Tag Archives: East Auckland

Clevedon Reserve – Stairway to Heaven

The walk to the Clevedon Reserve lookout, known as the Stairway to Heaven, was suggested to us by some of my wife’s work colleagues and what a great surprise. Large kauri, Kahikatea, Puriri and Puka trees grace the slopes and make for an impressive bush canopy. Plenty of birdlife is enjoyed, as is the view across the Auckland City in the distance and the Hunua Ranges to the East. Adding to the value of this amazing walk is exploring the quaint Clevedon Village.

Be aware that this walk is uphill to the lookout and then downhill back to the start – there is very little flat and hundreds of stairs – the new wooden stairs on the northern section of the track are exceptionally well made and well spaced, making it a more comfortable climb. We completed the walk anti-clockwise, suggested to us by our local guide – very good advice.

Take some time to view some of the tree specimens. Our friend and guide took the time to point out some of his special trees – there really are some unique and fascinating specimens.

Walk Time60 – 75 mins
SurfaceWooden Stairs, gravel, dirt
Difficulty 3 – steep and stairs requires reasonable fitness and stability
Buggies/WheelchairsNot suitable except for the short walk to the quarry
Dog FriendlyYes – welcome on leash
FacilitiesToilets, Picnic tables, Parking, Kauri dieback cleaning station, confidence course, Burma trail,
HighlightsHuge native trees, views, birdlife, quarry environment

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

Clevedon Reserve Loop Walkway

A fantastic walk and one for the whole family. The native bush is fantastic and quite unique with large kauri being the highlight. This bush also benefits from relatively spaced undergrowth (for NZ bush), enabling you to enjoy the uniqueness of each large specimen.

Drive through Clevedon and turn left into Thorpes Quarry Rd and drive to the end, where you will find the carpark. Next to the carpark is the local scout hall, toilets and confidence course. Head beyond the scout hall and to the bridge that takes you across the Tataia Stream, a pretty waterway that joins into the Wairoa River before heading all the way to the sea between Duder and Waitawa Parks. Presently there is Kauri Dieback cleaning stations to disinfect your shoes.

Once across the bridge, continue on the track straight ahead to complete the loop walk in an anti-clockwise direction. This enables you to enjoy the new stairs on the way up the hill and take in the more original track on the downhill return. The stairs are very impressive, built to keep foot traffic off the path to protect the kauri and other large trees. You will climb 30 – 40 minutes up and up until you reach the lookout at the top of the hill. From here, enjoy the 360 degree views that take in the Clevedon Plains, Hunua Ranges, Hauraki Gulf, Waitakere Rangers and Auckland City.

We completed the return journey by continuing on the loop, offering more magnificent bush and trees on your descent. You’ll notice a couple of large kauri not far from the path, very impressive specimens.

Once at the base of the hill again, you will be at a junction – it is worth turning left and taking the short walk (5 minutes) to the quarry. This is amazingly beautiful and has picnic tables for your enjoyment.

This is a really enjoyable walk that should be added to your list of walks to do that are unique and a little ‘out-of-the-way’. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

This walk is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs with the majority of this track being stairs or relatively steep terrain.

Buggies and Wheelchairs could be used for the short walk to the quarry.

Stairway to Heaven Elevation Chart

Clevedon Reserve Elevation 2
Clevedon Reserve Elevation

Useful Links

Clevedon Scenic Reserve Information

Pigeon Mountain Volcanic Cone

One of Auckland’s less known and visited volcanic cones, Pigeon Mountain (Ōhuiarangi) is worth exploring. This is Auckland’s easternmost volcanic cone and offers fantastic views of the Hauraki Gulf and back across Auckland City. It provides a very unique perspective of Auckland’s geography and at only 55m in height is not a daunting climb.

Pigeon Mountain Ōhuiarangi
Pigeon Mountain Ōhuiarangi fields and view towards the summit

Ōhuiarangi contains sports fields, a Scout Hall, Kindergarten and plenty of opportunities to climb and explore. The northern side was quarried from 1847 by the early Fencibles Settlers and this increased through the 1950’s-1970’s. Today, the northern part of Pigeon Mountain is no more and there are protective fences to stop visitors from falling up to 30m. The southern side of the mountain contains grassy slopes and sports fields.

The detour to the Wetlands across Pigeon Mountain Rd is a pleasant boardwalk through growing native bush.

Walk Time45 – 90 minutes
SurfaceGrass tracks and some rocks near quarry
Difficulty2
Buggies/WheelchairsOffroad buggies could be pushed up the grass slopes if fit & strong. Wetlands Section is wheel friendly.
FacilitiesToilets, Carparking
HighlightsViews of Auckland City and Hauraki Gulf

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

Short Walks In Auckland alternative Pigeon Mountain Walk here.

Pigeon Mountain and Wetland Walk Descriptions

The walk to the summit can be commenced via Gills Rd or from the carpark on Pigeon Mountain Rd. If commencing from the carpark head to the south and start your climb up through the remains of the quarrying. There are a lot of interesting rock formations and outcrops that make it an interesting place to explore. Be aware that much of this terrain is very uneven. After climbing up the edge of the old quarry, you intersect with a track that will take you to the summit.

Left over from the quarry
Interesting rock outcrops remaining from the quarrying

If you choose to walk from Gills Rd, just head your way across the sports field and towards the summit. There are a few grass tracks that eventually lead towards some stairs that take you to the top!

Once at the summit, you’ll enjoy some great views back over Auckland City and towards Browns Island and Rangitoto Island. On your decent, try going down the way you did not come up so you appreciate both sides of the mountain.

The view of Rangitoto from the summit
The view of Rangitoto from the summit

A couple of other interesting facts:

  • Pigeon Mountain was a Maori Pa and so you will see historic terraces on the mountain.
  • A group of Pakuranga College students found some artefacts and skulls in the 1960’s

Buggies/Wheelchairs

This walk is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs unless off-road capable. They can be used to access the summit from Gills Rd side but there is no way you can take a buggy up the northern track.

Dog Friendly

The Pigeon Mountain Walkway allows dogs on a leash.

Pigeon Mountain Volcano Additional Information

Further history of Pigeon Mountain

Council Upgrade of Pigeon Mountain

Coastal Rotary Walkway Pakuranga

One of East Auckland’s most scenic and popular walkways, the coastal Rotary Walkway in Pakuranga is a most do! It winds its way along the verge of the Tamaki River from Panmure Bridge, eventually finishing at Halfmoon Bay (via a few extra streets and paths).

The distance is 10.5km one way, so a significant walk if you are to do the return trip, but well worth it! There are plenty of options to complete portions of the walkway also and our Google Map will display all the possible entrances/exits along the Rotary Walkway. You will also find the Map will assist you greatly in navigating the Halfmoon Bay section of the walk.

Rotary Walkway
Rotary Walkway: photo from Auckland City Council

This walk is suitable for bikes, buggies and wheelchairs, so great for any person/family, although at the halfmoon Bay end of the adventure there are a couple of flights of pretty steep stairs.

Walk Time1 – 5 hours (10.5km one way)
SurfacePaved and Boardwalk
Difficulty1 – 2 – the first 8.5km is mostly flat and on the Rotary Walkway. The final 2km has hills and stairs as it traverses through various streets and walkways to Halfmoon Bay.
Buggies/WheelchairsExcellent walkway for buggies & wheelchairs. The final 2km towards Halfmoon Bay will present some challenges, especially the stairs at the far end of Eclipse Place.
FacilitiesPlayground, Fishing, Swimming, Toilets, Water, Seats, Picnic Tables
HighlightsCoastal, Views, Great track, Boardwalks over the water and through mangroves.

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

Rotary Walkway Description

One of Auckland’s great walkways, this purpose built coastal path hugs the east-side of the Tamaki River from Panmure Bridge to Halfmoon Bay. The track winds its way in and out of pretty inlets, with boardwalks traversing through bush and mangroves. Enjoy the sea-breeze, water views, bird life and opportunities presented by the famous ‘snakes & ladders’ playground or some land-based fishing.

Pakuranga Rotary Walkway
Paved Rotary walkway Track

There are many places you can commence this track and a lot of options for varying length walks. The Google Map clearly shows the various entrances to the path if you want to create your own loop walk. However, the complete 10.5km walk is full of highlights and worth the effort, even if it means completing it return for a 21km half marathon! The alternative is to drop a vehicle at each end of the walkway.

We have walked, run and biked this track on a many occasions – it is definitely a favourite. We normally commence at the Panmure Bridge end, especially as the first few kilometres contain so much variety, interest and beautiful coastal scenery.

Please note: Currently there are extensive roadworks around Panmure Bridge for the new busway and so parking by the bridge is closed. The best access will be via Kerswill Place or further along via Riverlea Ave.

Once strolling along the walkway, you will wind your way along the foreshore, mostly on paved undulating track. This paved track is interspersed with boardwalks that venture over the water and through the mangroves, at high tide you are walking just a little above the lapping water. The hills on this section of track are small but add interest to the first 2-3 km The middle section of the track is almost completely flat as it circumvents the coastline.

After passing your way around the second significant inlet, the impressive St Kentigern College campus will be on your right and you pass their rowing jetty on the left. The next significant landmark is the Farm Cover Reserve where you will find toilets and water. 150m past the reserve is the famous ‘Snakes & Ladders Playground’ – worth a visit even if you don’t have kids with you!

Farm Cover Snakes & Ladders Playground
Farm Cove Snakes & Ladders Playground

Another significant inlet follows the playground as you wind your way towards Wakaranga Creek Reserve. This is another beautiful section with lovely houses, mangroves, pockets of bush and eventually opening to the green spaces of the Reserve.

A short detour from the Rotary Walkway takes you to the Prince Regent Playground, best known for its long tube slide. Another 250m – 300m through Pigeon Mountain Wetlands and you can visit Pigeon Mountain for a spectacular view of the local area and Auckland isthmus!

Pass through Wakaaranga Creek Reserve and take the western exit to Curacao Place. The trek now leaves the Rotary Walkway and traverses a series of quiet streets and walkways across the clifftop of the Halfmoon Bay suburb. Enjoy the varied views across the city and Waitemata Harbour, as well as many beautiful homes. This approximately 2km section takes you to the Halfmoon Bay marina, shopping centre and wharf. Enjoy a refreshing ice cream at Delishimo. There are also a range of restaurants at Halfmoon Bay if you want to stop for lunch before starting a return journey!

The track across the last 2km to Halfmoon Bay has a lot of variety. Once completing the various streets, a flight of stairs takes you back to a track that hugs the coastline and clifftop. There are stairs heading down form the end of Clyside Ave, with a semi-accessible small beach just off the track. Another set of stairs climbs back up to the clifftop track – continue along here until you reach the stairs down to Halfmoon Bay.

You are here! Enjoy the ice cream, restaurants and other services. This is also where you catch the ferry to Auckland City or Waiheke Island.

Rotary walkway Elevation Map

Rotary Walkway Elevation:
Panmure to Halfmoon Bay

Additional Links:

Rotary Walkway Google Map

Snakes & Ladders Playground

Delishimo Ice Cream Shop

Restaurants in Halfmoon Bay

Busway Construction Updates

Waiheke Island Ferry

Ferry to Auckland City

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

Point England Walk

Point England Reserve

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

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-059 Point England Walk) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” 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.

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)

St Heliers and the Hauraki Gulf

Walks in Auckland

What a fabulous day for a walk in Auckland – warm, sunny, no wind….and there were so many people out and about taking advantage of the great weather!

St Heliers is a buzzy little place on Tamaki Drive with a small selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from for refreshments.

Todays walk provides spectacular views looking over the Hauraki Gulf to the small islands and the impressive Rangitoto volcano. And then onto Glover Park another of Auckland’s volcano remains – this one is an ‘explosion crater’.

This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths. 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.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5kms) Map

Find this walk over at our Walks Store (AE-016 St Heliers and Glover Park) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog Friendly part 2, Best of the East)

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

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