Tag Archives: Fabulous Views

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

West Harbour Loop

Have  a picnic with a view to Auckland City
Have a picnic with a view of  the Harbour & Auckland City
Starting by the West Harbour Marina, the West Harbour Loop walk is fully paved, winds through wonderful bush and provides stunning views over the water back to Auckland city.  There are a range of facilities at Luckens Reserve to make this walk more comfortable.

This is a walk to add to your list!
Walk Time60 – 75 mins – 4.5km (yellow)
Surface99% Paved
Difficulty2/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs3/5 – Steep around & past Luckens Reserve
FacilitiesPlayground, Tpilets, Water, BBQ, Tables, Seats
HighlightsViews, Coastal, Native Bush, Park

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

Download a pdf version of the West Harbour Loop Map

West Harbour Loop Track Description

This is a lovely coastal track that makes its way from the West Harbour Marina alongside the harbour and through Luckens Reserve.  

The track could be walked out and back along the coast or use our suggested loop.  The loop is about 4.5km and takes just over an hour.  It could be shortened by looping back through Luckens Reserve. 

The track is paved 99% of the way and does not contain any stairs.  There are some steep sections around Luckens Reserve and through to the turn-around.

There are seats periodically placed along the walk for a nice resting spot.

Luckens reserve is excellent with lovely gently large sloped grass areas, children’s playground, toilets, drinking fountain and plenty of parking.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The track is paved 99% of the way and does not contain any stairs.  It is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, although parts before Luckens Reserve and beyond Luckens Reserve to the turnaround are very steep and probably too difficult for wheelchairs. Lighter buggies with a fit ‘pusher’ should be ok – although in wet conditions it may become dangerous.

West Harbour Loop Elevation Map – note the steep sections up to Luckens Reserve and then to the turn around point.

Other useful Links:

West Harbour Circuit Information

West Harbour Circuit Brochure

Luckens Reserve and Beach Information

Walks in Auckland City

While most of our walks are within urban Auckland, we would like to encourage you to explore Auckland city’s Central Business District (CBD). For visitors on short stays, walking around Auckland city is the best way to explore and discover the backstreets and character.

Many of these walks in Auckland City start from Britomart at the Auckland Harbour end of Queen Street.

The Auckland City CBD discovery walk – starts from Britomart. This walk brochure is free for people who download our FREE report ‘What to do and see in Auckland’. This walk takes you past historical buildings and through parks and reserves. We also take in lanes, arcades and courtyards.

Victoria Park and Markets – begins at Victoria Park Markets and takes you through the suburban streets of Freemans Bay up to Ponsonby Road via the well-hidden gem of Western Park.

Auckland Coast to Coast Walk – starts from Britomart and takes about 4 hours non-stop.  It is split into 4 stages, with directions on where to catch a bus to return to Britomart at the end of each stage. This walk is full of variety from kauri trees, to the Parnell shops and cafes, churches and cathedrals, views of the harbours, volcanoes and Waitekere Ranges and an art collection.

Karangahape Road and Parks – starts from BritomartWalk the back streets and parks of Auckland City.  This walk provides fine views of Mt Eden (down the side roads off Karangahape Road), the Harbour Bridge and the Sky Tower, and introduces you to the eclectic shopping strip of Ponsonby and Karangahape Road.

Auckland Harbour and Point Erin – starts from Victoria Park Market which is within an easy walk from Britomart. This Auckland walk not only has fabulous views, it is mostly flat (apart from the steep steps at Jacob’s Ladder ), Victoria Park has a great children’s playground and skate park, and there are beautiful old homes and moored yachts to enjoy. View the Auckland Harbour Bridge up close.

Wynyard Quarter Waterfront – starts from Britomart.  Explore the Viaduct Basin and Wynyard Quarter boating scene and cafes.  See where the America’s Cup yachts were based.  There is always something to see along the way…

Auckland Museum – starts from Britomart. This mini-tour walk takes in the Auckland Domain,Albert Park, Queen Street, Chancery Lane, Vulcan Lane, High Street, and old Government House.

Auckland Art Gallery – starts from Britomart. The route winds through parks, arcades and past historic buildings.

We have also put together 5 walks for the University of Auckland from their city-side Symonds Street campus.

If you have the time and wish to have a break from the City head to Devonport: Mount Victoria and North Head – start from Britomart and walk to the Ferry Building to catch the ferry to Devonport.  Explore the historic houses and buildings beneath Mount Victoria and/or walk up to North Head.  Stop in Devonport Village to browse the shops and refresh at cafes. Or catch a train or bus to Newmarket and spend the day walking and exploring.

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 have been upgraded with cafes and a few retail 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 2

Stay 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”).

Waiheke Island walkways and vineyards

Walks in AucklandDiscover the uniqueness that is Waiheke Island. You will feel as though you are far away from Auckland.
Unspoiled sandy beaches, lush native bush,
fabulous views, and the island’s best walkways.

Waiheke Island walkways and vineyards are just waiting to be explored.

And Auckland City Council’s vast network of walkways makes this a pleasure.

Catch the ferry and enjoy a day out, and prepare to swim on a summers day – if you decide on Walk One, take in refreshments at Cable Bay, Mudbrick or Jurassic Ridge

Try this suggested walk from the NZ Herald Waiheke: Get art and about

Or try ‘Best Resturants on Waiheke‘ according to View Auckland.

Mangere Mountain Walk

walks in auckland

I have driven past Mangere Mountain many times without realising where it was. I knew of it, but hadn’t seen it. I discovered it last year and found that it’s a huge and unspoiled volcano with fabulous views across the Manukau Harbour. Mangere Mountain has little exposure from the motorway to the airport, but on it’s western side it looms high (106 metres above sea level), from the Harbour shores. This volcano does not have paved paths and roads like Mt Eden or One Tree Hill. It erupted about 18,000 years ago and is in the most original condition.

Dogs – on leash.

Other Mangere WalksMangere Bridge to Onehunga LoopAmbury Park Farm WalkMangere Esplanade Loop

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkway, Ambury Regional Park, Villa Maria Winery and cafe, Butterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet. Suitable in dry weather. 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: Volcano crater and rim, Manukau Harbour views, views of other volcanoes.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (3.69kms)
Start: Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge Village There is a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.  (See other Dog Friendly Walks) Mangere Village has several cafes.

Find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store  (GS006 Mangere Mountain) and our Book Store (“Volcanoes”  and “Best of the South”).

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

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

Tahuna Torea nature walk

Tahuna Torea is a beautiful nature reserve and wetland (salt marsh and freshwater habitat) in Glendowie, East Auckland. This nature walk follows the estuary edge and through native bush. I was hoping to head there yesterday but the rain was too heavy. Today the skies cleared to reveal a warm autumn day perfect for another walk in Auckland.

The starting point is at Roberta Reserve – it is a space that children can enjoy with a playground in the corner. Roberta Reserve is an off leash dog exercise area, but no dogs are allowed within Tahuna Torea itself because of the shore and wading birds that wander freely in this conservation area.

Tahuna Torea introduces you to 25 hectares of unique wildlife sited on a long sand bank extending out into the Tamaki Estuary. It is rich in Maori history as well as native birds and vegetation. Native trees are well sign-posted and there are fabulous views of the sandspit and estuary. There are three main walking trails around the reserve and you can walk them separately or together. It is a fun bush and shore family friendly walk.

Check out the tides before you head out – at low tide you can explore the Sandspit Beach Walks and at high tide you can enjoy the beauty of the water.

Description: : A mix of level path and a steps. Suitable in dry weather. 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: Wilderness Nature Reserve. Estuary views, sand spit, mangrove lagoon, freshwater pond, native birdlife, and native trees, Hauraki Gulf views. Bring binoculars to view birdlife.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. Allow extra time to explore.
Start: On corner of Robert Ave and Riddell Road. MAP

Suggested Café:
Ronnies, Corner of Riddell Road and Roberta Avenue (they do great iced coffees!)

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-010 Tahuna Torea) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush”,  “Coastal part one” and “Best of the East”).

Churchill Park Loop

Churchill Park is one of a few walks in Auckland that does not have much shelter, so it was a great day to get into the park, with a pleasantly  warm sun and no rain.

The walk starts off going uphill and there are further gentle undulations – it fits the ‘fitness’ criteria! There is some variety – big pine tress, distant city skyline views, a path following a stream (where the Nikau Palms were showing off their red berries), a few cattle taking up what shade they could find and then once out of the park the fabulous views over the harbour and estuary.

Churchill Park, Glendowie Park and Roberta Reserve all have an off-leash dog exercise area and today there were dog owners taking advantage of the weather.

For children, there is an attractive playground area at the walk start and end point. Update June 2014: A recent redesign and reconstruction has transformed Roberta Reserve playground into a series of exciting, safe play spaces
for kids of all ages. For more adventurous youngsters, the park’s large colourful rope fort, eagle’s nest and swing basket are a real highlight.

Description:A mix of level paths, and a few steep paths. Suitable in dry weather. Suitable for users of all ages and abilities, suitable for normal footwear and for wheelchairs and pushchairs. May be muddy in places during the winter months.
To see: Sea views, city views, stream, private gardens, farm animals
Time: About 5kms (approx. 60 minutes).
Start: On corner of Robert Ave and Riddell Road. MAP
Playground: Corner of Riddell Road & Roberta Ave

Suggested Café: Ronnies Café, Corner of Riddell Road and Roberta Avenue (they do great iced coffees and date scones!)

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-007 Churchill Park) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 1”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the East”).