Category Archives: Auckland Coastal Walks

Auckland’s site on the isthmus between the harbours of Waitemata and Manukau, provides many coastal walking tracks alongside estuaries, inlets, streams and the Hauraki Gulf.
We have compiled a selection of 24 coastal walks into two books – Coastal part one and two. These books are available from Amazon and your local library.

Summer walks in Auckland

December is a beautiful time of year to get out walking when hopefully the weather starts becoming more stable and before it gets too hot.  We are also blessed with the red pohutukawa tree blossoms at this time of year.

One of our favourite places to head out for a walk from is Mangere Bridge Township. We have documented five walks from this area. The village cafes are a great place to meet walking companions before and/or after a walk. On Sunday mornings there are small markets to buy goodies at. And a little further south, in Kirkbride Road, is a place where you can indulge in fresh strawberry ice-cream while the strawberries are in season. And if you are walking with children, then Ambury Park Farm is always a fun place to visit.

The Mangere Bridge walk circuits vary in length. And you have the option of linking two or more if you are feeling creative and energetic. Take a look at the selection at this link: Mangere Bridge Walks

Other places to enjoy the pohutukawa tree blossom are:

1. Cornwall Park

2. Highbrook

3. Conifer Grove

4. Three Kings

Once December passes and the weather warms up, it is time to seek the shade of the native bush or the cool breezes of the coast.

All these walks (with maps, detailed directions and other vital information) can be downloaded in individual brochures.

A series of 12 self-guide walk books is also available. Visit the book store or The Women’s Bookshop (in Ponsonby, Auckland).

Westhaven Promenade

Without any obvious fanfare, the Westhaven Promenade unofficially opened yesterday (30th January 2015) for walking and cycling. And it is magnificent. Wide and spacious with wonderful views of our City of Sails. It really brings us close to the waterfront and we hope that many people will enjoy this facility. (Officially opened on the 16th February 2015).

Westhaven Promenade  - short walks in Auckland
Taking in the view along Westhaven Promenade.

 

We have two walks that include the Westhaven Promenade: Point Erin and Auckland Harbour and Westhaven Loop Walk. The Promenade currently links The Sitting Duck Cafe and Beaumont Street (opposite Victoria Park).

The next stage is an interim cycle path to link North Wharf to this new boardwalk, as announced by Auckland Transport. This will form part of a 20km continuous walkway and cycleway that runs from Herne Bay in the west to Tamaki Drive in the east.

Read more: Development plans for Westhaven  News  Technical Bits and pieces

Meanwhile, here are some photos of Westhaven Promenade to entice you to go and take a walk!

Also suitable for family cycling:From Auckland Harbour Bridge to Wynyard Quarter. 2km. Click here for more family cycling ideas.

Titirangi and French Bay Loop

This walk begins near the ridge village of Titirangi and follows the path down through Atkinson Park to Titirangi Beach and French Bay.
Titirangi and French Bay Loop
Much of the walk is through regenerating native bush with the occasional tall old tree, totara and kauri, to look up at in awe, as well as groves of young kauri. You will pass by a small waterfall, and today it was very dry.

On a fine day, the beaches on the edge of Manukau Harbour glisten in the sunshine. Take a picnic to have on the grass.

Part of the track is in good condition, and another part would be difficult to navigate in winter. Sturdy shoes are recommended.

Playground and public toilet at Titirangi Beach.  Dogs on leash. Stripe Cafe recommended.

Description: Some level paths with many steps and steep inclines. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with sturdy flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Muddy in winter.
To see: Native bush, stream, Manukau Harbour beaches.
Time: approx.75 minutes (about 6.0 kms). Descent 266m, ascent 257m.
Start:  Atkinson Park, Park Road (between South Titirangi Road and Titirangi Beach Road). MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochures over at our Walks Store.

Waikowhai Park Hillsborough

Waikowhai Park is a large piece of bush land and attractive park land off Hillsborough Road. The view from the car park above the playground has views across Manukau Harbour to Mangere Mountain and Ambury Park Farm.

It has a fantastic playground for older children that has an extra long slide and a flying fox. There is also a large off leash dog exercise area. There are public toilets by the playground. It’s a great place for a picnic on a fine day – there are tables by the playground, seats along the undulating bush tracks and plenty of grass in the park land.

September 2015A new Waikowhai Walkway map is now available. It shows tracks in detail plus provides information on the geology and ecology of the area. Available from Mt Roskill Library  and Puketapapa Local Board office.

You can walk along the Harbour foreshore at low tide only. The bush tracks to Wesley Bay tend to be muddy in winter, but there are concrete paths on the opposite side to the playground. If you enjoy bird spotting, then the bush tracks are the place to be.

The Puketapapa Local Board which is responsible for the park and this playground, say that they have been putting new tracks into the bush area, with the aim to build up a network so you can walk from the new foreshore beaches at Onehunga all the way to Blockhouse Bay. We looked for new tracks today but did not see any signs of them.

Mangere Bridge Loop Walk

We like to find excuses to head to Mangere Bridge for a walk. The village has a vibrant atmosphere, as the cafes that spill out onto the pavement bring the village to life and there are always visitors. Sunday mornings are market days which bring in extra visitors.

Mangere Bridge loop walk in AucklandOn a fine day the view of the Manukau Harbour is brilliant, and if you are lucky there is interesting bird life to watch. During the summer months, we like to stop and get fresh veggies (and strawberries) from the market gardens in Kirkbride Road.

Today we embarked on a new buggy friendly loop walk that we had overlooked on previous visits. This one 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.

Description: Mainly level paths, including ramp to bridge over the motorway. 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. 60 minutes. (about 5.5 kms)
Start: Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AS-109 Mangere Bridge Loop) over at our Walks Store.

 

 

Hobson Bay Circuit

We made the most of today’s fine weather and walked the circumference of Hobson Bay.  Many of our walks touch on parts of Hobson Bay Walkway but to do the full circuit, we needed a low tide (check the tides here).

Hobson Bay CircuitAbout half the route is along the busy roads, until we climb the ridge via Pt Resolution Bridge beside the Parnell Baths, to the quiet streets of Parnell and then back down again to the Bay and along the Freda Kirkwood Walkway.

The painting above depicts what can be seen along the route, there is plenty to look at – trains, boats, sheds, birds, mangroves, board walks, beautiful houses; with views of Rangitoto, North Head and Mount Victoria.

We started this walk from Orakei Train Station, but you can choose your own start point at a convenient place along the circular 9km route.

Description: Mostly level paths, with some steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Can be muddy on the foreshore. LOW TIDE access only.
To see: Boats, trains, beautiful houses, birds, boardwalks, mangroves.
Time: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes (about 9 kms).
Start:  Orakei Train Station. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure over at our Walks Store  (AC-108 Hobson Bay Circuit).

 

 

 

Auckland Nature Walks

We have complied four books of short circular nature walks in Auckland that help you to discover volcanoes, native bush and the vast coastal areas. These short walks are great for young children to learn about the environment, to appreciate what they can discover when they go out walking, and to obtain the pleasure of walking.

These four “Nature Walks” books are now available on Amazon and from your local Auckland library.

Volcano Walks in AucklandVolcanoes
The twelve volcano sites that we visit are: Three Kings, Glover Park, Lake Pupuke, Mangere Mountain, Mount Eden, Mount Victoria, Mt Albert, North Head, One Tree Hill, Orakie Basin, Pigeon Mountain and Meola Reef.

Urban Bush walks in AucklandUrban Bush
How many cities do you know that still contain the native bush? The twelve native bush areas we visit are: Bayview, Blockhouse Bay, Dingle Dell, Hillsborough, Le Roys Bush, Moire Park, Oakley Creek, Opanuku Stream, Parnell Albaron, St Johns Bush, Tahuna Torea, Totara Park.

Coastal Walks
From inlets to harbours there are many coastal paths to explore.
coastal walksin Auckland part oneCoastal Part one
The coastal areas we visit are: Ambury Park Farm, Blockhouse Bay Gittos Domain, Churchill Park, Hillsborough, North Head, Northcote Point, Parnell, Remuera to Hobson Bay, Tahuna Torea, Te Atatu Peninsula, Wattle Downs, Wynyard Quarter.

Coastal walks in Auckland part twoCoastal Part Two.
The coastal areas we visit are: Belmont, Conifer Grove, Half Moon Bay, Hobson Bay walkway, Mangere Esplanade, Mission Bay, Onehunga Foreshore, Point England, Point Erin, Takapuna, West Harbour, Meola Reef.

These four “Nature Walks” books are now available on Amazon, The Women’s Bookshop in Ponsonby and from your local Auckland library.

Papakura Inlets Walk

Papakura Estuary Walk Copyright Unleashed Ventures Limited 2014It was low tide this morning as we walked around the Pahurehure Inlet at Papakura. The frosty ice crunched under our feet when we started our walk, and yet it did not take long for our bodies to warm up after the cold start to the day.

Part of the Pahurehure Esplanade walkway has slipped into the estuary at one point, but we managed to find a short detour. This walk is full of contrast – the quietness of the tree lined suburban streets and the reserves, the busy noise of the Southern Motorway, the happy sound of sports grounds in use on this Saturday morning, the peacefulness of the estuary path along Pahurehure Inlet.

In 2010 the Pahurehure Inlet was cleared of mangroves. Today the empty inlet looked naked – in a good way.

Suggested cafes (from a friend who lives in the area): In Papakura there’s the Robert Harris which is probably the best coffee, and then there’s the local Pizza Box – they have some good dishes and a good selection, and their coffee is quite good too.

There is a children’s playground in Ray Small Park. Please check signage for off leash dog exercise areas.

Description: Mostly level paths with a short run of steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Papakura Inlet coastal views, shorebirds, parks and sports field, residential streets.
Time: approx. 80 minutes (about 6.4 kms).
Start:  Wharf Street, Prince Edward Park. MAP

Best of the South: Short walks in AucklandStay on track, find this walk (AS-105 Papakura Inlets Walk) and other walks at our Walk Store.

One of 12 walks in our book “Best of the South” available from our Book Store.

 

Manukau Harbour coastal walks

Manukau Harbour has many nooks and crannies to explore. Here are 10 places where you can walk beside Auckland’s Manukau Harbour and enjoy the diverse and unique landscapes.

The Manukau Harbour Restoration Society is working to restore and reinvigorate Manukau Harbour, and if you are interested in helping, you can find out more here.

Blockhouse Bay The Pathway of Tiriwa © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

We have two walks in Blockhouse Bay Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk and Blockhouse Bay circuit, where the bush meets the sea.

Next one along is the Lynfield Coastal Walk.

 

 

View of Manukau harbourHillsborough Cemetery is perched on the hill above Hillsborough Bay with a view over to Mangere Mountain. Walk down through the cemetery and reserves to the bays below before starting the upward climb. Hillsborough Cemetery and the Bays Loop Walk

 

View of Mangere Mountain from Onehunga Foreshore
View of Mangere Mountain from Onehunga Foreshore

You can choose to do the Onehunga Foreshore walk – works in progress as the shore is being reclaimed for a beach, or cross Manukau Harbour over Mangere Bridge to get to Onehunga on the Mangere Bridge to Onehunga Loop Walk

 

 

 

Mangere Bridge ©2013 walksinauckland.comThere is a choice of 5 walks around Mangere Bridge :- Mangere Bridge walks. You can do them as separate walks or join them up to make a bigger loop.  Enjoy the bird life, farm animals, and the views from Mangere Mountain. You may also wish to visit the Otuatau Stonefields  to get an idea of how people once lived and worked.

 

walks in AucklandPuhinui Reserve Walkway is an interesting and wild place to visit. There are limited amenities here, so take a picnic if you plan to take your time to explore.

 

 

Weymouth Walkway Copyright 2014 Unleashed ventures LimitedHeading down along the coast we reach Clendon and Weymouth, where the Weymouth Walkway Loop provides fine views across the harbour, looking back to some of the places above.

 

Wattle Downs walkway © 2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe 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.

 

 

Conifer Grove Circuit © 2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited. All rights reservedAnd here we are at the last stop, where the walk along Conifer Grove Esplanade offers views across Manukau Harbour north to Wattle Downs and south to Karaka.

Auckland Council also provides a list of Manukau coastal walks.
We hope that you are now inspired to get out and explore our very special Manukau Harbour. Find some of these and other coastal walks in our books – Coastal Part 1 and Coastal Part 2.

Weymouth Walkway Loop

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. The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies.

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.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5kms). Plus exploring time.
Start:  Hanford Place, Clendon.  MAP

Best of the South: Short walks in AucklandStay 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”.

Walks around Devonport Auckland

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

 

Mairangi Bay Loops

The clifftop and beach loop walks starting at Campbells Bay and taking in Mairangi Bay, and Murrays Bay and part of Rothesay Bay on Auckland’s North Shore provide stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf and Islands.

Maurangi Bay Loops Copyright 2014 Unleashed Ventures Limited

The beach walkway is dependent on weather and tides (check tides here).

Today the beach at Maurangi Bay was busy with sailors, surf lifesavers, swimmers and paddle boarders.

People were out walking their dogs – and the dogs looked very happy racing around off the leash along the cliff paths. Be sure to check out the Auckland Council dog rules for the North Shore beaches here.

Dogs are allowed under control off-leash at any time at Churchill Reserve Beach (Rothesay Bay).

The walkways do have steps so a good level of fitness is needed.

Description: Mostly level paths with some steps and one steep climb. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for pushchairs. Not recommended at high tide.
To see: Coastal views.
Time: approx. 80 minutes (about 6.65 kms).
Parking:  View Road, Campbells Bay. MAP

Stay on track… Find this walk (AN-098 Mairangi Bay Loop) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store

 

Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway

Today we headed south along the Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway – previously we had walked north to Shelly Park Beach.  Today started off overcast but the sun came out, and there was a cool breeze.  The breeze was very welcome when we were walking uphill in Hayley Lane and at the end of the Rotary Loop.

Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway © 2011-2014 Unleashed Ventures Limited All Rights Reserved

We started off at the barn in Somerville Road (MAP) and turned right.  It was good to see new maps and direction posts have been erected since our last visit, one year ago.  A lot of work has also been done with the planting of flax and cabbage trees – where this is done it will be a joy to see the rejuvenation of the native bush. We were pleased to see young kauri trees growing strongly. We walked up the steep hill of Hayley Lane, along Point View Drive, then back down the steep steps to rejoin the path, then followed the next turn left up the steps of the Rotary Loop to return to the start – a length of just over 5kms.

This walkway is very pleasant and perfect for a day walk and picnic, if doing the full length. Get the Auckland Council brochure here.

We drove onto Whitford for refreshments beside the Turanga River at Amy’s Kitchen.

Maraetai and Omana loop walk

Today was our first walk around the 3 km perimeter of Omana Regional Park near Maraetai (pronounced my-right-eye). The walk itself was pretty uninteresting apart from the view looking back to Auckland City. However, the walk along the coastline from Omana Beach to Maraetai Beach was much more interesting.

Maraetai and Omana loop walk © 2011-2014 Unleashed Ventures Limited All Rights Reserved

The weather was brilliant and it was fabulous to see so many people out enjoying themselves in and on the beautiful blue clear water, as well as picnicking on the grassy shore in the shade of the pohutukawa trees. The tide was high (actually a “king” tide) which added to the beauty.

The shared pathway/cycleway between Maraetai and  Beachlands is very scenic, and suitable for family cycle rides.

Description: Mostly level paths, with a few short steep bits. Gravel and sealed track/paths.  Sturdy footwear recommended for Omana loop.
Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Farmland, bush, coast, boats.
Time: We did the Omana perimeter loop (3kms) and walked to Maraetai return (5kms).
Start:  Either from Maraetai or Omana Beach Road. Map

Click here for  Omana Regional Park map.

The combined walks of Maraetai and Omana lived up to our expectations of a diverse walk – farmland, bush, coast, boats and village.
Click on photo to enlarge.

Manukau Foreshore Walkway/Cycleway

When our two children were young, my husband and I would load up all our bicycles to venture out onto the Manukau Foreshore Walkway/Cycleway that runs between the Mangere Bridge to Hugo Johnson Drive in Penrose.  Since then Grace and I have done the walk  – to the end and back.
Manukau Foreshore walkway/cycleway © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited All Rights Reserved
Today we explored the possibility of a circular walk taking in the industrial part of Penrose. While it is rather beautiful along the foreshore, the other half of the walk that took us through the Penrose industrial area is not at all pedestrian friendly.

It is a shame that a walkway was not planned and catered for within the industrial area, not only for the people who work there, but for visitors as well.

Another issue we came across was the walkway that is designated “no cyclists” at the Hugo Johnson Drive end, was unkempt and covered in all kinds of noxious weeds (which I have alerted Auckland Council about).

For the first time we looked in at Southdown Reserve (near the Southdown Power Station) – a very seedy looking reserve that I would not enter on my own.

We will not be documenting this walk.  MAP

On a bright note, the morning rain clouds dissipated, the sun emerged providing blue skies, the view of Mangere Mountain and Manukau Harbour was great, the birds were singing in the bush areas, and the shore birds were out in force in the lowering tide. And to top it off, we enjoyed each other’s company! (Followed by a very nice lunch at The Library Cafe in Onehunga – note new owners as of a week ago).