Tag Archives: Beaches

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

Cudlip Point Walk – NORTH AUCKLAND

Cudlip Point Loop Track is a stunning walkway in the Mahurangi Regional Park, about 50 minutes drive north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.  This track is one of three main walks in the park and includes amazing coastal views, beautiful beaches and a range of grasslands and native bush.  It is quite hilly, so requires a reasonable standard of fitness. 
Views of Mahurangi Harbour
Views of the stunning Mahurangi Harbour
Walk Time45 – 75 mins – 3.2km (yellow)
SurfaceGravel or Grass Tracks
Difficulty3/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs1/5 – Steep up and down sections plus the
surface can be slippery. Buggie’s may be
possible if dry and you are very fit and strong.
No good for wheelchairs except by beach.
FacilitiesToilets, Water, Seats, Swimming, Beach,
Camping
HighlightsBeach, Views, Nature. Rocks for fishing

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 Cudlip Point Loop Map

Cudlip Point Loop Track Description

This Loop Track surprised me with its beauty, variety and challenge.  The views are superb as the Mahurangi Penninsula juts out into the Ocean, providing water and beaches on both its ‘coasts’.  The track is quite steep in places and is a mix of gravel and grass trail. 

Views across the Inlet to Te Muri Beach Mahurangi Regional Park
The Inlet to Te Muri Beach can be crossed at low tide

We commenced our walk at the higher carpark, the parking spot that greets you after entering the Regional Park.   You could also opt to veer left and head down the hill to Sullivans Bay and start your walk there.  This is probably recommended if you want to swim and picnic at the beach.

If starting at the top carpark, take the further right track entrance that heads towards Te Muri Bay.  This winds its way downhill for 10-15 minutes on a good gravel track until it reaches the water’s edge.   If starting at the carpark, follow the road or grass track as per the GPS Map up to the top carpark and then continue as above.

Upon reaching the inlet, you track alongside the waterway, through bush and patches of grass for about 10 minutes before turning left and heading up a steep incline.  You could also have crossed the inlet to Te Muri Beach if you desire and walk to the campsite or follow the track towards the end of the inlet.  Note: the inlet can only be crossed at low tide and remember you do need to get back again also!

Mirror views on the Te Muri Esturary
Mirror views on the Estuary

Head up the hill and towards the top of the ridge where you start to get the reward with some stunning vistas.  When we completed the track, there was a detour that took us to the ridge as the cliff-top track through the bush was unstable.   You have the choice of going right and heading through the gate to Cudlip Point Lookout or turning left and heading back along the ridge towards Sullivans Bay.  The  Lookout here gives views across the Gulf, looking East – they are ok but there are a lot of trees that block aspects of the view.

The walk along the ridgeline to Sullivans is stunning.  Views looking north up the coast are ‘million dollars’ and ahead are the views into beautiful Mahurangi Harbour.   prior to your decent to the beach, you can choose to go straight ahead or veer right and down the fenceline, which is the shorter option.

The red markers indicate the Cudlip Point Mahurangi track
Red markers indicate the track

Sullivans Beach is beautiful and fine for swimming, especially with higher tides.  There are good facilities here, including toilets, water fountains, an information kiosk and a campground if you wish to stay overnight.

If you started at the top carpark, walk back along the beach and up the steep grass hill back to the car.  If you started at Sullivans Beach, you are finished!

If you still desire more walking and even more stunning views, add the option of the Mita Loop Track that commences at the western end of Sullivans Bay. 

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The tracks in Mahurangi Regional Park are steep and unsuitable for wheelchairs.  If you are get and strong, you should be able to push a buggie with a baby around the Cuplip Point Loop Track but be aware that places are a bit slippery under foot and steep.  The Mita Loop is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.

Other useful Links:

Auckland Council Map and Information

Mahurangi West Wing Luxury B&B

Book one of the Park Campgrounds here

Sullivans Campground Information

Interesting article about Mahurangi Regional Park development

Chelsea Heritage Park Loop

Winter is perhaps not the best time to do this bush walk starting at the Chelsea Estate Heritage Park – the track was very muddy and slippery – but we survived, and it was fun!

The pink Chelsea Sugar Refinery sits on the edge of Auckland Harbour.  From the shore there is a wonderful view across to the Harbour Bridge and City. Swan and ducks greeted us at the dam, expecting to be fed.

You can walk the beaches, feed the ducks, picnic by the ponds or go exploring around the 45 hectares of bush land at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.

Auckland Harbour © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedOur walk takes us from the dam at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery through native bush along the cliff edge to Kauri Point Centennial Park and then inland to Chatswood Reserve.

There are a myriad of walking tracks and some are difficult to find after the recent rain and the dropped leaves from the trees covering the ground. Luckily we had our map, so we did not get lost! There’s plenty of native bush and birdlife to enjoy – the birds were singing loudly today.

Update October 2015The track from Chelsea Estate Heritage Park to Chelsea Bay/Telephone Road Reserve is currently being repaired and made accessible for pushchairs. Possible locations for a gate to separate the on-leash track from the off-leash grass and beach area are being decided as required by the Local Board after the Dog Access Hearings last year.
The track has had broken concrete removed, ruts smoothed out and drainage channels created. It has been resurfaced and compacted to give it the natural-looking surface that is used on DOC tracks.
The Chelsea bridge will be completely replaced next year.

Update August 2016 From the Kaipatiki Local Board
The new Chelsea Estate bridge project is now completed and ready to be walked, cycled and enjoyed. The new bridge is 2.7 metres wide and cost $287,000 to consent, design and build. Old piles from the old bridge were recycled at the new Island Bay Playspace and some went to a local resident keen to create a unique element within his new house build project.

Description: Part bush track. Very slippery when wet. Suitable for users of above average fitness and mobility.
To see: Chelsea Sugar Refinery, views across Auckland Harbour, native bush, ducks, swan.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Chelsea Sugar Refinery car park, bottom of Colonial Road
Buses: Mokoia Road, Highbury MAP

***Please note: September 2018 This track has been temporarily closed due to Kauri Dieback

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-078 Chelsea Bush Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Dog walks in Auckland – dog off-leash areas

Our self-guides indicate if there are any dog friendly off-leash areas and/or are suitable for dog friendly walks in Auckland. This is noted when we visit the area – it may change without any notice due to Council regulations. Check with this Auckland Council webpage: Exercising your dog before you head out.

We have published 3 books with 12 circular walks in each, of Dog Friendly Walks in Auckland.

Dog Walks in Auckland

The Herald on Sunday Living section edition dated August 7th, 2011 listed in detail 8 areas for dog walks in Auckland, plus another 4 in brief.

In case you missed it – you can read the article here: Off-leash dog parks and another here: Five of the best: Off-leash dog parks

More: Recommended Dog Walks in Auckland

The areas are:

1. Meola Reef , Point Chevalier*
2. Big King Reserve , Three Kings/Mt Eden*
3. Craig Avon Park
4. Waiaturua Reserve
5. Western Park,  Ponsonby *
6. Kakamatua Inlet
7. Takapuna Beach
8. Macleans Park , Bucklands Beach/Half Moon Bay*
9. Churchill Park , Glendowie*
10. Heron Park
11. Kauri Point Domain
12. Waikowhai Park
13. Moire Park , West Harbour*
14. Hobsonville Bomb Point Dog Park

The Localist lists 10 great parks to walk the dog

PLUS (I will add more as I find them and if you know of any that are not listed here, please inform us all in the comment box below):

1. Dove Myer Robinson, Shore Road, Remuera (part of the Hobson Bay Walkway)

Those marked with an * are currently included in Short Walks in Auckland self-guides.

To find some of the best places to walk a dog in Auckland, visit these other dog friendly sites:

Doogle – dog friendly exercise areas

FetchMag – Dog walks

Auckland Council – Exercising Your Dog

The Localist Dog friendly cafes

Walks in Auckland – weekend in the Coromandel

As much as I enjoy going for walks in Auckland, it is also refreshing to head out of town.

Our family has a holiday house on the south-east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula.  The Coromandel is mostly an unspoilt part of New Zealand with beautiful beaches, many walk paths and natural bush.  I love going there to relax and refresh myself.

It is only a two hour drive for us from Auckland via Paeoroa and the Karangahake Gorge.  Two places that are worth stopping at.  The Gorge has interesting walks and mining tunnels that are fun to explore with torches.

You can choose from a variety of walks in the Coromandel region, no matter where you stay. There is a great uphill walk (that I suggest you do on a cool day) to the Wentworth Falls near Whangamata that I enjoy. And another walk for cool days is around the Martha Mine in the gold mining town of Waihi – I like to go around that anti-clockwise. From the northern end of Waihi Beach is a track that leads to the spectacular secluded beach of Orokawa Bay with the typical pohutukawa trees providing shade at the edge of the sand.

In the future I will be putting together some family day trips from Auckland that will include interesting places to visit.