This short loop walk exploring the reserves from Botany Town Centre to Dannemora is suitable for people who work at Botany Town Centre and enjoy a short walk in their breaks, families with young children (playground, ducks) and dog owners.
The walkways are flat and concrete – ideal for wet days, and for buggies and scooters. We saw ducks, pukeko and shags on the waterways. There is a children’s playground en-route, picnic tables and off leash dog exercise areas.
The walking route is great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers.
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: Reserves and waterways. Time: approx. 45 minutes (about 3.4 kms). Start: Town Centre Drive, Chapel Road, Botany. MAP
Over the years, we have made many visits to Paul Matthews Road off the Upper Harbour Highway in Albany totally unaware that nearby is the huge Unsworth Reserve with the Alexandra Stream flowing through.
The Alexandra Stream is thought to be named after Princess Alexandra who married the Prince of Wales in 1863.
Recently a new board walk/ cycle way has been completed. Obviously we have no idea what was here previously, and can’t imagine how much the project would have cost, but it certainly looks impressive. We hope that it will get a lot of use by recreational and commuting cyclists, pedestrians and joggers. As the many plants and trees grow, it will become a beautiful oasis in the middle of suburban housing.
Along the boardwalk are boards – informing us of ways that water quality is being improved, the past fruit cultivation, ways to reduce erosion and plants – the weeds and natives. And we are impressed with the sign posting.
It was fabulous to walk among many silver ferns, ponga ferns and manuka trees beside the untouched paths along the edge of the reserve.
As we were about to return to the industrial edge of the reserve, we were delighted to spot a pair of adult ducks with about 10 to 12 ducklings swimming and feeding among the reeds in the wetlands of the storm water catchment Omega Pond.
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 wheelchairs and pushchairs/prams/buggies. To see: Wetlands, park land, ponds. Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.0 kms). Start: Rosedale Park. MAP
FEEDBACK April 2018: “Having (attempted to) walk the Unsworth loop (North shore) today with baby and pram I can strongly recommend DO NOT do so. Overtime the path has been worn down and it’s almost impossible to do the loop because of the thousands of tree roots.” Please take photos and report to Auckland Council.
The Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk in Auckland follows the high cliff edge alongside Manukau Harbour to Green Bay Beach and then continues inland to Craigavon Park.
This is another newly discovered gem for us. The Pathway of Tiriwa (Te Ara O Tiriwa) is named after a Maori chief who lived in the area pre-canoe days. The pathway takes you through Punga ferns and mature Puriri trees. Native pigeons feed here in summer months.
There are steep steps down and up the small gullies along the pathway, and the track was muddy today but not too bad (best to walk in dry weather).
We stopped for refreshments at the newly opened The Block cafe in the main street of Blockhouse Bay. What a wonderful “buzzy” community friendly place – and the menu looked mouth watering. The brunch plates that were being served looked generous.
This walk also includes children’s playgrounds, picnic spots with BBQ’s, a fitness trail, public toilets – and hungry ducks to feed.
Description: Bush track, steps, inclines. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: Native bush, views across Manukau Harbour, native birds Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Parking: Blockhouse Bay Reserve Buses: Blockhouse Bay Road MAP
This loop walk that takes in Northcote’s volcanic Tuff Crater and Onepoto Domain is based on one from Margaret Scrymgeour’s booklet “Explore the Shore”.
We started the walk from the children’s playground area at Onepoto Domain. We had heard about the children’s cycle track and it is a really safe place to bring young children and their bikes. The playgrounds looks like a lot of fun too (it has a flying fox). It is a great place to have a picnic, feed the ducks and an ideal spot for parenting groups to meet up.
Onepoto Basin is another of Auckland’s explosion craters and it is the oldest dated, erupting about 250,000 years ago. The Maori name “Onepoto” means small beach (named after Halls Beach near Northcote Point).
Tuff Crater is another explosion crater (this one is filled with water), which is being restored to its natural state with a balanced ecosystem of native plants and wildlife, all with volunteer help. It was formed by explosive eruptions around the same time as Onepoto. For more information about the Tuff Crater, you may wish to view this video. (please note that our loop walk includes part of the Tuff Crater. There are future plans to build a circular walkway completely around the Tuff Crater).
Dogs may be off-leash on the track within the Tuff Crater Reserve (according to Auckland Council Bye-laws Department re phone call 3/6/2014). There is a risk that they could disturb endangered bird life, so please keep them under control. We do have a request for dog owners to pick up litter (as we did come across litter). PLEASE NOTE: As of the 29th October 2014 the new dog rules for Tuff Crater – Dogs prohibited within the foreshore (mangroves) of Tuff Crater; on-leash on track around reserve.
Description: Bush tracks, steps, inclines. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: Native bush, views across Auckland Harbour, native birds, volcanic crater Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dog friendly, but on leash only. Parking: Onepoto Domain, Northcote. Buses: Onewa Road, Northcote MAP
We have done this Moire Park Bush Walk in Massey, West Auckland, twice previously and this time we returned to make use of the yellow walking/cycling bridge that now crosses the motorway.
Note: this GPS Google Map is of Moire Park and does not include some of the extra walking described in the description below and brochure.
The walk now begins from Westgate Shopping Centre with the option of starting from the Moire Park sports complex off Granville Drive, if preferred. There is a short stretch of street walking, but the majority of the walk is off road with a long stretch through native bush, following the Manutewhau Stream.
There is a collection of children’s playgrounds (some with flying fox) that could provide a great incentive for doing the walk with children, and if you take some bread, you may wish to feed the ducks in the ponds near Westgate.
The view from top of Flaunty Reserve across Auckland Harbour to the city can be breath-taking.
Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. Muddy tracks after rain. To see: Auckland City views, Waitakere Hills view, views of Te Atatu Peninsula, native trees and fauna, urban development. Childrens playgrounds. Dog friendly off leash areas. Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms) Parking: Westgate Shopping Centre. Buses: Westgate Shopping Centre MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-031 Moire Park Bush Walk) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the West“).
Winter is perhaps not the best time to do this bush walk starting at the Chelsea Estate Heritage Park – the track was very muddy and slippery – but we survived, and it was fun!
The pink Chelsea Sugar Refinery sits on the edge of Auckland Harbour. From the shore there is a wonderful view across to the Harbour Bridge and City. Swan and ducks greeted us at the dam, expecting to be fed.
You can walk the beaches, feed the ducks, picnic by the ponds or go exploring around the 45 hectares of bush land at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery.
Our walk takes us from the dam at the Chelsea Sugar Refinery through native bush along the cliff edge to Kauri Point Centennial Park and then inland to Chatswood Reserve.
There are a myriad of walking tracks and some are difficult to find after the recent rain and the dropped leaves from the trees covering the ground. Luckily we had our map, so we did not get lost! There’s plenty of native bush and birdlife to enjoy – the birds were singing loudly today.
Update October 2015: The track from Chelsea Estate Heritage Park to Chelsea Bay/Telephone Road Reserve is currently being repaired and made accessible for pushchairs. Possible locations for a gate to separate the on-leash track from the off-leash grass and beach area are being decided as required by the Local Board after the Dog Access Hearings last year. The track has had broken concrete removed, ruts smoothed out and drainage channels created. It has been resurfaced and compacted to give it the natural-looking surface that is used on DOC tracks. The Chelsea bridge will be completely replaced next year.
Update August 2016 From the Kaipatiki Local Board: The new Chelsea Estate bridge project is now completed and ready to be walked, cycled and enjoyed. The new bridge is 2.7 metres wide and cost $287,000 to consent, design and build. Old piles from the old bridge were recycled at the new Island Bay Playspace and some went to a local resident keen to create a unique element within his new house build project.
Description: Part bush track. Very slippery when wet. Suitable for users of above average fitness and mobility. To see: Chelsea Sugar Refinery, views across Auckland Harbour, native bush, ducks, swan. Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms) Parking: Chelsea Sugar Refinery car park, bottom of Colonial Road Buses: Mokoia Road, Highbury MAP
***Please note: September 2018 This track has been temporarily closed due to Kauri Dieback
Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-078 Chelsea Bush Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.
This walk in New Lynn (West Auckland) explores either side of the town centre and takes in Olympic Park and it’s popular children’s playgrounds, and the wetlands of Manawa. The Park and the Wetlands has a community of ducks and pukekos.
According to the TimeSpanner: “The Manawa Wetland Reserve has been redeveloped from a dump for Crown Lynn rejects, before the clay was scoured out for bricks and pots and other thing, and it was the site of the poudrette factory, and before that, it was New Lynn’s Waterfalls Estate in the 1860s.”
To research the clay and brick history of New Lynn, get lost in Papers Past.
Taking the train to New Lynn could be the start of a day’s outing. Do this walk along this side of the Whau River in the morning, have lunch in New Lynn, visit the Mall and then do the Avondale Whau River walk on the other side of New Lynn.
Description: Mix of flat and undulating paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: Olympic Park, Manawa Reserve Wetlands, Gardner Reserve, Ambrico Kiln, Whau River Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.25 kms) Children’s Playgrounds: Olympic Park Start: Olympic Park (off Wolverton Street) Buses/Trains: New Lynn Train Station (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
We are not familiar with the Tamaki and Glen Innes area, so today was our first walk and explore. And we discovered beautiful Point England Reserve. What a gem! We had no idea that there was a sandy beach here.
This walk offers great views of East Auckland and the Waitemata harbour and as the walkway passes through bush, mangroves and farmland. This route is a part of the 7.5km Point to Point Walkway.
The walking route is also great for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only).
The lack of rainfall has made the Omaru River smelly, so we do hope that will improve when it next rains. Part of the path is in great need of maintenance. We wonder if the local schools could adopt part of the walkway and learn how to maintain and enhance the bush and stream??? (The Omaru River is an outlet of Orakei Basin and runs underneath Meadowbank to Apirana Ave, through Maybury Reserve and out to Wai O Taiki Bay). Update: a project was kicked off in June 2013. Read: Youth keen to save river
Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. (Take bread to feed the ducks) To see: Estuary views, boats, wetlands, mangroves, residential housing, view of two volcanoes – Mt Wellington and One Tree Hill, Point England Reserve, Maybury Reserve feijoa trees Time approx. 80 minutes. (about 7.0 kms) Start: Glen Innes Train Station (or Point England Road Reserve at end of Point England Road) MAP Nearby Walks: Tahuna Torea, Waiaturua Reserve
I really enjoy the diversity of Auckland at large and it is also a pleasure to find a walk that contains diversity within a small area. This walk in Auckland, takes us from the ridge of Remuera Village, down to the edge of Hobson Bay walkway, onto a boardwalk amongst the mangroves via reserves and the Remuera mansions. You really get to know a city when you walk – we miss so much when we travel by car. This walk reveals some hidden Auckland gems.
Cafe Greenfingers at Palmers Garden Centre on Shore Road is a great little cafe – the coffee is very good and so is the food.
This walk is one to do if fitness is a criteria – there is a decent uphill. It can also be done in all weathers as all the paths are paved.
Description:A mix of level and steep paths. Suitable in all weather. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for wheelchairs. To see: Remuera mansions, park with mature trees, character shopping street with cafes and restaurants, mangrove trees, water views, ducks. Time: approx. 60-90 minutes depending on pace. Start: Waiata Avenue off Victoria Avenue. MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AC-015 Remuera to Hobson Bay) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).
It was great to see so many people, with their children and their dogs, out enjoying walking today at Western Springs and Meola Reef.
Other things to do here are to visit the Auckland Zoo and MOTAT – Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. And have a tram ride!
Western Springs Park has a warm spot in my memories. My son loved coming here when he was little. He would ride his tricycle (and bicycle when he got bigger) around this man made lake. He had special places where he would have to stop to participate in the imaginative story he had going on in his head with characters from books we used to read.
Western Springs has a mostly level path suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and children’s scooters and trikes. There are ducks, geese, swans and eels to feed, so be sure to bring your bread scraps. And there is a fabulous playground with a BBQ area nearby. “Timespanners” view: War, water and birds at Western Springs
And when your dog gets tired, there is a seat to rest on…
There are two great places to enjoy your picnic – on the many picnic tables in Western Springs, or out at the point of Meloa Reef.
Unfortunately there is not a cafe within walking distance. But there is a van that sells coffee in a paper cup and icecreams in a cone just by the entrance to Western Springs from the Zoo carpark and not far from the children’s playgrounds. (Weekends only, not July and August).
Description: Mainly level paths plus 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: Waitemata Harbour views, a natural spring-fed lake with ducks, swans, geese and long-finned eels; stream, trams, planes. Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7 kms) Start: Great North Road (Western Springs gardens) opposite Western Springs. MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AC-011 Western Springs – Meola) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our three books “Volcanoes”, “Coastal part 2”, “Dog Friendly part 1”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun