Waikowhai Park is a large piece of bush land and attractive park land off Hillsborough Road. The view from the car park above the playground has views across Manukau Harbour to Mangere Mountain and Ambury Park Farm.
It has a fantastic playground for older children that has an extra long slide and a flying fox. There is also a large off leash dog exercise area. There are public toilets by the playground. It’s a great place for a picnic on a fine day – there are tables by the playground, seats along the undulating bush tracks and plenty of grass in the park land.
The clifftop and beach loop walks starting at Campbells Bay and taking in Mairangi Bay, and Murrays Bay and part of Rothesay Bay on Auckland’s North Shore provide stunning views over the Hauraki Gulf and Islands.
The beach walkway is dependent on weather and tides (check tides here).
Today the beach at Maurangi Bay was busy with sailors, surf lifesavers, swimmers and paddle boarders.
People were out walking their dogs – and the dogs looked very happy racing around off the leash along the cliff paths. Be sure to check out the Auckland Council dog rules for the North Shore beaches here.
Dogs are allowed under control off-leash at any time at Churchill Reserve Beach (Rothesay Bay).
The walkways do have steps so a good level of fitness is needed.
Description: Mostly level paths with some steps and one steep climb. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for pushchairs. Not recommended at high tide. To see: Coastal views. Time: approx. 80 minutes (about 6.65 kms). Parking: View Road, Campbells Bay. MAP
It turned out to be a wonderful warm spring day – perfect for exploring the pathways beside Henderson Creek in West Auckland. The previous Waitakere City Council has spent a great deal of ratepayers money on providing walkways and cycle-ways throughout the district. It was heartening to see people make the most of them as we walked alongside the Creek.
Hopefully the “International Walkway of Trees” section will become a wonderful legacy as many of the trees were gifted and planted for future generations by representatives of the ethnic communities living in Waitakere City as at October 2000.
What was missing though, was signposting and maps to indicate where you were and how far to go. We had printed off our own map before starting off, but for newcomers without a map, they could only venture there and back, for fear of getting lost.
Henderson Creek was once a hive of activity for traders, vintners, farmers, orchardists and families, and the area was also known for it’s timber milling industry.
We did enjoy our 4.5km walk – the sun was shining, the birds were singing, we were sheltered from the cool breeze and this was a part of Auckland that was new to us. To top it all off, we had a delicious coffee at The Falls Restaurant – sitting outside in the sunny courtyard.
Dogs – Off leash areas within reserves and parks.
Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs. To see: Henderson Creek, historical sites. Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.5kms). Parking: Public carpark (free on Sundays). Start: Corner Edmonton Road/Alderman Drive. MAP Playground: Tui Glen Reserve (includes a flying fox).
Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AW-094 Henderson Creek Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 3” and “Best of the West”).
We had overlooked Mt Roskill as a place to walk and explore… until today. The volcano double cone and twin craters of Mt Roskill have been destroyed through the installation of a water reservoir, but from the top it is easy to view Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Big King and One Tree Hill.
Our flat walk (if you choose not to walk up to the summit of Mt Roskill) links up three reserves – War Memorial Park, Walmsley Park and Underwood Park. Take some bread to feed the ducks in Oakley Creek. The final part of the walk is at the colourful shops of Stoddard Road.
The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash and off leash dog exercise areas in Walmsley Park and Underwood Park.).
We stopped for a very good coffee at an almost hidden Ethiopean cafe in the Tulja Centre called Cafe Abyssinia.
9th December 2013 – a new cafe has opened at 740 Sandringham Road Extension. Give your support to a community project – the Roskill Coffee Project.
Please note: An upgrade of Oakley Creek storm-water project has been proposed by the Local Board. If it goes ahead, there will be some disruption along this route within Walmsley and Underwood Parks from 2016. Read about it here.
Description: Mostly level paths, steep paths ascent to summit of Mt Roskill. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs if Mt Roskill summit is avoided.
To see: Views of Auckland City skyline, Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Three Kings, One Tree Hill. Oakley Creek and ducks. Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms). Start: Corner of Sandringham Road extension/Stoddard Road. MAP
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.
*** Unfortunately Albany Scenic Reserve was been closed in 2015 due to Kauri Dieback ***
As 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
The dark grey sky and strong winds did not bode well for our walk from Narrow Neck Beach (north of Devonport) to Ngaratinga Bay – a mini coast to coast loop. However, we did stay dry and the walk was invigorating and very enjoyable with plenty of interest along the route.
Fort Takapuna Reserve stands guard above Narowneck Beach and is one of four off leash dog exercise areas. The other off leash areas are: Ngaratina Park, Woodall Park and Cambria Reserve. Cheltenham Beach is off leash at certain times.
From Fort Takapuna Reserve there is a good view across Cheltenham Beach to North Head.
There is only a little of street walking and that provides a peek at the pretty Victorian style houses that Devonport is well known for.
If you have time, you may wish to stop at the Devonport Museum – you will pass by the entrance along the route.
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 Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, views of North Head and Mount Victoria, historical buildings & sites, Victorian style homes. Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms). Dog off leash areas. Children’s playgrounds. Start: Old Lake Road, Narrow Neck. MAP
With the weather looking uncertain and the wish to keep our shoes out of the mud, today we headed over to one of our favourite places to walk in Auckland – Devonport. We were uncertain of where we were headed, and as it turned out, we were very pleasantly surprised at how well our circular route revealed itself.
As always, it is uplifting to walk along the esplanades and parades of Devonport with the view across the Gulf and to the skyline of the city and beyond. And then the joy of looking at the beautifully kept Victorian style homes. Followed by the sounds of birds as we walked alongside Ngataringa Park.
Dogs – off leash exercise area in Ngataringa Reserve.
We are then spoilt for choice as to where to stop for refreshments, and choosing from the many cafes can take time!
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: Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, historical buildings, Victorian style homes. Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms). Parking: In Devonport Village near ferry terminal or along King Edward Parade. MAP
Our walk around Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore was in warm winter sunshine. It was great to see so many people out walking – some with their dogs off-leash on the beach (check out the Council dog rules), making the most of the day.
We followed a route documented by Margaret Scrymgeour from her booklet “Explore the Shore”. This walk takes in the sandy shore as well as the mangrove filled estuaries. The walk is quite undulating, so gave us a good workout. The views of Rangitoto are stunning, and we also enjoyed the view to Auckland City, Mount Eden and the Harbour Bridge.
Description: Mix of flat and undulating paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: Takapuna Beach, Rangitoto, Mangrove, native birds, ducks Time: approx. 90-120 minutes. (about 8 kms) Start: Takapuna Boat Ramp, The Promenade MAP
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.
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)
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 freeOrakei Basin walkway map from Auckland Council.
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 2015Taumanu 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
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”).
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 have been upgraded with cafes and a few retail stores.
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
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…
Today we explored Macleans Park and Eastern Beach – an area that was new to us. The walk took us up and over the Park and down to the waterfront. We were rewarded with wonderful views over the Hauraki Gulf/Tamaki Strait and were able to cool off in the snippets of native bush.
The beach area is set up for picnics and there are children’s playgrounds.
Macleans Park is 36 ha in size. The gully areas and stream restoration plantings have helped to provide roosting and foraging habitat for kingfisher, fantail, pigeon, silver eye, tui and grey warbler native birds.
Note: the yellow line shows the Short Walks In Auckland recommended loop walk.
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and steep paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Hauraki Gulf/Tamaki Strait views, native bush, streams, beach Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms) Start: Macleans Road opposite Murivale Drive MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AE-032 Macleans Park) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the East”).
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area and is a mostly flat walk – just one gentle rise after the boardwalk. The walking route is also suitable for prams/buggies.
You may like to pack a picnic or take advantage of the nearby New Lynn Cafes.
Description: A mix of mainly level paths and one slightly steep path. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Water birds, Mangroves, river views, boardwalk Time: approx. 50 minutes. (about 6 kms) Parking: Lynn Mall Shopping Centre Carpark
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-030 Whau River Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 2” and “Best of the West“).
The Henderson Opanuku Stream walk comes under Project Twin Streams. A great deal of progress has been made. It is a very pleasant short bush walk among the native trees – two giant kauris and many macrocarpas, and the sound of birds. This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area. And a mostly flat walk.
More work needs to be done on making sign posting clear to encourage more people to get out and discover what a beautiful area it is. The area would also benefit from BBQ areas and children’s playgrounds to encourage more families to enjoy the outdoors.
The walking route is also suitable for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only).
This is another walk that you can get to by rail and make it a day outing as Henderson Railway Station is close by. You may like to pack a picnic or take advantage of the Henderson Cafes.
Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Trees and fauna, stream, parks. Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.2 kms) Start: Opanuku Reserve off Henderson Valley Road MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-029 Henderson Opanuku Stream Circuit) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Best of the West“).
Have you ever wondered what a “Block House” is? Well, today I found out. The last Saturday of the month is Market Day in Blockhouse Bay’s main street. At the street stalls you can buy fresh fruit and veggies, fish, delicious breads, plants, sweets, dog food and more.
On Market Days (and each Tuesday) the Blockhouse Bay Historical Society opens the doors of Armanasco House (on the Village Green next to the library). Today I met Keith who explained to me that the old block house was a military building that was built so that it could withstand (or ‘block’) musket ball penetration. There were several block houses that were built in Auckland to protect the city from invasion during the Maori Wars.
The block house of Blockhouse Bay no longer exists, but the Society has a collection of photos and memorabilia, plus members have many fascinating stories.
This Blockhouse Bay circuit walk begins at the National Bank, winds through the newly renamed Gittos Domain (it was called Avondale South Domain) to Flounder Bay. It is an undulating short bush walk with steep paths and steps to test our fitness levels. There are many bench seats along the way. It is very peaceful with just the sound of birds. Many of the native trees have been sign-posted. At low-tide it is possible to walk along the edge of the Bays.
This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.
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: Native bush, Manukau Harbour views Time: approx. 45 minutes. Start: Blockhouse Bay Road Suggested Cafes: The Block, The Bay Cafe and Icoco Cafe.
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AC-027 Blockhouse Bay and Gittos Domain) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Coastal part 1”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun