Category Archives: Walks in Auckland North Shore

The North Shore has its own climate – the locals will tell you its always warmer! The North Shore walks will take you onto volcanoes. And along beaches and through bush. There are fabulous views looking back towards the city and out to the Hauraki Gulf.

Centennial Park walking tracks

Centennial Park (inland from Campbells Bay on Auckland’s North Shore) is a very large reserve that contains a regenerating native forest. There are 8 named tracks (Walking Bus, Aberdeen, Mamaku, Kohekohe, Bayliss, Bayliss, Tui and Magnolia) and it pays to have a map with you so that you have an idea as to where you are.  There is a nature trail with numbered plants and trees if you are inclined to learn about the bush. We learnt that “Mamaku” is a tall edible tree fern also known as a black tree fern. (You can download an Auckland Council map and brochure here to plan your own route.)

There is a picnic area near the car park. The nearest children’s playground and public toilets are at Kennedy Park (Castor Bay). And the nearest cafe is Little Salt (82 Beach Road).

Description: Bush tracks, some smooth, some rough.  Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Nature Trail, stream and regenerating bush.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.0 kms).
Parking:  Avenue of Remembrance, off Beach Road, Campbells Bay. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AN-111 Centennial Park Loop) over at our Walks Store.

Eskdale and Highbury Reserves

This loop bush walk from Birkenhead War Memorial Park, through the reserves of Ridgewood, Eskdale and Birkenhead Domain was slightly challenging as the map that we had obtained did not fit the directions. On top of that, some of the signposts within Birkenhead Domain were confusing – giving opposing time and directions. Having a map with us did prevent us going around in circles!  It did turn out to be a wonderful bush walk and the birdsong was great to hear.

UPDATE January 2015.
Our third attempt with a more detailed map and a pen to take notes, kept us on track and now we can document this walk with clear instructions.

Eskdale Reserve and Birkenhead Domain have native trees, nikau palms and ti-trees. The sounds of the bush and the stream give you the illusion of remoteness, until you emerge at Birkenhead Cemetery. The main track is in good repair, and the minor tracks have loose stones and roots. Sturdy shoes are recommended. Expect mud in winter!

Nearby cafes in Highbury Shopping Centre or Sausalito at Northcote. Dogs off leash exercise area within Birkenhead Domain (check signs). No playgrounds.

Description: Mostly level paths with some steps and steep inclines. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with sturdy flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Bush, stream.
Time: approx. 75 minutes (about 5.84 kms).
Parking:  Mahara Avenue, off Highbury Bypass. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AN-096 Birkenhead – Eskdale Reserves)over at our Walks Store.

Greenhithe Loop Walk

Greenhithe Loop Walk in Auckland Copyright Unleashed Ventures Limited 2014We used to visit a friend in Greenhithe but we had never stopped to explore the village.  Today we finally got to walk and discover just what a diverse and interesting place it is.

 

We started off at the Greenhithe shops and walked our way around the beautiful homes, the hidden creek, the horse paddocks and stretches of bush; finishing up having a delicious light lunch at the The Collins Cafe & Bar (20 Greenhithe Road).  The walk ticked all the boxes for us.

For families, there is a children’s playground and a skate park nearby (and public toilets) in Collins Park.
Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Pond, stream, bush.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.0 kms).
Parking:  Greenhithe Road. Map

Stay on track… Find this walk (AN-104 Greenhithe Loop) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store

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

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

 

Eskdale Reserve Bush walk

If you fancy a bush walk without having to travel out of Auckland, then Eskdale Reserve and Birkenhead Domain may hit the spot. You could take a picnic to eat on the grass. And if you enjoy mountain bike riding, then this is an option too.  Be prepared for dog walkers (dogs on-leash).

This shady bush walk is suitable for hot summer days or misty rain days. The native bush includes nikau palms, young kauri trees and ponga tree ferns. The Kaipatiki Stream runs through the reserves.

We started our walk from Glenfield Road. MAP

The Eskdale Reserve bush tracks are highlighted in the Kaipatiki Explorer maps which you can download HERE.

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


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”).

 

 

Albany Reserve Loop

Today was our first walking exploration in the Albany area of Auckland. Previously I had stopped a couple of times for coffee at the Wine Box cafe and we had attended conventions at the North Harbour Stadium. So the area was not totally new to us.

Albany Reserve Loop Walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedAs usual we were surprised at what we uncovered – a beautiful bush walk along a stream. The previous night had been very stormy (the news reported that there were over 1000 lightening strikes) and the stream was very full and flowing very fast! The well formed track following the stream however was not muddy as we would have expected.

However we did get “temporarily displaced” in a bush area(which involved climbing over two wire fences), and we will return to document a clear route.

In the early days the most popular means of transport from Greenhithe, Albany and Paremoremo to other areas whether on the North Shore or in Auckland was by water. Many wharves were built on both
sides of the banks of Lucas Creek and Hellyer’s Creek. Rowboats were common for travelling the short distance between Paremoremo and Greenhithe, while launches shipped passengers and goods to and
from Auckland. Regular shipping services became very important to settlers in the area who relied on sales of their fruit and dairy farming products in Auckland to make a living.

The Landing was an area that served as a terminus for the transportation of passengers and goods by water. It was demolished in the 1930s and has since been redeveloped for residential use.
Source: Auckland Council

The route begins and ends at Kell Park.  It starts off along a concrete path.  After which it heads into the bush, following the stream. We were impressed by the bush, the palms and the giant totara trees. The loop walk  returns via Massey University.

Dogs – off leash exercise area along bush track in Albany Reserve.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps.  Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: New Zealand bush, streams
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms).
Start:  Kell Park, Albany. MAP

Find this walk (AN-091 Albany Massey Loop) and other walks at our Walk Store.

Devonport Narrow Neck Loop

Narrowneck Beach © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe dark grey sky and strong winds did not bode well for our walk from Narrow Neck Beach (north of Devonport) to Ngaratinga Bay – a mini coast to coast loop. However, we did stay dry and the walk was invigorating and very enjoyable with plenty of interest along the route.

Fort Takapuna Reserve stands guard above Narowneck Beach and is one of four off leash dog exercise areas. The other off leash areas are: Ngaratina Park, Woodall Park and Cambria Reserve. Cheltenham Beach is off leash at certain times.

From Fort Takapuna Reserve there is a good view across Cheltenham Beach to North Head.

There is only a little of street walking and that provides a peek at the pretty Victorian style houses that Devonport is well known for.

If you have time, you may wish to stop at the Devonport Museum – you will pass by the entrance along the route.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: Wonderful Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, views of North Head and Mount Victoria, historical buildings & sites, Victorian style homes.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms).  Dog off leash areas. Children’s playgrounds.
Start:  Old Lake Road, Narrow Neck. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-090 Devonport Narrow Neck Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Devonport Ngataringa Loop

Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedWith the weather looking uncertain and the wish to keep our shoes out of the mud, today we headed over to one of our favourite places to walk in Auckland – Devonport. We were uncertain of where we were headed, and as it turned out, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well our circular route revealed itself.

As always, it is uplifting to walk along the esplanades and parades of Devonport with the view across the Gulf and to the skyline of the city and beyond. And then the joy of looking at the beautifully kept Victorian style homes.  Followed by the sounds of birds as we walked alongside Ngataringa Park.

Dogs – off leash exercise area in Ngataringa Reserve.

We are then spoilt for choice as to where to stop for refreshments, and choosing from the many cafes can take time!

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see:  Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, historical buildings, Victorian style homes.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms).
Parking:  In Devonport Village near ferry terminal or along King Edward Parade. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-089 Devonport Ngataringa Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Northcote Tuff Crater Loop

This loop walk that takes in Northcote’s volcanic Tuff Crater and Onepoto Domain is based on one from Margaret Scrymgeour’s booklet “Explore the Shore”.

Onepoto Domain NorthcoteWe started the walk from the children’s playground area at Onepoto Domain.  We had heard about the children’s cycle track and it is a really safe place to bring young children and their bikes.  The playgrounds looks like a lot of fun too (it has a flying fox).  It is a great place to have a picnic, feed the ducks and an ideal spot for parenting groups to meet up.

Onepoto Basin is another of Auckland’s explosion craters and it is the oldest dated, erupting about 250,000 years ago. The Maori name “Onepoto” means small beach (named after Halls Beach near Northcote Point).

Tuff Crater is another explosion crater (this one is filled with water), which is being restored to its natural state with a balanced ecosystem of native plants and wildlife, all with volunteer help. It was formed by explosive eruptions around the same time as Onepoto.
For more information about the Tuff Crater, you may wish to view this video. (please note that our loop walk includes part of the Tuff Crater. There are future plans to build a circular walkway completely around the Tuff Crater).

Tuff Crater - dogs on leash onlyDogs may be off-leash on the track within the Tuff Crater Reserve (according to Auckland Council  Bye-laws Department re phone call 3/6/2014).  There is a risk that they could disturb endangered bird life, so please keep them under control.  We do have a request for dog owners to pick up litter (as we did come across litter).
PLEASE NOTE: As of the 29th October 2014 the new dog rules for Tuff Crater – Dogs prohibited within the foreshore (mangroves) of Tuff Crater; on-leash on track around reserve.

Description: Bush tracks, steps, inclines. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, views across Auckland Harbour, native birds, volcanic crater
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dog friendly, but on leash only.
Parking: Onepoto Domain, Northcote.
Buses: Onewa Road, Northcote MAP

P1 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-085 Northcote Tuff Crater Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 1”).

 

Beach Haven Coastal Walk

The Beach Haven coastal walk on Auckland’s North Shore hugs to the coastline with views to Bayview, Hobsonville Point and the bush that runs alongside the Upper Harbour Highway. The route follows Hellyers Creek, then all the twists and turns of the small mangrove-filled inlets, and through trees filled with birdsong.

Beachaven Coastal walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedToday was rainy and windy – the yachts sailing out from Hobsonville Point were making the most of the winds.  But we were sheltered by the trees and small gullies.

This walk begins at the Community Creche entrance to Shepherd’s Park, where there is a children’s playground  a cyclists learning track and a fitness trail, as well as sports fields. The signs indicate that dogs must be kept on-leash (but we did see dogs off leash along coastal walkway).

If you wanted to make this a day outing, you could catch a ferry from Britomart to Beach Haven.  Bring a picnic lunch.

Description: Bush track, steps, inclines. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, views across Auckland Harbour, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Beach Haven Community Creche carpark.
Buses: Tramway Road stop on Beach Haven Road.
Ferry: to Beach Haven MAP

Cafe suggestion: CAFE AU BON COIN CAFE PATISSERIE

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-084 Beach Haven Coastal Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Bayview Giant Kauri Walk

Bayview Giant Kauri tree © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited We returned to Bayview on the North Shore to complete a circular walk in a different direction to our previous Bayview Coast and Bush Walk.

Today’s walk starts off in Lynn Reserve, and heads up a bush filled gully with a small stream, to a giant Kauri tree (over 2 metres in diameter and is said to be about 800 years old) among a grove of smaller kauri trees which are growing in Leigh Scenic Reserve.  It is awesome!

The route joins up with the Glenfield Coastal Walkway and heads around to the boat ramp and Manuka Reserve at the bottom of Manuka Road.  Hearing the song of the tui birds as we slowly walked up the incline of Manuka Road gave us great encouragement.

This walk through the bush and along the Upper Harbour coastline is not only beautiful, it provides a great workout if you are into fitness. It is also a fun family walk that includes two children’s playgrounds, plus dog off leash exercise areas.

The new playground at Lynn Reserve looks great, and in the week since we last visited, a children’s ‘learn to cycle track‘ has been installed.

Description: Bush track, steps, inclines and board walks. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, including Giant Kauri, small waterfalls, views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point, native birds.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.8 kms). Dog off leash areas. Three children’s playgrounds.
Parking: Lynn Road, Bayview near Glenfield.
Buses: 111 Lynn Road, Bayview MAP

P3 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-082 Bayview Giant Kauri Walk) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).