Tag Archives: City Skyline

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 Limited

Today 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.

West Harbour Circuit

West harbour walkway. CopyrWest Harbour is tucked in between Hobsonville Point and Moire Park.  The walk circuit is short and does provide a couple of viewing points east to the city skyline. Start at the Waipareira Walkway at the West Harbour Marina and enjoy a coastal walk meandering in and around many little inlets, passing by wetlands and through native bush. If you are lucky, you may catch glimpses of bush birds like fantails and tui. There’s a nice picnic spot and children’s playground at Luckens Reserve (the swimming beach is below the reserve).

Find our GPS Google Map and further information here.

The tide soaked mangrove forest, provides a buffer between land and sea and is a nursery for fish and a safe haven for the many seabirds that nest there.

It is interesting to see the change in residential housing from mansions to more modest accommodation.

Visitors to Auckland may wish to catch a ferry to West Harbour, do the walk and then stay for lunch at either the cafe or restaurant, before returning to downtown Auckland. At Clearwater Cove you have the option to extend your walk by visiting the West Park Marina to watch the boats come and go.

Dogs – off leash exercise areas within the reserves.

Description: Mainly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Clearwater Cove marina, views of Auckland City, Mangrove, native brids
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 5.75 kms)
Start: Clearwater Cove Marina, West Harbour MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-074 West Harbour Circuit) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” and “Best of the West“).

Apirana St Johns Loop

This walk makes use of the reserves within walking distance of Glen Innes Train Station. We visit the horse paddocks of Apirana Reserve with views of Mount Wellington, Eastern Beach and on a clear day, the Coromandel (this is part of the 7.5km  Point to Point Walkway) and then walk through the native bush within St Johns Bush.

Apirana Reserve is part of the Point to Point Walkway
Apirana Reserve is part of the Point to Point Walkway

St Johns Bush is a green corridor for birds flying across Auckland.  There is a wetland area with native fish.  This area is home to over 165 different species of plants.  The kauri tree is over 150 years old.

Joining up reserves to minimise street walking is a challenge, but we are very fortunate to have so many green spaces in Auckland. Our dream is that some time in the future, the reserves will be linked together to help us commute safely by bicycle or on foot (and hopefully wheelchairs), from one area to another, minimising road use.

Dogs- off leash exercise area in Merton Reserve.

Description: A mix of level and hilly paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: St Johns Bush native trees and ferns, residential housing, reserves, horse paddocks,views of Eastern Beach and the Coromandel, city skyline view
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5 kms)
Start: Glen Innes Train Station  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-061 Apirana Saint Johns Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 3” and “Best of the East”).

Orakei Basin walkway

The  Orakei Basin walkway upgrade that began in 2010 is complete. The concrete has been poured onto a new pathway on the Macpherson Track.  And it is fantastic! The bridge over the Orakei Creek is beautiful. Now Orakei and Meadowbank are connected by a boardwalk along the railway line that both pedestrians and cyclists can use.

Orakei basin walkway

There is a pathway from Orakei Railway station and under Orakei Road that leads directly onto the boardwalk that crosses Orakei Basin beside the railway line. It is now easier to catch the train to Orakei and walk around the basin, then return and stop at the Kings Plant Barn for refreshments at the cafe.
(* Teen friendly walk)

The morning was still, clear and sunny causing the reflections on the water to be almost perfect. This tidal lagoon is in a volcanic crater. It was high tide, which we were not expecting. This walk takes you through small patches of bush and up high onto the ridge for a view of the city skyline.

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. 45 minutes (about 4 kms).
Parking: Near Kings Plant Barn, off Orakei Road near train station.
Buses: to Orakei Train Station
(Please note: no public toilets)

12 Volcano WalksSuggested 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  (GS-017 Orakei Basin walkway) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our book “Volcanoes”) or…you can download this free Orakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.

Botanic Gardens and Totara Park Loops

walks in AucklandA 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”).

Westgate Loop walk

walks in AucklandIt has been a challenge to find an interesting walk from Westgate Shopping Centre that meets our criteria – this one is not one of the best, but it does have a small amount of bush and a few ponds (where there are ducks that would be happy to be fed) to break up the monotony of new residential and the big box shopping area. Dogs on-leash.

It is great that a bridge has been built for pedestrians/cyclists to cross the Northwestern Motorway, to and from the West Harbour side. A walk to Moire Park is now achievable, and the residents of Massey and West Harbour have easy access to the shopping area.

This short loop walk begins from the cafe (Robert Harris and Sierra) area, and leads down to the newly formed ponds. We followed our noses and were surprised to find that we had walked as far as Royal Reserve.

One gem on this walk is the view towards the city skyline – an unexpected bonus.

Description: A mix of mostly level paths and slightly steep paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Native trees and fauna, new housing developments, City view.
Best of the West - Short Walks in AucklandTime: approx. 45 minutes. (about 3.4 kms)
Start: Westgate Shopping Centre MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map, download this walk for FREE here and from our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Best of the West“).

 

Three Kings | walks in Auckland

Walks in Auckland

Big King is all that remains of the Three Kings volcano cones after the others were quarried away. 15,000 years ago there used to be three scoria mounds; the result of Auckland’s largest explosion crater measuring 800 metres across and 200 metres deep.

The lava flow from this volcanic center overflowed into a 10 kilometer ‘river’ that terminated at Meola Reef at the Waitemata Harbour.

This circular walk in Auckland takes us to the top of what remains of the  volcano, parks and playgrounds  with views of Mount Eden, One Tree Hill, Rangitoto, Manukau Harbour and the City skyline.

Big King Reserve is a favourite place for dog lovers as this is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Not wheel-friendly. Moderate fitness. Caution: muddy and slippery paths when wet. Sturdy shoes recommended.
To see: Volcanoes, gravel pit, parks and playgrounds, 1960’s state housing. Wonderful views of Manukau Harbour, South Head and the Waitakere Hills. Count the number of volcanoes you can see.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 3.45 kms)
Start: Main carpark off Duke Street (off Mt Eden Road) MAP

12 Volcano Walks

Suggested cafes:
1) Orvieto, (dog friendly) Mt Eden Road
2) The Eiffel Cafe (further south down Mt Eden Road towards Mt Albert Road)
Both cafes serve great coffee and tasty food.

Stay on track find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store (AC-002 Big King) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog friendly part one).

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12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Three Kings is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Mt Albert and Meola Creek circuit

Today I was shown an interesting waterway – Meola Creek.  It is hidden between the St Lukes shopping hub and Mt Albert Grammar School. Meola Creek is the result of run-off from Mt Albert, Mt Eden and Three Kings and runs over and under ground (in pipes) out to Waitemata Harbour at Meola Reef.

Walks in Auckland

The St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) has been very active getting Meola Creek clean, the area planted with natural habitat and a boardwalk built (Roy Clements Treeway). Elizabeth Walker, a member of STEPS very kindly showed me around.  This historic map clearly shows Meola Creek. Elizabeth has since shown me one of the sources of Meola Creek – an overgrown area covered in toxic weeds, behind Haverstock Road.  It would be wonderful to see the area restored to allow more water fowl to live there.

The view from Mt Albert across to the city skyline and the top of Rangitoto Island shows how spread out the city of Auckland is. There is an off leash dog area in Kerr-Taylor Park and a fenced off-leash area at the top of Mt Albert. (See other Dog Friendly Walks)

HISTORY. Nearby is the historic mansion ‘Alberton‘ on the corner of Kerr-Taylor Avenue and Mt Albert Road.  Further historical information can be found in the archives of the Mt Albert Historical Society here and here. ‘In old Mt Albert’ by Dick Scott (this book is available from Auckland Libraries) tells the history of Mt Albert from 1911 to 1961. You may wish to download the Mount Albert Heritage Walks brochure.

To see where Meola Creek spills out into Waitemata Harbour head to: Western Springs and Meola Reef

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet.
To see: Volcano crater, boardwalk and water birds, reclaimed creek vegetation, Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, glimpses of Manukau Harbour and the Waitakere Hills.
Off leash dog areas. Children’s playground.
Time: approx. 60-75 minutes, about 5.4 kms. MAP
Suggested cafesPyrenees French Delicatessen and Parkside Cafe

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC023 Mt Albert Meola Creek) and our Book Store (Volcanoes).

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Mt Albert is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Mission Bay – walking in the rain

Walks in AucklandIt was a big decision today, do we do the Mission Bay walk this morning, this afternoon, tomorrow… The weather was looking grim and the weather forecast even grimmer. We decided – this morning. It rained on and off, there was a bit of blue sky, and the coffee at De Fontein was very good!

Mission Bay buzzes on sunny summer bays with lots of activity in the water, the foreshore and the cafes. It was still busy today with people braving the rain because it was not that cold. What is there to do in Mission Bay? Click here.

This walk takes you along the short beach promenade and up on the clifftops overlooking Hauraki Gulf and the city skyline. You do have to look out for cyclists when you walk along the shared pathway.

Walks in AucklandMission Bay has a great choice of cafes, eateries (Japanese, Indian, Mexican, Italian…) and one special ice-cream parlor! Meet your friends by the fountain and enjoy the fresh salt air by the harbour.

 

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: Wonderful views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Dogs: On leash only. Children’s Playground=Yes
Start Point: Tamaki Drive, Mission Bay

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-018 Mission Bay Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Suggested Cafés: Various along Tamaki Drive
(the coffee is very good at De Fontein – reviewed here)

Churchill Park Loop

Churchill Park is one of a few walks in Auckland that does not have much shelter, so it was a great day to get into the park, with a pleasantly  warm sun and no rain.

The walk starts off going uphill and there are further gentle undulations – it fits the ‘fitness’ criteria! There is some variety – big pine tress, distant city skyline views, a path following a stream (where the Nikau Palms were showing off their red berries), a few cattle taking up what shade they could find and then once out of the park the fabulous views over the harbour and estuary.

Churchill Park, Glendowie Park and Roberta Reserve all have an off-leash dog exercise area and today there were dog owners taking advantage of the weather.

For children, there is an attractive playground area at the walk start and end point. Update June 2014: A recent redesign and reconstruction has transformed Roberta Reserve playground into a series of exciting, safe play spaces
for kids of all ages. For more adventurous youngsters, the park’s large colourful rope fort, eagle’s nest and swing basket are a real highlight.

Description:A mix of level paths, and a few steep paths. Suitable in dry weather. Suitable for users of all ages and abilities, suitable for normal footwear and for wheelchairs and pushchairs. May be muddy in places during the winter months.
To see: Sea views, city views, stream, private gardens, farm animals
Time: About 5kms (approx. 60 minutes).
Start: On corner of Robert Ave and Riddell Road. MAP
Playground: Corner of Riddell Road & Roberta Ave

Suggested Café: Ronnies Café, Corner of Riddell Road and Roberta Avenue (they do great iced coffees and date scones!)

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-007 Churchill Park) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the East”).