Category Archives: Shorter 30 minute Auckland walks

These Auckland walks are suitable for small children and for people who live locally. They also would suit visitors who want to get a taste of Auckland.

Long Bay regional park

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.

Long Bay beach
Northern end of Long Bay Beach

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.

 

Walk Time15 – 20 minutes, 1.1km (Nature Trail loop)
45 – 75 minutes, 3.8km (yellow)
2.5 – 4 hours, 9km (yellow & red)
SurfaceGravel or Grass Tracks
Difficulty2/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs3/5 – the initial track to Granny’s Bay is fine,
although some parts are steep. There are stairs
beyond Granny’s Bay.
FacilitiesToilets, Seats, Playground, BBQ’s, Swimming
HighlightsViews, Swimming & Water Sports, Array of tracks

Click here to open the Google Map in a separate tab or tap the icon in the top right of this map.

Download a pdf version of the Long Bay Reserve Walks Printable Map

Long Bay Reserve Walking Tracks Description

Select from short walks of just 15-20 minutes up to a full half-day adventure. Enjoy the sea, the views, the bush and birdlife – Long Bay is simply a wonderful place to explore and enjoy.   

Vaughan Homestead Long Bay
Vaughan Homestead

The Vaughan Homestead is worth a detour and is a little beyond the entry to the main track.  This historic home is situated at the northern end of the beach.  More historic information can be found here. 

Nature Walk: 15 – 20 minutes, 1.1km

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.

Long Bay Bush Track
Track to Nature Trail

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

Grannys Bay at Long Bay
Beautiful Grannys Bay

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.   

 

View to Rangitoto from Long Bay Track
View to Rangitoto Island

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. 

Long Bay Gun Emplacement
Gun Emplacement Detour

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!

Walk around the rocks to Long bay
Return to Long Bay via the coast

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

100 Acre Long Bay Tea Tree
100 Acre Tea Tree

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.

100 Acre Track Long Bay
Track through 100 Acre

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.

Looking to Okura River Mouth

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.    

Other useful Links:

Long Bay Regional Reserve DOC

Vaughan Homestead

Bike the trail

 

Parnell rose gardens loop

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. 
Historic St Stephens Church and Cemetary
Historic St Stephens Church and Graveyard – built 1859
Walk Time40 – 75 mins – 2.1km (yellow)
Surface99% Paved
Difficulty2/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs3/5 – Steep up and down to/from Judges Bay.
Lots of stairs to and from Parnell Baths.
Check out your suitable options below.
FacilitiesToilets, Water, BBQ, Tables, Seats, Swimming
Pool and Beach, Restaurant/Cafe
HighlightsGardens, Views, History

Click here to open the Google Map in a separate tab or tap the icon in the top right of this map.

Download a pdf version of the Parnell Rose Gardens Loop Map

Parnell Rose Garden Loop Track Description

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.

Parnell Rose Gardens Nancy Steen Garden Fountain
Relax by the Nancy Steen Garden Fountain

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.

Views from Dove Meyer Robinson Park and Parnell Rose Gardens Track
Views from Dove Meyer Robinson Park Track

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.

Once the walk is completed, consider lunch or dinner at the Redwall Chinese Restaurant or some food/coffee at the famous Rosies Cafe.

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!

Parnell Rose Gardens and Judges Bay levation
Parnell Rose Gardens Elevation

Other useful Links:

Sir Dove Meyer Robinson

Parnell Rose Gardens Information

Parnell Baths 

St. Stephens Church

Redwall Chinese Restaurant

Rosie Cafe – Gladstone Rd

5 Cool walks in auckland

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.

1. Albany Trig Track

Albany Trig Track Waterfall
Tranquility in the bush by the waterfall

The Albany Trig Track is a stunning loop walk with plenty of splendid NZ native bush. The walk culminates in reaching the Trig and along the walk provides plenty of views around northern Auckland.

Click here for a track description and Google Map of the walk

A couple of other closeby walks that also wind through stunning NZ bush are Albany Totara Walkway and the Torbay Rata Track

2. Point View Reserve

Point View Reserve Trig
Stunning Views can be seen from the Trig

Point View Reserve has beautiful NZ bush and some of the best views in Auckland. This is a steep walk with plenty of stairs, so does require a certain level of fitness.

Click here for a track description and Google Map of the walk

Another nearby track that I run often is the
Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway.

3. Moire Park

This bush walk is out west and skirts the football grounds and stream. There are wonderful views back towards the Auckland Harbour Bridge and an excellent children’s playground.

Click for a more detailed description of this walk.

4. Awaruku Bush Reserve

650 year old kahikatea tree in Awaruku Bush Reserve
Giant 650 year old kahikatea tree

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!

Click this link for more information and the Google Map

Long Bay Reserve also has plenty of tracks in the bush. I currently do not have a Google Map of this – should hopefully be loaded soon!

5. Dingle Dell

This is a beautiful bush walk nestled in among Auckland’s leafy St. Heliers. Complete a circuit via the St. Heliers Beach waterfront and enjoy a nice cold ice cream!

Click here for a further track description.

Family walk around Panmure Basin

It takes only 30 minutes to walk around the 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).

The walking route is also suitable for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only). 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.

Description: Mostly level path, only 2 slight inclines. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Mt Wellington, boats, water birds
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4 kms)
Start: Panmure Train Station MAP

Stay on track… download this walk (AC-045 Panmure Basin) for free HERE



Kepa Bush

Walks in AucklandKepa 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

St Johns Bush

Walks in AucklandToday was my first visit to St Johns Bush. This little gem of a nature walk is in a reserve of beautiful native trees and bush, with a stream and a mighty Kauri tree.
This is a great spot to take vistors to show them native New Zealand bush without having to drive to the Waitekere Ranges.

The only sounds we could hear were the calling of the birds, the rain dripping off the trees and the running of the stream. All this in an urban area!

We arrived via a back entrance so we got a little lost at first, however once we found the main entrance and a map, it all became clear.

There is no nearby cafe, so we drove up to nearby Meadowbank shops and found a choice of 3 cafes.

Download this walk for free here or for longer walks that take in the St Johns area see Apirana St Johns Loop and Saint Johns Explorer

Walks in Auckland