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Orakei Basin Walkway extended

It’s been a while since we explored the Orakei Basin area.  The Auckland Council has done extensive work with the new boardwalks, repairing the slips on the bush track and concreting most of the walkway.

Families with young children would really appreciate having public toilets – there are none nearby. Either side of Lucerne Road there are steep inclines that could be unsuitable for parents to push a pram with their child in it, and also steep steps.

Orakei Basin Walkway © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedToday we explored extending the walk to include more of the surrounding suburb of Meadowbank – crossing bush-clad gullies and streams, the Waiatarua Bridge, the Orakei Creek Bridge and walking along Lucerne Road ridge.

This is a dog-friendly walk – the off leash area in the Orakei Basin Reserve between the waterski club and the carpark, is very popular.  The grassy area can be very muddy in the winter and gumboots are recommended.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths, steep 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.
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area.(See other Dog Friendly Walks)
To see: Wonderful views of Mt Eden and Auckland City skyline. Small areas of bush. Railway track. Birdlife. Volcano crater.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 6.45 kms) or the shorter route 45 minutes (about 3.45 kms).
Parking: Near Kings Plant Barn, off Orakei Road near train station.
Buses: to Orakei Train Station
(Please note: no public toilets)

Suggested Cafés:Kings Garden Cafe does very good coffee (and lunches) as does Cafe Greenfingers at the Palmers Garden Centre

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-017 Orakei Basin Explorer) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our books “Volcanoes” and “Best of the East”)

or…
You can download this free Orakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.

Orakei Basin walkway

The  Orakei Basin walkway upgrade that began in 2010 is complete. The concrete has been poured onto a new pathway on the Macpherson Track.  And it is fantastic! The bridge over the Orakei Creek is beautiful. Now Orakei and Meadowbank are connected by a boardwalk along the railway line that both pedestrians and cyclists can use.

Orakei basin walkway

There is a pathway from Orakei Railway station and under Orakei Road that leads directly onto the boardwalk that crosses Orakei Basin beside the railway line. It is now easier to catch the train to Orakei and walk around the basin, then return and stop at the Kings Plant Barn for refreshments at the cafe.
(* Teen friendly walk)

The morning was still, clear and sunny causing the reflections on the water to be almost perfect. This tidal lagoon is in a volcanic crater. It was high tide, which we were not expecting. This walk takes you through small patches of bush and up high onto the ridge for a view of the city skyline.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths, steep 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.
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area.(See other Dog Friendly Walks)
To see: Wonderful views of Mt Eden and Auckland City skyline. Small areas of bush. Railway track. Birdlife. Volcano crater.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (about 4 kms).
Parking: Near Kings Plant Barn, off Orakei Road near train station.
Buses: to Orakei Train Station
(Please note: no public toilets)

12 Volcano WalksSuggested Cafés:Kings Garden Cafe does very good coffee (and lunches) as does Cafe Greenfingers at the Palmers Garden Centre

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (GS-017 Orakei Basin walkway) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our book “Volcanoes”) or…you can download this free Orakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.

Mt Eden Walk Circuit

Mt Eden is one of the most popular places to visit in Auckland. Today’s walk around Mt Eden in  autumn sunshine and clear skies was wonderful.  We enjoyed the fly past of the Spitfires and DC3’s at 10am to commemorate Anzac Day.

This walk around Mt Eden takes you along the road and smaller tracks up and around the summit and crater, to give you an idea of the immense size of this volcano.

walks in Auckland

View of Rangitoto Island from Mt Eden, AucklandFriends of Maungawhau have kept up with planting native trees, so that in time, the mountain will have improved heritage protection.

Since our last visit, the work undertaken on the water reservoir has been  completed, so we have added an extra optional loop to take in a bigger view of Auckland City and the harbour.

This very popular visitor’s site gives fine views of Eden Park (home of the All Black’s Rugby Team), the Waitakere Ranges, Rangitoto Island, Mt Victoria, North Head, Mt Hobson and more…Why visit Mount Eden?

There is a good sized childrens playground (and a flying fox).  And Mt Eden village offers a good choice of cafes.

Dogs – this walk includes an off leash dog exercise area.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather. Sturdy shoes required to cope with loose gravel, tree roots and small rocks. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet.
To see: Volcano crater, Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views and the Waitakere Hills.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.74 kms).
Start: Owens Road (off Stokes Road/Mt Eden Road) MAP

12 Volcano WalksStay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-004 Mt Eden Walk Circuit) and our Book Store (“Volcanoes”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).

 

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Mount Eden is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Three Kings | walks in Auckland

Walks in AucklandBig King is all that remains of the Three Kings volcano cones after the others were quarried away. 15,000 years ago there used to be three scoria mounds; the result of Auckland’s largest explosion crater measuring 800 metres across and 200 metres deep.

The lava flow from this volcanic center overflowed into a 10 kilometer ‘river’ that terminated at Meola Reef at the Waitemata Harbour.

This circular walk in Auckland takes us to the top of what remains of the  volcano, parks and playgrounds  with views of Mount Eden, One Tree Hill, Rangitoto, Manukau Harbour and the City skyline.

Big King Reserve is a favourite place for dog lovers as this is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Not wheel-friendly. Moderate fitness. Caution: muddy and slippery paths when wet. Sturdy shoes recommended.
To see: Volcanoes, gravel pit, parks and playgrounds, 1960’s state housing. Wonderful views of Manukau Harbour, South Head and the Waitakere Hills. Count the number of volcanoes you can see.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 3.45 kms)
Start: Main carpark off Duke Street (off Mt Eden Road) MAP

12 Volcano WalksSuggested cafes:
1) Orvieto, (dog friendly) Mt Eden Road
2) The Eiffel Cafe (further south down Mt Eden Road towards Mt Albert Road)
Both cafes serve great coffee and tasty food.

Stay on track find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store (AC-002 Big King) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog friendly part one).

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12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Three Kings is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Mt Albert and Meola Creek circuit

Today I was shown an interesting waterway – Meola Creek.  It is hidden between the St Lukes shopping hub and Mt Albert Grammar School. Meola Creek is the result of run-off from Mt Albert, Mt Eden and Three Kings and runs over and under ground (in pipes) out to Waitemata Harbour at Meola Reef.

Walks in AucklandThe St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) has been very active getting Meola Creek clean, the area planted with natural habitat and a boardwalk built (Roy Clements Treeway). Elizabeth Walker, a member of STEPS very kindly showed me around.  This historic map clearly shows Meola Creek. Elizabeth has since shown me one of the sources of Meola Creek – an overgrown area covered in toxic weeds, behind Haverstock Road.  It would be wonderful to see the area restored to allow more water fowl to live there.

The view from Mt Albert across to the city skyline and the top of Rangitoto Island shows how spread out the city of Auckland is. There is an off leash dog area in Kerr-Taylor Park and a fenced off-leash area at the top of Mt Albert. (See other Dog Friendly Walks)

HISTORY. Nearby is the historic mansion ‘Alberton‘ on the corner of Kerr-Taylor Avenue and Mt Albert Road.  Further historical information can be found in the archives of the Mt Albert Historical Society here and here. ‘In old Mt Albert’ by Dick Scott (this book is available from Auckland Libraries) tells the history of Mt Albert from 1911 to 1961. You may wish to download the Mount Albert Heritage Walks brochure.

To see where Meola Creek spills out into Waitemata Harbour head to: Western Springs and Meola Reef

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: Muddy and slippery when wet.
To see: Volcano crater, boardwalk and water birds, reclaimed creek vegetation, Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, glimpses of Manukau Harbour and the Waitakere Hills.
Off leash dog areas. Children’s playground.
Time: approx. 60-75 minutes, about 5.4 kms. MAP
Suggested cafesPyrenees French Delicatessen and Parkside Cafe

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC023 Mt Albert Meola Creek) and our Book Store (Volcanoes).

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Mt Albert is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Mangere Mountain Walk

walks in aucklandI have driven past Mangere Mountain many times without realising where it was. I knew of it, but hadn’t seen it. I discovered it last year and found that it’s a huge and unspoiled volcano with fabulous views across the Manukau Harbour. Mangere Mountain has little exposure from the motorway to the airport, but on it’s western side it looms high (106 metres above sea level), from the Harbour shores. This volcano does not have paved paths and roads like Mt Eden or One Tree Hill. It erupted about 18,000 years ago and is in the most original condition.

Dogs – on leash.

Other Mangere WalksMangere Bridge to Onehunga LoopAmbury Park Farm WalkMangere Esplanade Loop

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkway, Ambury Regional Park, Villa Maria Winery and cafe, Butterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet. Suitable in dry weather. 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: Volcano crater and rim, Manukau Harbour views, views of other volcanoes.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (3.69kms)
Start: Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge Village There is a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.  (See other Dog Friendly Walks) Mangere Village has several cafes.

Find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store  (GS006 Mangere Mountain) and our Book Store (“Volcanoes”  and “Best of the South”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Mangere Mountain is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Lake Pupuke Takapuna

Today’s walk around Lake Pupuke in Takapuna was a discovery one.

Walks in AucklandI have been here only a few times – with my children when they were little and once to a garden sculpture exhibition.

I had not realised that you can walk the circumference, although unfortunately not completely by the lake edge.

However the bits by the lake edge – Killarney Park, Henderson Park, Sylvan Park, Kitchener Park and the Quarry Lake Reserve more than make up for the street walking.  There is lots to see at the lake edge, from the water birds to the water activities (sailing, wind-surfing, canoeing and model yacht racing). For more info about Lake Pupuke click here.

Lake Pupuke walkway track was muddy in places but would be ideal walking from November to perhaps June.  From September to December the path from Henderson Park to Sylvan Park is closed to allow the water birds space to nest and breed.

Even though the day was cold, windy and with spots of heavy rain, it was still a very enjoyable walk.  We will be back to document the Lake Pupuke walk very soon (and hopefully the day will be sunnier).

December 2011
We came back on a lovely summer day. We stopped and had a delicious iced coffee at the Cafe French Rendez-vous beside The Pumphouse.

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: Muddy and slippery when wet.
To see: Lake activities, water birds
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7kms)
Start: The Pumphouse carpark (MAP)

Volcano Walks in AucklandThis walk  (AN-024 Lake Pupuke) and other walks are now available from the Walks Store  and our Book Store (Volcanoes).

 

 

12 Volcano Walks

12 Volcano Walks

Lake Pupuke is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Spectacular views from Mt Victoria Devonport

walks in AucklandToday was clear and sunny, which called for a walk and climb to look over Auckland from up high from Mount Victoria. Mt Victoria provides spectacular views – it is higher than North Head and closer to Auckland City. This walk has a dog friendly off-leash area. (See other Dog Friendly Walks) And Devonport’s village-style shops and cafes is always a great place to visit and walk around. It’s fun to arrive in Devonport by ferry. And you could spend the whole day there – spend half the day at North Head and the other half at Mt Victoria with a lunch and shop browse in-between…..

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 views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City, historical buildings.  Mount Cambria Reserve – A volcanic cone that is now a park, having been quarried away for roading, garden walls and ship’s ballast. Victoria Picture Palace/Theatre – built in 1912, oldest cinema in NZ. Fort Mt Victoria and the Disappearing Gun. St Francis De Sales Catholic Church, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Devonport Cemetery
History: http://www.devonport.co.nz/heritage.htm
Time: approx. 60 minutes. MAP

12 Volcano WalksSuggested Cafés: 1) Along King Edward Parade 2) Many in Devonport Village 3) Five Loaves@ 29 Church St

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-020 Mt Victoria Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (Volcanoes).

More: Devonport Walks and Trails 

 

 

St Heliers and the Hauraki Gulf

Walks in AucklandWhat a fabulous day for a walk in Auckland – warm, sunny, no wind….and there were so many people out and about taking advantage of the great weather!

St Heliers is a buzzy little place on Tamaki Drive with a small selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from for refreshments.

Todays walk provides spectacular views looking over the Hauraki Gulf to the small islands and the impressive Rangitoto volcano. And then onto Glover Park another of Auckland’s volcano remains – this one is an ‘explosion crater’.

This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths. 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 views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5kms) Map

Find this walk over at our Walks Store (AE-016 St Heliers and Glover Park) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog Friendly part 2, Best of the East)

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Glover Park is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Western Springs and Meola Reef

It was great to see so many people, with their children and their dogs, out enjoying walking today at Western Springs and Meola Reef.

Other things to do here are to visit the Auckland Zoo and MOTAT – Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. And have a tram ride!

Western Springs Park has a warm spot in my memories. My son loved coming here when he was little. He would ride his tricycle (and bicycle when he got bigger) around this man made lake. He had special places where he would have to stop to participate in the imaginative story he had going on in his head with characters from books we used to read.

Western Springs has a mostly level path suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and children’s scooters and trikes. There are ducks, geese, swans and eels to feed, so be sure to bring your bread scraps. And there is a fabulous playground with a BBQ area nearby. “Timespanners” view: War, water and birds at Western Springs

Meola Reef  is Dog walk friendly with off-leash areas – dogs romp around in a big wide open area. This is a mostly flat walk, apart from one lot of steps in Jaggers Bush.

And when your dog gets tired, there is a seat to rest on…

There are two great places to enjoy your picnic – on the many picnic tables in Western Springs, or out at the point of Meloa Reef.

Unfortunately there is not a cafe within walking distance. But there is a van that sells coffee in a paper cup and icecreams in a cone just by the entrance to Western Springs from the Zoo carpark and not far from the children’s playgrounds. (Weekends only, not July and August).

To see where one of the sources to Meola Creek begins, head to: Mt Albert and Meola Creek

Description: Mainly level paths plus 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: Waitemata Harbour views, a natural spring-fed lake with ducks, swans, geese and long-finned eels; stream, trams, planes.
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7 kms)
Start: Great North Road (Western Springs gardens) opposite Western Springs. MAP


Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AC-011 Western Springs – Meola) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our three books “Volcanoes”, “Coastal part 2”, “Dog Friendly part 1”).