, like buying groceries, or going to a bank or pharmacy – go to work if you work for an essential service – go for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature.
you do leave your house, you must keep a 2-metre distance from other people at
all times. Police may be monitoring people and asking questions of people
who are out and about during the Alert Level 4 lockdown to check what they are
Helpful guidelines that assist in enjoying your walk and staying safe :
Walks must be local – they do not want people driving to locations such as beaches and parks. There is some discussion about whether it is okay in some situations to drive a little distance.
You can only walk by yourself or those you are isolated with (in your bubble). You must not have others outside your isolation group join you for walks during the lockdown period.
While walking, you must maintain at least 2 meters from any person that is not in your isolation group.
Be aware not to touch common surfaces – playgrounds are closed.
Maintain social distancing from other visitors and do not use equipment in the park. No vehicle access.
Please note that the information in this blog is not an official government document but designed to assist people in understanding their walking opportunities. Please visit the covid19 website for the most current information.
Mangere Mountain and Domain are one of Aucklands true gems to explore. It is full of spectalular views of Aucklands Harbours and City, as well as many geological and history highlights. Our recommended route requires a good level of fitness as the loop encounters a range of steep slopes and uneven terrain. There is a good pathway to the summit on a braod track suitable for buggies if you walk the route clockwise, however this is only out & back and misses many interesting features of this mountain.
60 – 90 mins – 2.92km (yellow)
Gravel or Grass Tracks
3/5 – some steep sections
3/5 – the summit track is hilly but gradual if sticking to the main route and only completing the out & back walkway. The walkway to the Mangere Education Centre includes a lot of stairs.
Toilets, Seats, Football Fields, Playground, Skatepark
Mangere Mountain ranks as one of the most amazing places to explore in Auckland. It is full of surprises – three craters, fantastic 360-degree views, football & softball fields, playground and plenty of historic Maori heritage. Allow an hour or two to explore this volcanic mountain, plus additional time for the Mangere Education Centre if you are able.
We commenced our walk at the carpark near the soccer clubrooms and headed through the nearby gate. Our route takes us anti-clockwise on the eastern edge of the main crater and towards the playground. We then join the trail towards the Mangere Education Centre – well worth the walk. You will experience aspects of Maori history and heritage along this walkway.
Now its time to climb! If you have good fitness and are up for narrower and bumpy terrain continue on our recommended route by following the yellow trail on the Google Map. If you have a buggie or want something a bit less challenging, head clockwise up the main trail to the summit.
Our route passes adjacent to the second crater (the 3rd crater was quarried and is where the Soccer Fields and Education Centre are now situated). The views South and East and to the North as you climb will have you clicking your cameras. Continue upwards towards the upper rim of the main crater – the track is a little narrow and steep in places and can be a bit slippery in the wet – but worth the walk. Take in the sights at first high knoll plus the Trig for stunning views of Auckland.
As you venture around the rim you will pass numerous large kumera pits and other significant Maori heritage. It is worth following our recommended high route instead of the wider track back to the carpark.
To extend your walk you can also consider returning via the lower track that circumnavigates the mountain. It is a narrow but pleasant track through the grass but contains few noticeable special features that demand your attention.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The Mangere Mountain Domain contains some wide unsealed tracks that are suitable for ‘off-road’ buggies. These include the initial part of the Mangere Education Trail and the Trig Track walking in the clockwise direction.
Wheelchairs and standard strollers would be a challenge but with a strong person pushing might be okay.
Cudlip Point Loop Track is a stunning walkway in the Mahurangi Regional Park, about 50 minutes drive north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This track is one of three main walks in the park and includes amazing coastal views, beautiful beaches and a range of grasslands and native bush. It is quite hilly, so requires a reasonable standard of fitness.
45 – 75 mins – 3.2km (yellow)
Gravel or Grass Tracks
3/5 – some steep sections
1/5 – Steep up and down sections plus the surface can be slippery. Buggie’s may be possible if dry and you are very fit and strong. No good for wheelchairs except by beach.
This Loop Track surprised me with its beauty, variety and challenge. The views are superb as the Mahurangi Penninsula juts out into the Ocean, providing water and beaches on both its ‘coasts’. The track is quite steep in places and is a mix of gravel and grass trail.
We commenced our walk at the higher carpark, the parking spot that greets you after entering the Regional Park. You could also opt to veer left and head down the hill to Sullivans Bay and start your walk there. This is probably recommended if you want to swim and picnic at the beach.
If starting at the top carpark, take the further right track entrance that heads towards Te Muri Bay. This winds its way downhill for 10-15 minutes on a good gravel track until it reaches the water’s edge. If starting at the carpark, follow the road or grass track as per the GPS Map up to the top carpark and then continue as above.
Upon reaching the inlet, you track alongside the waterway, through bush and patches of grass for about 10 minutes before turning left and heading up a steep incline. You could also have crossed the inlet to Te Muri Beach if you desire and walk to the campsite or follow the track towards the end of the inlet. Note: the inlet can only be crossed at low tide and remember you do need to get back again also!
Head up the hill and towards the top of the ridge where you start to get the reward with some stunning vistas. When we completed the track, there was a detour that took us to the ridge as the cliff-top track through the bush was unstable. You have the choice of going right and heading through the gate to Cudlip Point Lookout or turning left and heading back along the ridge towards Sullivans Bay. The Lookout here gives views across the Gulf, looking East – they are ok but there are a lot of trees that block aspects of the view.
The walk along the ridgeline to Sullivans is stunning. Views looking north up the coast are ‘million dollars’ and ahead are the views into beautiful Mahurangi Harbour. prior to your decent to the beach, you can choose to go straight ahead or veer right and down the fenceline, which is the shorter option.
Sullivans Beach is beautiful and fine for swimming, especially with higher tides. There are good facilities here, including toilets, water fountains, an information kiosk and a campground if you wish to stay overnight.
If you started at the top carpark, walk back along the beach and up the steep grass hill back to the car. If you started at Sullivans Beach, you are finished!
If you still desire more walking and even more stunning views, add the option of the Mita Loop Track that commences at the western end of Sullivans Bay.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The tracks in Mahurangi Regional Park are steep and unsuitable for wheelchairs. If you are get and strong, you should be able to push a buggie with a baby around the Cuplip Point Loop Track but be aware that places are a bit slippery under foot and steep. The Mita Loop is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.
Beautiful gardens, huge Pohutukawa trees, history, sculptures, monuments, swimming and wonderful Harbour views ensure the Parnell Rose Gardens Loop is a walk for all to enjoy. Add to this the onsite Redwall Chinese Restaurant and famous Rosie Cafe and you have the perfect experience.
40 – 75 mins – 2.1km (yellow)
2/5 – some steep sections
3/5 – Steep up and down to/from Judges Bay. Lots of stairs to and from Parnell Baths. Check out your suitable options below.
Toilets, Water, BBQ, Tables, Seats, Swimming Pool and Beach, Restaurant/Cafe
This walk is a stunning outing including the beauty of the roses, the magnificence of huge Pohutukawa Trees, history of St. Stephens Church and the opportunity for views and swimming.
We commence this walk at the Entrance on the corner of Gladstone Rd and Judges Bay Rd. Very quickly you are enjoying a short bush walk, followed by the historic Nancy Steen Garden, named after the famous Rose collector and historian. There is a fountain and seats to enjoy.
Journey on via Judges Bay to St, Stephens Anglican Church, a beautiful and historic old building, commenced in 1859. The graveyard contains interesting history of early Auckland. Pass through the churchyard archway and towards the expensive St Stephens Avenue, famous as the street of Sir John Key, former Prime Minister of NZ.
Enjoy wonderful views across the Waitemata Harbour as you descend the stairs to the Parnell Baths and Judges Bay. Here you can connect to Tamaki Drive and Auckland’s Waterfront if you desire. Walk to the end of the pedestrian Bridge for great views, it literally hangs over the water!
The Parnell Baths and Judges Bay offer both beauty and a chance for swimming in the warmer months. Enjoy the jetty and you will also find a toilet block and BBQ.
Head up the hill once again back towards Dove Meyer Robinson Park, enjoying the bush and sprawling Pohutukawa Trees. Notice the Wedge monument on the grass hill on your left, reminding us to not allow wedges to be driven between us.
Once back in the Rose Gardens, enjoy exploring the Monuments and Roses of this picturesque park. Of particular interest is the Korean War monument nearby Gladstone Rd.
This is a very enjoyable walk with a lot of variety and activity. The complete loop does require an average level of fitness as there are steep sections and stairs. Wheelchairs and buggies are suitable through the Rose Gardens part of the walk.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The track section around the Rose Gardens is very good for wheelchairs and buggies. The walkway is paved and generally not too steep.
However, getting to Judges Bay has quite steep tracks and will require care if pushing a wheelchair or buggie, particularly in the wet. There are plenty of stairs at the eastern end of the Parnell Baths also that should be avoided!
One of Auckland’s iconic landmarks, Rangitoto Island is an amazing day out. Arrive by ferry or private boat and explore, The 360-degree views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf from the summit are spectacular. There are plenty of other walking tracks if you are keen to explore further and short lava caves that are worth investigating.
1.5 – 2 hours return to summit, plus side walks. 1/2 day to full day to circumnavigate the island.
Formed track – lots of loose, fine scoria
0/5 – most tracks not suitable. Vehicle Road is ok.
Rangitoto Island is one of Aucklands most famous volcanoes, seen from many parts of the Auckland Isthmus. Its impressive ’round’ shape and obvious volcanic look make it instantly recognisable.
Rangitoto feels like a volcanic island. The black, rough scroria rock is all around and the many shapes of hard set lava are spectacular and at times dangerous looking! These days the bush has grown a lot on Rangitoto Island, making it a more pleasant and quite stunning walk, even on hot days.
Top suggestions to see:
Spectacular views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf from the summit
Volcanic rock and formations
NZ Native bush
Lava caves – some which you can explore – they are only about 30-40m in length and marked on the map above
Swim – there is a lot of rocky coastline but the water is beautiful in summer! You can take the trek to Islington Bay for a sandy beach but this is up to 2 hours! I will add this to the Google Map when I get the chance to GPS the other tracks.
View the remaining historic and original waterfront cottages.
Swimming – brave the rocky rugged coastline for a dip or swim at sandy MacKenzie Bay and Islington Bay.
You will want to allow at least half day for exploring this amazing and unique island and can easily take a full day to circumnavigate the island and take in the summit. Some of the bush is so beautiful and the views back towards Auckland give a unique and picturesque perspective.
Walking Difficulty and Suitability
Rangitoto is a steady walk and requires average fitness and steadiness on your feet. It is not suitable for wheelchairs or baby buggies, having stairs. Underfoot, the scoria can be slippery but fine if you stay aware.
Walking to the summit (260m) is uphill all the way. There are plenty of beautiful views you can take in to have a break if needed. It can also get hot – so have plenty of water, along with some snacks.
There is also plenty of options for easy walks if a person uses the Vehicle Track around the perimeter of the island. Once off the vehicle track, the routes are generally quite steep and unsteady.
Wheelchair and Buggie Suitability
Rangitoto is generally not suitable for wheelchairs and Buggies unless you stay on the Vehicle Track. This is a dirt road and gets reasonably close to the summit but a 20 – 30 min walk up stairs and steep hills will still be required to reach the summit.
The Hobsonville Point Walkway circumnavigates a newly developed area of Auckland. Much of the walkway follows the foreshore and offers pictureque harbour views . This is a walk of variety – parks, developments, wharf and historic homes.
This walk is full of interesting views and experiences.
Start the walk from Catalina Cafe , next to the beautiful Hobsonville Point Park and then meander your way around the newly developed streets. The busy footpaths soon give-way to a coastal track which leads you around Hobsonville Point. The track is generally very wide and is in very good condition.
Views of the harbour and back to Auckland City in the distance are both stunning and plentiful. There are areas of grass fields and native bush enroute, particularly Onekiritea Park.
Once past Harrier Point Park the coastal walk takes in the Hobsonville Ferry Terminal precinct with its facilities and then tracks alongside recent housing developments. It is a fascinating mix of ‘the new’ alongside beautiful water views and two historic homes.
Chichester Cottage is a quaint old cottage built by Doug and Audrey Mill around 1927. Mill House, originally known as ‘Windover’, was built in the early 1930’s by prominent Auckland Architect George Tole for the Mill’s. Follow the links to find out more information.
This walkway is very easy and excellent underfoot, great for buggies, wheelchairs and bikes. There is a good playground at Hobsonville Point Park where the walk starts and another (only a flying fox and tyre swing) at Harrier Point.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
This walkway is excellent for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes. It is very flat overall, with minimal rise and fall plus the track is paved 95%+ of the way.
Starting by the West Harbour Marina, the West Harbour Loop walk is fully paved, winds through wonderful bush and provides stunning views over the water back to Auckland city. There are a range of facilities at Luckens Reserve to make this walk more comfortable.
This is a lovely coastal track that makes its way from the West Harbour Marina alongside the harbour and through Luckens Reserve.
The track could be walked out and back along the coast or use our suggested loop. The loop is about 4.5km and takes just over an hour. It could be shortened by looping back through Luckens Reserve.
The track is paved 99% of the way and does not contain any stairs. There are some steep sections around Luckens Reserve and through to the turn-around.
There are seats periodically placed along the walk for a nice resting spot.
Luckens reserve is excellent with lovely gently large sloped grass areas, children’s playground, toilets, drinking fountain and plenty of parking.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The track is paved 99% of the way and does not contain any stairs. It is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, although parts before Luckens Reserve and beyond Luckens Reserve to the turnaround are very steep and probably too difficult for wheelchairs. Lighter buggies with a fit ‘pusher’ should be ok – although in wet conditions it may become dangerous.
Wow – Browns Island in Auckland Harbour – what a cool little island to visit. Browns Island is a small volcanic island that you can visit for an hour or a full day. Rising to 65m above sea level, the views of Auckland City and the Hauraki Gulf as you climb are superb.
Browns Island is close to Auckland’s mainland. Launch a boat at Halfmoon Bay or another closeby spot or kayak or paddle board from one of the nearby beaches. Crater Bay at the northeast corner is a great landing spot for small boats – it is a good deep water beach – 1.9m of water at half tide only 20m from the beach. We beached our front and unloaded and then anchored about 25m off the beach.
Kayaks and Paddle Boards may want to access via the shallow beach on the southwest side.
What to see and do?
Browns Island Auckland is a fascinating small volcano in the Waitemata Harbour that deserves to be explored. It is mostly grassy paddocks that can be freely walked. Some highlighyts are:
Climb the volcanic cone to the trig to get a great 360 degree view of Auckland and the Gulf. The volcano is also very defined and worth a look!
Walk the circumference of Browns Island
Visit the shipwreck on the Southwest beach
Examine the three types of volcanic structures present on Browns Island – the only volcano in Auckland to have all three types.
Swim at Crater Bay – the water is clear and deep with a nice little beach
Search for fossils
Walking Difficulty and Suitability
That walking tracks on Browns Island are largely unformed tracks that just wander through the grass. There are stairs ascending from Crater Bay towards the volcanic cone.
The walk to the summit is short but quite steep – suitable for most, except those who are unsteady on their feet. The island is not suitable for buggies, pushchairs or wheelchairs.
This is a fascinating book on Auckland’s 50 volcanoes. Learn about the prominent, obscure and unexpected. Discover locations, history and geology. Great book to add to your Auckland collection.
This weather is looking stunning this Auckland Anniversary Weekend and here are 5 walks we suggest you could try that are both spectacular and nice and cool! Walk these tracks in the shade of some magnificent NZ native bush.
This is a lovely walk and one that holds a sentimental place in my heart – it was my father-in-laws first track he helped to build and he has helped to maintain it for the past 45 years. The track includes a 650 year old Kahikatea Tree, a waterfall when it rains and glow worms at night!