Tag Archives: Dog Leash

Hamlins Hill – historic gem

Hamlins Hill (Mutukaroa) Regional Park is a gem in the midst of Auckland City with a rich history and plenty of open space for you to unwind and enjoy. You can enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland city and explore the bush where you almost forget you are in the middle of New Zealand’s largest city. At times you are only 20m from the main Eastern Arterial route, but you feel one hundred miles away!

This park has been replanted with native bush and the grassland is farmed with cattle. Dogs are permitted on a lead.

The main access to the park is off Great South Rd, while bike and walking access is from the cycle lane next to the Eastern Arterial Route. The Gt South Rd entrance has a carpark.

Walk Time60 – 90 mins
SurfaceGrass or gravel track
Difficulty 2 – undulating with uneven surfaces
Buggies/WheelchairsOnly suitable for off-road buggies. There are also lots of gates to go through -some may require a buggy to be passed over.
FacilitiesPicnic Table, Park Benches, Portaloo near the picnic site (has been there when we have visited)
HighlightsBush, Farmland, Curious Cattle, Views of Auckland, Historic Rock Wall

Click to open Google Map is a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of this map.

Hamlins Hill – Mutukaroa Walk Description

Looking for some tranquillity and peace in the midst of the city – Hamlins is a place to visit and explore. It is a not-so-hidden-gem of solace surrounded by businesses and industry but when you are there, you will hardly know it. Further, it has relatively few visitors and compared with other city parks such as Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park, it is quiet.

If visiting by car, park at the entrance on Great South Rd – beware, it can be hard to find and if you blink you can miss it! If by bike, you can access from the cycleway via the Eastern Arterial route. The access from the car park is via a farm vehicle track, while from the cycleway the entrance is through native bush. This discussion will be written from the viewpoint of entering via the car park.

Walk about 150m from the carpark and through the first gate into the Regional Park. You can choose to continue straight ahead towards the main junction and picnic table or turn right to head through the native bush and to the highest points of the park. We will assume this is the route for this review. This provides great views across our wonderful city.

Enjoy a rest at the top of Hamlins Hill where you can enjoy one of the bench seats. Once ready, head north towards the main junction area of the park – here you will find the picnic table and a portable toilet.

There are four options to explore from the junction – you will see these clearly on the Google Map. I would recommend heading to the right and winding your way through the native bush until reaching the northern edge of the park, from here turn left and head back up to the junction or continue to the grassland and explore the western farm areas of the park. It is here you will see the historic stone wall.

Take your time exploring the farm, enjoying the curious cattle and the wide-open spaces. On your return, head back straight across the grass towards the junction or take the more adventurous and fun bush route just inside the southern perimeter.

Hamlins Hill is a real gem in the heart of our city. Walk it, bike it and run it! Bring the kids, the dog (on a lead) and just have a couple of hours out of the hustle.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The park has gravel trails and grass paths and is only suitable for off-road capable buggies/wheelchairs. It also has a lot of farm gates/styles to pass through and at times buggies may need to be passed over the fence if they cannot squeeze through the gaps.

Auckland Council Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Webpage

Grey Lynn Explorer

It was time to visit the newly opened (15th June 2013) Cox’s Bay Reserve boardwalk and to incorporate it into another circular walk to add to our collection.

Cox's Bay Reserve board walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

This walk explores both Cox’s Bay Reserve and Grey Lynn Park.
Cox’s Bay Reserve is made up of three parks – Hukanui Reserve where the new boardwalk is, Bayfield Park where you may wish to have your picnic, and the sports fields of Cox’s Bay Park. It is a mini-paradise for dog owners with off-leash dog exercise areas.

And it is family friendly too, with a selection of children’s playgrounds and picnic sites. It is a great place for joggers and people who like to use the outdoor fitness stations.

The wide open spaces, sculptures, playing fields, the creek, mangrove swamps, gullies, the bay itself, a field with cattle and tall mature trees surrounded by interesting residential housing, make this another walk that is full of variety.

Also of interest is the Kelmarna Gardens Nature Trail off Hukanui Crescent – A self-directed nature trail will show you chickens, vegetable gardens, a pony and young cattle, an organic orchard, beehives, worm farm, compost making, native trees and flax. The trail winds its way through the gardens, across paddocks and links to Cox’s Creek Walkway. The gardens were established in 1981 and have been organically managed for 32 years. The land is owned by Auckland Council for the benefit of the whole community.

For history information visit “Meanderings about Cox’s Creek”.

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas in Cox’s Bay Reserve and Grey Lynn Park (check signage for rules).

Dog friendly walks in Auckland - part three

Description: Paved walkways, steps, inclines and board walks. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. (Suitable for prams/buggies excluding the steps).
To see: Sculptures, playing fields, the creek, mangrove swamps, gullies, the bay itself, a field with cattle and tall mature trees surrounded by interesting residential housing.
Time: approx. 70 minutes. (about 5.58 kms)
Parking: Westmoreland Street West off Richmond Road, Grey Lynn.
Buses: Richmond Road, Grey Lynn MAP
Children’s playgrounds. Off-leash dog exercise areas in in Grey Lynn Park and Cox’s Bay Reserve (please read the signs).
Cafe: Bread and Butter

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-081 Grey Lynn Explorer) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

Wattle Downs Walkway

Wattle Downs in South Auckland was another new area for us to explore. The Wattle Downs Walkway goes around the edge of the peninsula that extends into Manukau Harbour, at one spot there are views through to Manukau Heads.
The day was very calm – the water was like a mirror, and there were also threatening grey clouds hanging overhead.
The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash and off  leash dog exercise areas).

Wattle Downs walkway © 2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

There are many points of interest along the way, and friendly people to say hello to. We stopped and spoke to a resident whose house looked out towards Manukau Heads – he told us that they get to view amazing sunsets over the harbour.

There are wetlands and ponds active with shore birds – if you are a keen bird watcher be sure to take your binoculars.

The only thing missing in the area is a cafe.

UPDATE March 2015 ** The shared walkway/cycleway has been extended from Hadley Wood Drive to Aberdeen Crescent.


Suitable for Family cycling: Frangipani Ave to Bluewater place, 10km each way.

Wattle Downs Public Toilets

Description: Mainly level paths, one set of steps (which can be avoided). Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for cyclists.
To see: Manukau Heads, Manukau Harbour, Wattle Farm Wetland Reserve, shore birds
Time: approx. 100 minutes (about 8.7 kms). Dog off-leash areas. Childrens playgrounds. No cafe. Public Toilets may not be open due to vandalism issues (see image below).
Start from: Wattle Farm Reserve MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-067 Wattle Downs Loop) over at our Walks Store   and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the South”).

(Click on the photos to enlarge)

Pakuranga Kentigern Loop

© 2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

Today we set out to explore another part of the Pakuranga Rotary Walkway, this time taking a loop behind Saint Kentigern College and through Manor Park.

This mainly flat 4km walk would suit workers at Pakuranga Plaza as well as residents. Views of Mount Wellington and water craft. Great for cyclists (cycle the full length of the walkway to Pigeon Mountain) and dog walkers (on leash – please refer to comments below), and for prams/buggies .

The day was calm and the skies blue – perfect for a walk!

Description: Mainly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:  Views of Mount Wellington, water craft, residential homes
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.0 kms)
Start: Pakuranga Plaza MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-066 Pakuranga Kentigern Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

(Click on photos to enlarge)

Onehunga Foreshore – Taumanu

We began our walk today with a route in mind, starting off from Onehunga Train Station. But as we progressed we changed our mind and found a walk that neither of us had done before, taking in part of Onehunga’s foreshore (as of November 2015 Taumanu Reserve).

View of Mangere Mountain from Onehunga Foreshore. The Foreshore has since been turned into Taumanu Reserve.

The walk follows the edge of the Onehunga Bay Reserve and then the edge of Manukau Harbour along Orpheus Drive. In summer, I would expect to see more shore birds. Even though the walk passes through part of the industrial area of Onehunga, it is still interesting.

This mostly flat walk can be accessed from Mangere Village also.

Onehunga Bay Reserve has a great wide open space (off leash dog exercise area) for dogs to run around in, and, at high tide, a lagoon to swim in. At low tide it is an esturine mud flat full of stinky, black mud (gumboots required in winter/after rain in the reserve itself). Cycle paths and a children’s playground included.

UPDATE 2013/2014:
Auckland Council is “currently restoring the foreshore next to Orpheus Drive to bring back a natural coastal edge and create recreational opportunities for the community. The project will provide high-quality open space, beaches, a boat ramp and picnic areas. A new bridge will connect the new land to the Onehunga lagoon.” (source www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz)
Video: Secrets of New Zealand’s new $28m beach

To see: views of Mangere Mountain, shore birds, Onehunga Wharf, mangroves, Waikaraka cemetery, industrial area, reclaimed beach at Taumanu Reserve.
Time : approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.77 kms)
Children’s Playgrounds: Onehunga Bay Reserve
Dogs: Off leash area in Onehunga Bay Reserve (caution: muddy after rain). Dogs not allowed within Taumanu Reserve.
Start from: Princes Street, Onehunga MAP

Coastal walks in Auckland part two

We stopped off at The Library Cafe for refreshments. There is a Columbus Cafe on the corner of Onehunga Mall and Princes Street.

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-046 Onehunga Foreshore Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

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