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
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.
Our 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 2015: The 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.
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun