Tag Archives: Coffee

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.

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 this walk (AN-091 Albany Massey Loop) and other walks at our Walk Store.

Pakuranga Farm Cove Loop

We have now added a fourth loop walk taking in the wonderful Pakuranga Rotary walkway. This 5kms loop walk follows the Tamaki Estuary through Farm Cove and explores the Sunny Hills suburban streets, with views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill.

You may wish to cycle the whole 5 kms of the Pakuranga Rotary walkway, or just stop and watch the tide on one of the many seats along the walkway.  Families may like to take a fun break on the snakes and ladders playground near the Bramley Drive entrance.

The walking route is also great for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only).

Mon Bichon Cafe We stopped for coffee at the French inspired deli/cafe Mon Bichon, a delightful surprise in the Farm Cove village shops. You could buy your pastries from here to take and eat beside the walkway…(update: sadly it is no longer there).

Description: Mainly level paths (with one small incline).  Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for cycling and push-chairs.
To see: Tamaki Estuary, Mangroves, white volcanic pumice deposits, views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill, residential homes
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5 kms)
Start: Fisher Parade, Farm Cove Village  MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-068 Pakuranga Farm Cove Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (“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.

Point Erin and Auckland harbour walk

Auckland Harbour Bridge

A glorious day after very rough weather earlier this week made the walk today very enjoyable.  The sun shone on the full tide, which encouraged me to take many photos as we walked around Westhaven Drive and under the Harbour Bridge.

This Auckland walk not only has fabulous views, it is mostly flat (apart from the steep steps at Jacob’s Ladder (which have recently been shortened)), Victoria Park has a great children’s playground and skate park, and there are beautiful old homes to enjoy. There is also a dog off leash area along the way.  Victoria Park Markets are not yet fully re-opened but there are cafes and a few retails stores.

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

 

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

Description: A mix of level paths, one lot of steep 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. 60 minutes. (about 5.4 kms)
Parking: Carparks in Westhaven Drive

We stopped at the Sitting Duck Cafe for a coffee in the sun, overlooking the moored yachts – bliss!  I didn’t want to leave…

Coastal walks in Auckland part 2Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-043 Point Erin and Harbourside) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 2”).

The Cascade Walkway

The Cascade Walkway (7.5km of shared paths between Meadowland Drive and Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga)  is another area that has been on our list to explore.  We set out from Howick Historical Village hoping to find well sign-posted walking paths. The best we found was a post with two arrows on it! (New signage has been installed since our first visit).

The Cascade walkway mapThe paths are great for cycling and walking (with your dog and/or your children).  There is diverse birdlife and native plants and trees. We were surprised by the lack of picnic/BBQ facilities, public toilets and children’s playgrounds within the Cascade Reserve.  However, we did come across 3 children’s playgrounds in total, making this a short family friendly walk.

walksinauckland.comNear the Historical Village is an area to play with marbles, and another area for kids to ride their bicycles on a specially made track. There is a duck pond  and some bench seats along the walkway nearby.
We had lunch and coffee at the Homestead Cafe (the homemade bacon and egg quiche was very tasty).

You can find the Auckland Council’s information on the Cascade Walkway here.

Dogs – off leash exercise areas available (see more Dog Friendly Walks)

Suitable for family cycling:Between Meadlowland Drive and Lloyd Elsmore Park, Pakuranga, 7.5km.

Description: Mainly level paths and a few slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Mostly concrete paths with a small stretch of dirt track under trees. Buggy/pram friendly.
To see: Creeks, birdlife, small waterfall, bridges, tunnel. View of Rangitoto Island, Pigeon Mountain, Mt Wellington, Waitakere Ranges and One Tree Hill
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms)
Start: Bells Road off Cascades Road/Pakuranga Road MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map of the AE-040 Cascade Walkway Loop at our Walks Store and our Book Store (“Dog Friendly part 3” and “Best of the East”).


Watch this video to get a taste of Cascades Walkway:

Glen Eden and Waikumete Cemetery Circuit Walk

Walks in AucklandWhen I first came to live in New Zealand, I lived in Glen Eden. I had never visited Waikumete Cemetery until today. What an amazingly beautiful and fascinating place.

The Waikumete Cemetery takes up a huge area between Great North and West Coast Roads, with beautiful landscaping and fabulous trees. And there is so much history here – from the 1918 flu epidemic and the Gallipoli soldiers to the mausoleums of the wine magnates of Corbans and Nobilo. It is really worth visiting.

Part of this loop is a short bush walk where you may be lucky to hear the sounds of native birds, and even spot a rabbit dashing for cover.

The walking route is also suitable for prams/buggies and dog walkers (must be kept on leash within the cemetery grounds).

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility (with good knees). May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Auckland City views, Waitakere Hills, trees and fauna, historical graves.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5 kms)
Start: Waikumete Road MAP

You may decide to arrive by train to Glen Eden railway station and make this a day outing.
The ‘Pumped Cafe’ at the station has good coffee and food or there is a new Columbus cafe on the corner of Oates Road/West Coast Road.

Best of the West - Short Walks in Auckland

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-028 Glen Eden and Waikumete Cemetery) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Best of the West“).

Kepa Bush

Walks in AucklandKepa Bush is another short walk in Auckland treasure that contains bush trails and native trees, flora and fauna that is easy to get to.

The circuit takes about 30 minutes, and it provides views of the bush, 3 volcanoes (One Tree Hill, Mt Hobson and Mt Eden) and Orakei Basin, which all happen to be walks that we have documented.   Kepa Bush Reserve is a cool shady walk for hot summer days.  It is quiet and peaceful – and still in the city! The track is not well maintained, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear.

The grass reserve has picnic tables, and space to kick a ball around.

Kepa Bush Reserve is beside Eastridge Shopping Centre, where you can leave your car and stop for a coffee afterwards.

Download the FREE Kepa Bush Reserve guide and map here

Auckland Domain and Museum

It turned out to be a beautiful sunny Mothers Day in Auckland. And time for a relaxing walk in Auckland Domain, the home of the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

The Domain has a variety of landscapes from open fields, to formal gardens and statues, to native bush walkways and waterfalls (you could almost imagine that you are in the Waitekere Hills).

Duck Pond
Auckland Domain Duck Pond Copyright 2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

We dropped into the Winter Garden Pavillion Cafe for coffee and we plan to go back to try the food. It was lovely sitting in the sun overlooking the duck pond.

After a quick look at the Winter Gardens, we headed for the Columbus Cafe inside the Museum. But when we saw their high prices for their cabinet food, we left.

It was an enjoyable amble on a beautiful day.

Main Entrance: Park Road, Grafton MAP
Dog off leash exercise area: Gum Tree Hill
Auckland Domain Sculpture Walk: Map available here
Auckland Domain Self guided heritage trail: Map available here (includes Auckland Domain bush walking tracks (not named on the map)).
Auckland Domain Volcano Walk: Map available here (includes Auckland Domain Forest walks)

To download a complete map of the Auckland Domain paths (shows steps) click here.