Beautiful spring sunshine, great friends, our dog and a simply wonderful track and environment. Today we enjoyed walking the long-version of the Puhinui Stream Forest Loop – great native bush, parklands of Totara Park and a picnic – the kids even had a swim in the stream, not really a swimming paradise but lots of fun!
If you are looking for a fantastic family walk out south, this is one for you to enjoy. The bush includes large and mature native trees and the track through the bush is well maintained and full of interest. The southern part of the track is mostly flat and easy, while the return part of the loop is hilly.
The added attraction of this walk is immediate access to Totara Park and the Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed a great picnic on the grass next to a pond – our friends even bringing a camping gas cooker to make pancakes for lunch !
Details of the Puhinui Forest Loop Walk can be found here:
We have wanted to include Oakley Creek walkway in our walk guides for some time. The Oakley Creek Te Auaunga (whirlpool or swirling waters) Walkway itself is a one-way track, and we wanted to include it as part of a bigger circular walk. And today we did it! There was a lot of water in the creek today and the 6 metre high waterfall was in fine form. The new viewing platform is great (update December 2012 – sad to see that the platform has been burnt down).
Oakley Creek flows from Hillsborough, through Mt Roskill, Owairaka and Waterview to the Waitemata Harbour, making it one of Auckland’s longest urban streams. Oakley Creek is also home to the New Zealand longfin eel which is threatened, so fishing is not allowed.
The Friends of Oakley Creek is a project to help preserve and protect the creek, and was set up in 2004. The Friends of Oakley Creek have been doing a fantastic job with restoration and keeping the creek maintained, clean and improving the water quality. This is a volunteer organisation, and they continually seek help with their efforts – lend a hand if you can. If you would like to get involved, visit their Facebook page: Friends of Oakley Creek .
You can walk through native bush, wetlands, see water birds and enjoy the peace beside Oakley Creek. We have decided to create two separate loop walks – one a northern loop, the other a southern loop. You may wish to get both, and link them together for a longer walk.
Children’s playgrounds in both walks – the southern loop Heron Park has a flying fox.
Both loop walks take in off-leash dog exercise areas (dogs on leash alongside the Creek). See other Dog Friendly Walks
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Water birds Habitat, waterfall, Oakley Creek Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms Start: Cadman Avenue (off Fairlands Avenue/ Great North Road) MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AC-042 Oakley Creek Walkway Loop South) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).
Watch this video to get a taste of the Oakley Creek walkway.
A beautiful sunny morning made our trip south for a walk around the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Totara Park walking tracks and the Puhinui Stream forest, a wonderful experience.
We had set out to do a 5km walk but we ended up getting lost due to poor signage.
There was a good side to getting lost 1) we walked further than we had planned and 2) we found a look-out that we did not know existed which gave us a clear view all the way to the Auckland city skyline and across to Manukau Harbour.
The Puhinui Stream Forest Trail (the full loop trail is approx 4 kms) in Totara Park was gorgeous with the sunlight dappling the native ferns and palms. The trail took us past beautiful totara, puriri, nikau and kauri trees. We enjoyed soaking up the beauty of the lush native forest.
There are great spots to stop and picnic along the trail and children’s playground areas (including a children’s flying fox). Dogs on-leash on the trail, but there are off-leash areas. It makes for a great family day out. (And if you are into mountain biking or want to give it a try, there is a 15 km mountain bike track here too).
Dogs – off leash exercise area between north side of the Gardens and Totara Park.
If you have children then we do recommend a visit to the Potter Children’s Garden (within the Botanic Gardens) – and as adults we enjoy visiting them too! The Auckland Botanical Gardens are magnificent and a wonderful place to visit all year round – the spring blossoms are stunning.
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Auckland Botanic Gardens, native bush and palms Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms) Start: Auckland Botanic Gardens Carpark MAP Miko Cafe at Auckland Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre provided us with much needed refreshments (we especially enjoy the Piazza D’Oro coffee).
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-037 Botanic Gardens and Totara Park Loops ) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 2” and “Best of the South”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun