Category Archives: Teen friendly walks

These teen-friendly short walks allow you, as an independent teenager, to travel by public transport to places where you can explore and discover urban Auckland. You can take packed lunches, have the freedom to roam and still be in cellpone contact if required.

Whitford Beach – turanga creek walk

Whitford Beach Track
Coastal walkway along Turanga Creek

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. 

Walk Time 60 – 90 minutes
SurfaceDirt and Gravel
Difficulty2 – easy walking, some steepish sections
Buggies/WheelchairsYes – be aware some sections are quite steep
FacilitiesNo facilities
HighlightsGood 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.

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

Download a printable version of the Whitford Beach Turanga Creek Loop Map

Tree-lined track
Tree-lined track towards Potts Rd

Whitford Beach Walkway Description

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.

Whitford Beach Track Elevation
Whitford Beach Turanga Creek Track Elevation
Turanga Creek
Turanga Creek

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

 

Unsworth heights to rosedale park

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.

Unsworth walkway
Unsworth walkway with grass, bush and activities
Walk Time1 hour to 3 hours
SurfacePaved (plus options for bush-walking)
Difficulty1 (bushwalks 2)
Buggies/WheelchairsSuitable for both on the paved walkway
FacilitiesPlaygrounds, toilets, drinking water, sports fields, frisbee golf course, cafe closeby
HighlightsEasy access, beautiful native bush, open spaces and many activities.

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

Unsworth to Rosedale Walkway Description

Boardwalk in native bush
Unsworth Heights boardwalk

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.   

Unsworth walkway
Unsworth walkway with grass, bush and activities

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.

Unswroth Reserve Entrance from Goldfinch Rise
Unswroth Reserve Entrance from Goldfinch Rise

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.

Unsworth bush track can get muddy when wet
Unsworth bush track can get muddy when wet

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.

Cafe Drina
Cafe Drina on Paul Matthews Drive

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.

Unsworth Heights Playground
Unsworth Reserve Playground

Rosedale Park frisbee golf course target
Rosedale Park frisbee golf

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Complete the walk to Rosedale utilising the main paved/boardwalk. This is a wide and easy walk, suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.
  3. 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.
  4. Follow the track through the sports field, rather than follow the track around the road.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
Unsworth bush showing the fauna and track
Unsworth bush track accessed from a range of entrances

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!

Unsworth to Rosedale Elevation
Unsworth Heights to Rosedale Elevation

Links to other walk information:

Unsworth Reserve Loop Track

Find information on the “Explore the Shore” series of books which lists Rosedale Park in its walks

Cafe Drina

Mangere Mountain: historic & spectacular

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. 
Landscape view of Auckland from Mangere Mountain
Views of Auckland from Mangere Mountain
Walk Time60 – 90 mins – 2.92km (yellow)
SurfaceGravel or Grass Tracks
Difficulty3/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs3/5 – 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.
FacilitiesToilets, Seats, Football Fields, Playground,
Skatepark
HighlightsCity Views, Harbour Views, Craters,
Maori 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 Mangere Mountain Printable Map

Mangere Mountain Tracks Description

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.

Mangere Mountain Trig
Mangere Mountain Peaks

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.

Maori Terracing and Palisades

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.

Mangere Mountain grass track to summit
Mangere Mountain Track to Knoll

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.

Mangere Mountain Domain Elevation
Mangere Mountain Domain Walkways Elevation

Other useful Links:

Mangere Mountain Education Centre

Geological Information

Auckland Council Mangere Mountain Restoration Article

Mangere Bridge Website with current local news

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

Rangitoto island

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.

Walk Time1.5 – 2 hours return to summit, plus side walks.
1/2 day to full day to circumnavigate the island.
SurfaceFormed track – lots of loose, fine scoria
Difficulty3/5
Buggies/Wheelchairs0/5 – most tracks not suitable. Vehicle Road is ok.
FacilitiesToilets
HighlightsViews, Lava Caves, Bush, Geology, Swimming

Get there by Ferry, your own boat or kayak!

Catch a short ferry ride from the Auckland Downtown or Devonport Ferry Terminals. Click here to access Fullers Ferry information and purchase tickets.

Fullers Ferry takes you to Rangitoto Island
Fullers Ferry takes you to Rangitoto Island (photo from HERA)

What to see and do?

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.

Walking through native bush on  Rangitoto Island
Walking through native bush on Rangitoto Island

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. 

Rangitoto Island Elevation to the summit and the Lava Caves (far right point)
Elevation for the around the Island Track, finishing prior to returning to the wharf

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.

Hobsonville Point walkway

Tree-lined Hobsonville Point Park

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.

Walk Time1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 45 mins, approx 6km
SurfacePaved
Difficulty1/5 – some steep sections
Buggies / wheelchairs5/5 – Track is suitable
DogsYes – on leach plus some off-leash areas
FacilitiesPlayground, Toilets, Water, BBQ, Tables, Seats
Why this track?Views, Coastal, Park, Historic Homes

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

Hobsonville Point Walkway Description

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.

The elevation only rises and falls a maximum of about 12m in the entire route, the largest being the detour up Harrier Point where there are stairs. Note: you do not have to take this detour to complete the loop.

Links to other walk information:

Hobsonville Point Walkway Summary 

Hobsonville Point Walkway Brochure

Hobsonville Point Website

West Harbour Loop

Have  a picnic with a view to Auckland City
Have a picnic with a view of  the Harbour & Auckland City
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 walk to add to your list!
Walk Time60 – 75 mins – 4.5km (yellow)
Surface99% Paved
Difficulty2/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs3/5 – Steep around & past Luckens Reserve
FacilitiesPlayground, Tpilets, Water, BBQ, Tables, Seats
HighlightsViews, Coastal, Native Bush, Park

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

Download a pdf version of the West Harbour Loop Map

West Harbour Loop Track Description

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.

West Harbour Loop Elevation Map – note the steep sections up to Luckens Reserve and then to the turn around point.

Other useful Links:

West Harbour Circuit Information

West Harbour Circuit Brochure

Luckens Reserve and Beach Information

Kingsland-Mt Eden Loop

This Auckland walk takes you from Kingsland Train Station (with views of Mt Albert), touches the city end of Dominion Road, Eden Quarter, and through the suburban streets of Mt Eden, to Mt Eden Village and return.

Kingsland, AucklandYou can enjoy the tree lined footpaths and beautiful old homes.  And this walk makes it very apparent that Eden Park is really in Kingsland.

You can choose to take your time and stop at various shopping precints along the route or do the 90 minute walk in one gulp!

Description: Mainly level paths and steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Kingsland, Dominion Road, Mt Eden Shops; residential homes
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7.0 kms). Dogs on-leash. One small children’s playground.
Start: Kingsland Train Station MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide ( AC-065 Kingsland-Mt Eden Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Kingsland Explorer

Today we explored a walk that we have driven past many times on the North Western Motorway.  This short walk in central Auckland starts off at Kingsland Railway Station, and explores the shops, residential streets, reserve and park in the local area (and like all of our circular Auckland walks – you may choose to start from other places along the route).

DSC00042Kingsland is full of character with interesting olde worlde shops, cafes, bars and pubs which were a great feature for the 2011 Rugby Word Cup.  Sitting in the cafe, you could imagine that you had gone back in time. Our retail discovery was a Made in New Zealand shop called Mixt Art & Design which has some very unique products.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Kingsland Shops, cottage style homes, bush track
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Off new North Road
Start: Kingsland Railway Station MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-064 Kingsland Explorer) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

 

 

Orewa Te Ara Tahuna shared path

Today we headed north out of Auckland to Orewa to walk around the Te Ara Tahuna shared path.  This cycleway/walkway encircles the Orewa Estuary for a distance of 7.58km.  It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to walk it at a leisurely pace.

The tide was going out as we walked around anti-clockwise.  It is a diverse walk, starting from the car park by the Estuary Arts CentreMAP

Orewa Estuary

We walked past beautiful houses and gardens set along the path, crossed bridges, walked on the edge of farmland with picturesque bales of hay and past mangroves – arriving back to the view of the ocean along the Hibiscus Coast Highway.

Look out for all the different wetland birdlife. You will also see kauri trees, pohutukawa trees, cabbage trees and flax. There are picnic tables available at the Orewa end, as well as a skate park.  Benches provide views of the estuary and take the time to admire the beautifully carved wooden seats (six in total as of today’s date).

The cycleway is ideal for families with children who are competent cyclists.  The pathway is a mix of concrete, bitumen and loose gravel.  Be sure to have snacks and drinks with you to keep up the energy levels. And if the weather is appropriate, take beach gear for a refreshing swim afterwards.

There are now public toilets at MetroPark in Millwater (about halfway round) and a coffee lounge,dairy and other shops at the Millwater Parkway shops.

We stopped off at Olivers for a delicious lunch accompanied by a wonderful musician.

Download the Auckland Transport Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Map or pick up a free map from the Orewa Citizens Advice Bureau.

Apirana St Johns Loop

This walk makes use of the reserves within walking distance of Glen Innes Train Station. We visit the horse paddocks of Apirana Reserve with views of Mount Wellington, Eastern Beach and on a clear day, the Coromandel (this is part of the 7.5km  Point to Point Walkway) and then walk through the native bush within St Johns Bush.

Apirana Reserve is part of the Point to Point Walkway
Apirana Reserve is part of the Point to Point Walkway

St Johns Bush is a green corridor for birds flying across Auckland.  There is a wetland area with native fish.  This area is home to over 165 different species of plants.  The kauri tree is over 150 years old.

Joining up reserves to minimise street walking is a challenge, but we are very fortunate to have so many green spaces in Auckland. Our dream is that some time in the future, the reserves will be linked together to help us commute safely by bicycle or on foot (and hopefully wheelchairs), from one area to another, minimising road use.

Dogs- off leash exercise area in Merton Reserve.

Description: A mix of level and hilly paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: St Johns Bush native trees and ferns, residential housing, reserves, horse paddocks,views of Eastern Beach and the Coromandel, city skyline view
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5 kms)
Start: Glen Innes Train Station  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-061 Apirana Saint Johns Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 3” and “Best of the East”).

Saint Johns Explorer

We have previously explored St Johns Bush and wanted to incorporate the beautiful nature reserve into one of our longer circular walks.

St Johns Bush native ferns
St Johns Bush native ferns

This walk does just that, as well as passes through the reserves and playgrounds (Rutherford Reserve has a flying fox) within the suburb of Saint Johns. This walk suits adults as well as primary school age children. St Johns Bush has signposts to help us learn about the native trees and ferns.

Description: A mix of level and slightly hilly paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  St Johns Bush native trees and ferns, residential housing, reserves
Short Walks in Auckland: Urban BushTime: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.0 kms)
Dog off leash area: Allen Johnston Reserve
Start: Ipswich Place, Saint Johns  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-060 Saint Johns Explorer) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).

Mission Bay to Okahu Bay Loop

The loop walk in Auckland from Mission Bay to Okahu Bay takes in the views of Auckland Harbour from the M J Savage Memorial Park (the Auckland Explorer Bus stops here) and the Bastion Point Marae.  The bright sunshine and blue skies today, enhanced the scenes.

Mission Bay Auckland NZMission Bay is a great little seaside village that always seems to have a buzz with it’s cafes, restaurants, harbour promenade, famous fountain and sandy beach.

Okahu Bay has a sandy beach and on the other side of Tamaki Drive is the Orakei Domain.  The Domain has an extensive children’s playground that includes a flying fox.

You may wish to linger at the Michael Joseph Savage (first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the welfare state) Memorial Park which overlooks Auckland Harbour.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. Caution: part of the walk  is a grassy track.

To see:  Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, Orakei Wharf, MJ Savage Memorial, Bastion Point.
Coastal walks in Auckland part twoTime: approx. 50 minutes (about 4.55kms)
Start: Mission Bay Reserve or MJ Savage Memorial carpark

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochures over at our Walks Store  (AC-018 Mission Bay to Okahu Bay Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 2”).

Walks for teens

If you have been out walking around Auckland with your family as you have been growing up, being set free to go walking on your own will seem natural.

However, now that you are a teenager, if you haven’t had the opportunity to get out and explore Auckland , then we may be able to help.

As teens you love your freedom, but your parents will still want to be aware of where you are. Many of our short walks start from bus stops or train stations. Our self-guide walking brochures include a map and easy to follow detailed directions, which will hopefully keep you on track.

You could head off to explore on your own, with your best mate or a group of friends – your choice. You will get the chance to learn/improve map reading skills, find out how reliable (or not) the Auckland public transport system is, visit parts of Auckland that are new and interesting, and experience how quickly (or slowly) a parent will collect you when you have spent your fare home money.

To start, we have a good choice of free walk self-guide brochures that you can download – just enter your name and email address to get an email which will give you instructions. Fill in details HERE .

Here are 10 teen friendly walk ideas to get you going:
1. Walk around the volcanic crater called the Orakei Basin
2. Choose from 5 walks around Newmarket
3. Walk to the Auckland Museum from Britomart
4. Walk to the Wynyard Quarter from Britomart
5. Explore the Whau River walk in New Lynn
6. Walk alongside the Opanuku Stream in Henderson
7. Explore the Waikumete Cemetery in Glen Eden
8. From Devonport head up Mt Victoria and /or North Head
9. Coast to Coast walk from Britomart (or read the route backwards and start from Onehunga)
10. Walk from Greenwoods Corner to Cornwall Park or Pah Homestead

For more ideas for things to do, read: Free range teenagers

And just in case you didn’t know, this article explains how walking benefits teens.  Have fun and get walking!