Tag Archives: America S Cup

Westhaven Loop Walk

It has been a while since we have headed down to Westhaven and Point Erin Park.  We found three good reasons to make a return visit. It seemed appropriate to be down at Auckland’s waterfront while TeamNZ was enduring their second race of the competition for the America’s Cup! We had watched the new pedestrian bridge crossing the motorway from the steep steps of Jacob’s Ladder being built, but still had not traversed it.  And the dark grey clouds threatened rain and we did not want to be a long way from shelter.

Westhaven Pedestrain BridgeAnd the results were…TeamNZ won their second race, the pedestrian bridge looks better when you are on it and we stayed dry!

Since we last visited,  the Council has built a new pathway that runs alongside the motorway, with panels that effectively screen the motorway traffic noise. It promises to be beautiful in December when the red flowers of the pohutukawa trees are in bloom.

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

Westhaven Promenade - short walks in Auckland

30th January 2015: The Westhaven Promenade is now open. This will form part of a 20km continuous walkway and cycleway that runs from Herne Bay in the west to Tamaki Drive in the east. Read more: Westhaven Promenade

 

Description: Mainly level paths, two flights of steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Running shoes suitable.
To see:  Auckland City views, Rangitoto Island views, harbour views, Harbour Bridge.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.24 kms).
Point Erin Park for Dog off leash area, Playground, Picnic site. Children’s scooter friendly apart from the steps.
Start: Westhaven Drive, Saint Mary’s Bay (Harbour Bridge end) MAP

Dog friendly walks in Auckland - part threeSuggested cafe: Sitting Duck

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-088 Westhaven Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

Walks in Auckland City

While most of our walks are within urban Auckland, we would like to encourage you to explore Auckland city’s Central Business District (CBD). For visitors on short stays, walking around Auckland city is the best way to explore and discover the backstreets and character.

Many of these walks in Auckland City start from Britomart at the Auckland Harbour end of Queen Street.

The Auckland City CBD discovery walk – starts from Britomart. This walk brochure is free for people who download our FREE report ‘What to do and see in Auckland’. This walk takes you past historical buildings and through parks and reserves. We also take in lanes, arcades and courtyards.

Victoria Park and Markets – begins at Victoria Park Markets and takes you through the suburban streets of Freemans Bay up to Ponsonby Road via the well-hidden gem of Western Park.

Auckland Coast to Coast Walk – starts from Britomart and takes about 4 hours non-stop.  It is split into 4 stages, with directions on where to catch a bus to return to Britomart at the end of each stage. This walk is full of variety from kauri trees, to the Parnell shops and cafes, churches and cathedrals, views of the harbours, volcanoes and Waitekere Ranges and an art collection.

Karangahape Road and Parks – starts from BritomartWalk the back streets and parks of Auckland City.  This walk provides fine views of Mt Eden (down the side roads off Karangahape Road), the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower, and introduces you to the eclectic shopping strip of Ponsonby and Karangahape Road.

Auckland Harbour and Point Erin – starts from Victoria Park Market which is within an easy walk from Britomart. This Auckland walk not only has fabulous views, it is mostly flat (apart from the steep steps at Jacob’s Ladder ), Victoria Park has a great children’s playground and skate park, and there are beautiful old homes and moored yachts to enjoy. View the Auckland Harbour Bridge up close.

Wynyard Quarter Waterfront – starts from Britomart.  Explore the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Quarter boating scene and cafes.  See where the America’s Cup yachts were based.  There is always something to see along the way…

Auckland Museum – starts from Britomart. This mini-tour walk takes in the Auckland Domain,Albert Park, Queen Street, Chancery Lane, Vulcan Lane, High Street, and old Government House.

Auckland Art Gallery – starts from Britomart. The route winds through parks, arcades and past historic buildings.

We have also put together 5 walks for the University of Auckland from their city-side Symonds Street campus.

If you have the time and wish to have a break from the City head to Devonport: Mount Victoria and North Head – start from Britomart and walk to the Ferry Building to catch the ferry to Devonport.  Explore the historic houses and buildings beneath Mount Victoria and/or walk up to North Head.  Stop in Devonport Village to browse the shops and refresh at cafes. Or catch a train or bus to Newmarket and spend the day walking and exploring.

Things to do in Auckland

There are many outdoor activities and things to do in Auckland, and I would like to share with you one thing that won’t cost you too much money and won’t take up too much of your time – and thats by going on one our short walks in Auckland!

When you go for a short walk in Auckland, you will not only feel energised from being outdoors in the fresh air, you will also be able to experience the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Auckland. Life is such a rush these days, and a short walk gives you the chance to slow down, unwind and maybe discover something about Auckland that you weren’t aware of previously.

What makes Auckland special?

Auckland is a city with lots of green spaces and native bush. There are lots of places to walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are some areas that are so close to residential house or city streets and yet you could feel very isolated because of the surrounding native bush.

I have spent the last three years finding new places to explore and I am continually being pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness and diversity of Auckland.

Here are seven good reasons to get out walking in Auckland.


1. Volcanoes and Craters

New Zealand is famous for the All Blacks and Rugby, winning the America’s Cup, skiing in Queenstown, Sir Edmund Hillary and the flightless Kiwi. But did you know that the Auckland region contains 55 volcanoes? (Don’t worry, they are extinct.) Two well-known volcanoes are Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. Both have great views from the summits and walking paths around the volcano’s crater, and through fields that feed cattle and sheep (and there aren’t many cities with sheep farms handy to the city center). Mangere Mountain is a volcano with two craters and is more rugged and natural. Rangitoto is an island that can be viewed from many parts of Auckland – you can catch a ferry and then walk to the top of Rangitoto from where you can get great views of the Gulf.

If you would like to learn more about Auckland’s volcanoes, I recommend this very good book Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide
By Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon


2. Beaches

Because Auckland is on an isthmus that goes between two harbours, the shores have many inlets and beaches, making it great for sailing and swimming. However, do take care when swimming – the tidal flow in the Harbours can be strong.


3. First settlers

The Maori people were the first to settle in Auckland and their traces can be found in and around the volcanoes and craters. More information about the Maori people and their way of life before white man came, can be viewed at the Auckland Museum. When the Europeans arrived they built their fences for their fields from the volcanic rock.


4. European History

New Zealand is a young country compared to America and Europe. Man-made structures are fairly recent. The cemetery in Symonds Street under the Grafton Bridge was established in 1848. Part of it has not been maintained which is quite sad because it is a fascinating place to wander around.

North Head looks across the harbour to Auckland City. The strategic position made it one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. During World Wars I and II the fort was expanded as part of Auckland’s coastal defence system.

Pah Homestead in Hillsborough was built between 1877 and 1879. It has recently been restored and now houses an art collection.

Other historical buildings in the Auckland region are listed here at the Historical Places Trust. Find out more about European History at New Zealand History online.

This brochure Heritage Walks  The Engineering Heritage of Auckland can be downloaded for free.


5. Birdlife

There are several places for bird lovers to go to enjoy seeing New Zealand’s native birdlife. There is a large wetland that has been established out east near Pigeon Mountain, and there are breeding places on the edge of the Manukau Harbour for rare species. As you walk along the bush tracks in Auckland, you will hear many birds singing.


6. Native bush

The planners in Auckland have been thoughtful enough to leave areas of native bush. The bush provides cool shelter on hot days. You will get to see native Kauri trees and Nikau ferns amongst the many other varieties. You do not have to look out for snakes and spiders – the spiders are harmless and there are no snakes.


7. Cafes

You are never far from a cafe in Auckland. They are famous for serving up some of the best coffee in the world and the food is pretty good too – just what you need after an energetic walk?

Gather up your walking shoes, friends, family, pet dog and discover the pleasure of walking in Auckland – there are so many things to do and see in Auckland – you may be surprised.