Category Archives: Dog Friendly Walks

For dog owners who like variety – our walks in Auckland note the off leash dog areas. NB: These may change without notice due to Council regulations.

Maraetai Loop Walk

The Maraetai Loop Walk lives up to our criteria for a route that is diverse and interesting.  It starts by the boat ramp on the western side of Maraetai Reserve, and follows a rough track beside a stream through the lush bush of Dr. Adah Platts-Mills Reserve (which we suggest may be muddy in winter) before emerging into residential streets. Then it’s down hill to the Omana Regional Park, past the goats (Dixie and Pixie) and then follows the waters edge back to the start.

The views over the Gulf are magnificent – you can see over to Waiheke Island, and of course Rangitoto. And the bird song within the bush was beautiful. Today we came across a talkative and friendly fantail.
Maraetai Loop Walk in Auckland

On a summers day, you may wish to pack your togs and a picnic. There is an off leash dog exercise area along the perimeter of the Omana Regional Park. Public toilets and a playground enroute. Cafes along Maraetai Coast Road.

Description: Mostly level paths with one incline. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Muddy in bush in winter.
To see: Native bush and birds, coastal views.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms). Children’s playgrounds, Dog off leash exercise area. Safe swimming.
Start: Maraetai Park, off Maraetai Drive. Map

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure  (AE-112 Maraetai Loop Walk) 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.

Seaside Park Otahuhu

Seaside Park at Otahuhu is a small and delightful park. It is off on a limb and shares views of Tamaki Estuary with Highbrook Park.

Seaside Park provides native birds and other wildlife with habitat expansion and protection as the wildlife refuge area protects bird species and other wildlife, such as native skinks, from predators and gives them an undisturbed home.

The loop walkway is less than 2kms, but it is a great place for dog owners to exercise their dogs. There is a children’s playground and picnic tables.

You can start the walk at the playground – head down to the path alongside the estuary and keep following it around until you return to the sports field.

Sunday walk in Ponsonby

Due to the weather being unpredictable and grey clouds on the horizon, we decided to play it safe and headed to Ponsonby/Freemans Bay for a walk, knowing that we could always shelter under shop awnings if there was a downpour.

Sunday walk in Ponsonby Copyright 2014 Unleashed Ventures LimitedWe were lucky – it stayed dry.  Which also meant that we could observe our surroundings – the beautiful old style houses, the decorated ceilings, the sculptures, the shops and cafes and the trees in Western Park. It’s a changing landscape with always lots to see.

This is a great short walk if you work in Ponsonby and need to get out for a leg stretch. Or if you want to visit on a Sunday, there is lots of street parking available. Or you if you live here and just want to explore. You can start at any point on this circular route. And take a short diversion to Victoria Park Markets if that takes your fancy.

If you are into heritage homes, take a side-trip down Renall Street to view pre-villa Victorian houses built from the 1860’s to 1880’s for lower-income workers.

Western Park is an off leash dog exercise area and has a selection of picnic tables to make the most of on fine days. There is also a fun playground with slides and flying fox.

Description: Mostly level paths, with some steep 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: Views of Auckland City skyline, beautiful old style houses, decorated ceilings, sculptures, shops and cafes and the trees in Western Park.
Time: approx. 40 minutes (about 4.5 kms).
Start:  Wellington Street, Freemans Bay. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure over at our Walks Store  (AC-107 Ponsonby Loop) or find more walks in our books at the Book Store.

Oratia Stream Loop

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

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

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

The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash and off  leash dog exercise areas).

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

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

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

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

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

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

Dog Friendly Walks in Auckland

We have now completed writing up 36 dog friendly short walks in Auckland in three volumes.

Most of these walks include off leash dog exercise areas. We have a full list of dog friendly walks here: Dog Friendly Walks in Auckland

These three “Dog Friendly Walks” books are now available on Amazon and from your local Auckland library.

P1 Dog friendly walks in AucklandDog Friendly Walks – part one” . The 12 places we take you: Big King, Newmarket, Meola Reef, Waiaturua Reserve, Blockhouse Bay, Belmont, Northcote, Wattle Downs, Highbrook Park, Churchill Park, Macleans Park, Moire Park.

 

P2 Dog friendly walks in Auckland“Dog Friendly Walks – part two”. The 12 places we take you: Mt Eden, Hobson Bay, Western Park, Heron Park, St Johns, Blockhouse Bay, Le Roys Bush, Bayview Bush, Totara Park, Glover Park, Whau River, Glen Eden.

 

P3 Dog friendly walks in AucklandDog Friendly Walks – part three”. The 12 places we take you:Parnell, Hobson Bay, Onehunga, Grey Lynn , Westhaven, Unsworth Reserve , Bayview, Otara, Cascade Walkway , St Johns , Hobsonville Point and Henderson.

These three “Dog Friendly Walks” books are now available on Amazon and from your local Auckland library.

 

Meadowood Reserves Loop

The  Meadowood Reserves loop walk follows a route  documented by Margaret Scrymgeour from her booklet “Explore the Shore”. The walk begins at Meadowood Community Centre – which has BBQ, picnic and playground facilities.

The walk loops in and out of Unsworth Reserve (where dogs were playing happily off leash), which has a storm water pond and a children’s playground. There are also lovely bush areas where today the birds were singing.

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: Pond, stream, bush.
Time: approx. 50 minutes (about 4.0 kms).
Start: Meadowood Community Centre, corner Caribbean Drive and Meadowood Drive. MAP

Stay on track… Find this walk (AN-103 Meadowood Reserves Loop) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store

Botany to Cascades Loop Walk

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

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

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

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

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

 
The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers . Dogs- Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

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

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

Glen Eden Bush and Stream walk

Glen Eden is undergoing stream restoration and cycleways development as part of the Twin Streams Project, so we set out for an exploratory walk to see what we could uncover.

We started off at Ceramco Park, but if you are arriving by train, you could take the Upper Waikumete Walk and Cycle Way starting from the corner of Captain Scott Road and West Coast Road, turn right into Savoy Road to continue to Ceramco Park. We followed the Waikumete Stream, footpaths, walkways and tracks through native bush and wetlands, over bridges and along pleasant residential streets, making this an enjoyable short urban bush walk.

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

Nearby Walk: Glen Eden and Waikumete Cemetery Circuit Walk

Description: Mainly flat with one steep road. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Waikumete Creek, wetlands, native bush, kauri trees.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.47kms).
Parking:  Ceramco Park.
Start: 120 Glendale Road, Glen Eden. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-099 Glen Eden Bush & Stream Walk) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Part 2” “Best of the West“).

Botany and Dannemora circuits

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

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

The walking route is great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers.

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

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

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

 

Totaravale Reserves

The Totaravale Reserves loop walk loosely follows a route  documented by Margaret Scrymgeour from her booklet “Explore the Shore”.  This walk on Auckland’s North Shore starts out in Rewi Reserve, then climbs up to the ridge of Sunset Road for a view over the rooftops of Auckland City and heads back down again to bush tracks, streams, and ponds in Unsworth Reserve and passes three playgrounds.

Dogs – off leash areas along route.

Description: Mostly level paths with some small flights of steps and one steep path. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Wetlands, parks, stream, pond, native bush.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.0 kms).
Start: Corner of Trias Road and Athena Drive. MAP

Stay on track…Find this walk (AN-095 Totaravale Reserves) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store


Henderson Creek Loop

It turned out to be a wonderful warm spring day – perfect for exploring the pathways beside Henderson Creek in West Auckland. The previous Waitakere City Council has spent a great deal of ratepayers money on providing walkways and cycle-ways throughout the district. It was heartening to see people make the most of them as we walked alongside the Creek.

Hopefully the “International Walkway of Trees” section will become a wonderful legacy as many of the trees were gifted and planted for future generations by representatives of the ethnic communities living in Waitakere City as at October 2000.

Henderson Creek © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

What was missing though, was signposting and maps to indicate where you were and how far to go. We had printed off our own map before starting off, but for newcomers without a map, they could only venture there and back, for fear of getting lost.

Henderson Creek was once a hive of activity for traders, vintners, farmers, orchardists and families, and the area was also known for it’s timber milling industry.

We did enjoy our 4.5km walk – the sun was shining, the birds were singing, we were sheltered from the cool breeze and this was a part of Auckland that was new to us. To top it all off, we had a delicious coffee at The Falls Restaurant – sitting outside in the sunny courtyard.

Dogs – Off leash areas within reserves and parks.

Description: Mostly level paths.
Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Henderson Creek, historical sites.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.5kms).
Parking:  Public carpark (free on Sundays).
Start: Corner Edmonton Road/Alderman Drive.
MAP
Playground: Tui Glen Reserve (includes a flying fox).

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AW-094 Henderson Creek Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 3” and “Best of the West”).

Mt Roskill Explorer

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

*** PLEASE NOTE ***
2 of the 3 parks are currently closed until 2018.  The detour around the parks takes a long time. Read: Auckland Council Public Notice.

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

The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash and off  leash dog exercise areas in Walmsley Park and Underwood Park.).

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

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

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

Description: Mostly level paths, steep paths ascent to summit of Mt Roskill. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs if Mt Roskill summit is avoided.

To see: Views of Auckland City skyline, Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Three Kings, One Tree Hill. Oakley Creek and ducks.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms).
Start: Corner of Sandringham Road extension/Stoddard Road.
MAP

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

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

Unsworth Reserve Loop

Over the years, we have made many visits to Paul Matthews Road off the Upper Harbour Highway in Albany totally unaware that nearby is the huge Unsworth Reserve with the Alexandra Stream flowing through.

The Alexandra Stream is thought to be named after Princess Alexandra who married the Prince of Wales in 1863.

Unsworth Reserve Boardwalk and cycle way © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedRecently a new board walk/ cycle way has been completed.  Obviously we have no idea what was here previously, and can’t imagine how much the project would have cost, but it certainly looks impressive. We hope that it will get a lot of use by recreational and commuting cyclists, pedestrians and joggers. As the many plants and trees grow, it will become a beautiful oasis in the middle of suburban housing.

Along the boardwalk are boards – informing us of ways that water quality is being improved, the past fruit cultivation, ways to reduce erosion and plants – the weeds and natives. And we are impressed with the sign posting.

It was fabulous to walk among many silver ferns, ponga ferns and manuka trees beside the untouched paths along the edge of the reserve.

As we were about to return to the industrial edge of the reserve, we were delighted to spot a pair of adult ducks with about 10 to 12 ducklings swimming and feeding among the reeds in the wetlands of the storm water catchment Omega Pond.

Dogs – off leash exercise areas along route.

Suggested cafe: Cafe Drina

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 wheelchairs and pushchairs/prams/buggies.
To see: Wetlands, park land, ponds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.0 kms).
Start:  Rosedale Park. MAP

P3 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-092 Unsworth Reserve Loop) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).