Tag Archives: Auckland

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.

Botany to Cascades Loop Walk

It continues to amaze us how the distances between places seem shorter when we are out walking compared to driving. This loop walk in Auckland from Botany Town Centre and back via Cascades Road, was one  that took us from an unfamiliar area to an area we have walked previously. When we start exploring a new area, we are never sure what we are going to find, and we found today’s walk very pleasant.

We made good use of reserve walkways and the suburban streets.  And we had three delightful surprises.

Our first surprise was finding a book –  a travelling book (from BookCrossing) left by someone to be picked up, read and released!

The second surprise was stumbling upon an old farm cottage which has been converted into a cafe that is surrounded by modern suburban housing. The grounds contain a tree that was planted in 1890. A hidden gem with a rural feel right in the middle of an urban wasteland with heaps of character and charm – Hawthorn Dene Historic Country Cafe.

Botany to Cascades Loop Walk Copyright 2014 Unleashed ventures LimitedThe third surprise was an amazing and wonderful wood carving which you would not know was there if you were travelling by car.

 
The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers . Dogs- Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

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: Historical sites, bridges, waterways.
Time: approx. 75 minutes (about 7kms).
Start:The Hub, Ti Rakau Drive, Botany. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-100 Botany to Cascades Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (“Best of the East”).

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

 

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.

*** Unfortunately Albany Scenic Reserve was been closed in 2015 due to Kauri Dieback ***

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 other walks at our Walk Store.

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”).

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.

Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk

The Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk in Auckland follows the high cliff edge alongside Manukau Harbour to Green Bay Beach and then continues inland to Craigavon Park..

This is another newly discovered gem for us.  The  Pathway of Tiriwa (Te Ara O Tiriwa) is named after a Maori chief who lived in the area pre-canoe days.  The pathway takes you through Punga ferns and mature Puriri trees.  Native pigeons feed here in summer months.

There are steep steps  down and up the small gullies along the pathway, and the track was muddy today but not too bad (best to walk in dry weather).

The Block cafe at Blockhouse BayWe stopped for refreshments at the newly opened The Block cafe in the main street of Blockhouse Bay.  What a wonderful “buzzy” community friendly place – and the menu looked mouth watering.  The brunch plates that were being served looked generous.

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

This walk also includes children’s playgrounds, picnic spots with BBQ’s, a fitness trail, public toilets – and hungry ducks to feed.

Description: Bush track, steps, inclines.  Muddy in places when wet.  Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Native bush,  views across Manukau Harbour, native birds
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms).
Parking: Blockhouse Bay Reserve
Buses: Blockhouse Bay Road MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-087 Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa Walk) and from our …

Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part  2″  and “Best of the West“).

Click photos to enlarge.

 

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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.

Westmere Loop Walk

This Westmere Loop walk explores the gems of Wellpark Reserve and Jaggers Bush Reserve beside the creek, and touches on the harbour edge at Westmere Park and the end of Garnet Road.  It is interesting to observe the varied style of housing. At low tide it is easy to take a short cut alongside the harbour.

Garnet Station CafeDespite the grey clouds and the rain forecast, we set off to explore the streets and reserves of Westmere, starting from the fabulous community-minded Garnet Station Cafe in Garnet Road.

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. 75 minutes. (about 5.5 kms). Dog friendly (off-leash in Jaggers Bush Reserve).
Parking: Garnet Road, Westmere.
Buses: Warwick Avenue, Westmere MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-083 Westmere Loop Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Bayview Coast and Bush Walk

Today we set out to explore the Bayview area near Glenfield on Auckland’s North Shore. What a wonderful surprise to find a beautiful bush walk, alongside the Upper Harbour reaches, all part of the Glenfield Coastal Walkway.

Manuka Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe walk takes in Manuka Reserve with views of the upper harbour, Hobsonville Point and native bush. Not only are there stands of manuka trees (tea trees) beside the estuary, but inland within Leigh Scenic Reserve, there are kauri trees and palms.

This circular walk is mostly bush with only a small section of street footpaths.  It is suitable for families, with two places to stop at playgrounds. Dogs must be kept on leash.

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, small waterfalls, views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dogs on leash. Two childrens playgrounds.
Start: Lynn Road, Bayview near Glenfield. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-080 Bayview Bush Walk)over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part two”).

 

Le Roys Bush Loop

Saying that you are going for a walk in the bush in urban Auckland, may sound like an oxymoron…however, that is one of the many wonderful aspects of walking in Auckland – you never have to go far to find native bush. Kauri Glen Reserve lives up to it’s name and Le Roys Bush follows a stream downhill to the restored wetlands of Little Shoal Bay, Northcote (which was once a tidal estuary filled with mangroves).

Little Shoal Bay © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThis morning the sun was out (as well as the tide!), which made it a very pleasant and warm winter’s day.  Some of the smaller tracks are wet, muddy and slippery so if that doesn’t fit with you, then I suggest that you save them for a summer walk. The loop walk we have documented keeps you on the drier paths and boardwalks.

We were rewarded with sunlight filtering through the native trees, the sound of the bubbling stream and the songs of the native birds – we could have been deep in the bush instead of in the middle of urban residences!

  • Free Map for your smartphone – go to the new prototype site:  Le Roys Bush Walks [22Nov2015]

Kauri Glen is one of the oldest bush reserves on the Shore (measures about 25 acres and first sizeable pieces of land that was placed under public management) which includes trees such as taraire, totara, kauri, tawa, rewarewa and maire. Kiekie and nikau are abundant in this sub-tropical rainforest. Smaller species of note are pate and karapapa. The area is alive with the likes of tui, fantails and moreporks.

Little Shoal Bay Reserve is a great place to start and finish at – with plenty of parking and a fun looking children’s playground.  Dogs must be kept on leash to protect the flora and fauna.

Alternatively you could begin your walk at Birkenhead. A new track has been constructed (September 2016) from 31-45 Birkenhead Avenue. Called the Maori Pipi Walk.

You could pop into the Northcote Tavern  for lunch, coffee or a beer afterwards – full of character and nice ambience. Or stop at Sausalito Cafe.

Description: Bush track and board walks. Slippery when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, waterfall, wetlands, views across Auckland Harbour, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Little Shoal Bay Reserve
Buses/Ferries: Queen Street, Onewa Road, Northcote MAP


Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-079 Le Roys Bush Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).

 

Takapuna to Milford Loop Walk

Copyright 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedMany walkers on Auckland’s North Shore will be familiar with this route.  We start  off from the boat ramp at Takapuna, head along the shore line over sand, rocks and narrow pathways; past beautiful houses that overlook the Hauraki Gulf and Rangitoto Island to Milford, where we head inland along the marina before returning to Takapuna.

This walk suits sure-footed folk, and you would want to avoid high tide and stormy seas.

Dogs – Takapuna Beach is an off-leash exercise area 24/7 in winter, but only before 10am and after 6pm during daylight saving.

Description: Partly rocky and narrow seaside pathway. Slippery when wet.  Avoid at high tide and stormy weather. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Hauraki Gulf, beaches, marina, residential homes.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6.22 kms)
Parking: Takapuna Boat Ramp, The Promenade
Buses: Hurstmere Road, Takapuna (MAP)

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-077 Takapuna Milford Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Winter walks in Auckland

Grab your rain jacket, hat and gloves and head outside to warm up with a winter walk!  Even though the weather may not appeal, walking will awaken your senses.

Cornwall Park © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

Go tree spotting in Cornwall Park, Mt Eden and Monte Cecilia Park; and enjoy the benefits of taking a walk on a crisp winter day.

Another place to walk in winter and enjoy the trees is Waiata Reserve which you can walk through on the Remerua to Hobson Bay Circuit.

We cover Cornwall Park and Mt Eden in our new book “Short walks in Auckland:Volcanoes“.

When the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, more views are revealed, and on those beautiful, clear, dry winter days, the sun is great for warming up our bodies!

Click on the photos below to enlarge.