Beautiful spring sunshine, great friends, our dog and a simply wonderful track and environment. Today we enjoyed walking the long-version of the Puhinui Stream Forest Loop – great native bush, parklands of Totara Park and a picnic – the kids even had a swim in the stream, not really a swimming paradise but lots of fun!
If you are looking for a fantastic family walk out south, this is one for you to enjoy. The bush includes large and mature native trees and the track through the bush is well maintained and full of interest. The southern part of the track is mostly flat and easy, while the return part of the loop is hilly.
The added attraction of this walk is immediate access to Totara Park and the Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed a great picnic on the grass next to a pond – our friends even bringing a camping gas cooker to make pancakes for lunch !
Details of the Puhinui Forest Loop Walk can be found here:
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“).
We have previously explored St Johns Bush and wanted to incorporate the beautiful nature reserve into one of our longer circular walks.
This walk does just that, as well as passes through the reserves and playgrounds (Rutherford Reserve has a flying fox) within the suburb of Saint Johns. This walk suits adults as well as primary school age children. St Johns Bush has signposts to help us learn about the native trees and ferns.
Description: A mix of level and slightly hilly paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: St Johns Bush native trees and ferns, residential housing, reserves Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.0 kms) Dog off leash area: Allen Johnston Reserve Start: Ipswich Place, Saint Johns MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store(AE-060 Saint Johns Explorer) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).
The loop walk in Auckland from Mission Bay to Okahu Bay takes in the views of Auckland Harbour from the M J Savage Memorial Park (the Auckland Explorer Bus stops here) and the Bastion Point Marae. The bright sunshine and blue skies today, enhanced the scenes.
Mission Bay is a great little seaside village that always seems to have a buzz with it’s cafes, restaurants, harbour promenade, famous fountain and sandy beach.
Okahu Bay has a sandy beach and on the other side of Tamaki Drive is the Orakei Domain. The Domain has an extensive children’s playground that includes a flying fox.
You may wish to linger at the Michael Joseph Savage (first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the welfare state) Memorial Park which overlooks Auckland Harbour.
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: part of the walk is a grassy track.
To see: Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, Orakei Wharf, MJ Savage Memorial, Bastion Point. Time: approx. 50 minutes (about 4.55kms) Start: Mission Bay Reserve or MJ Savage Memorial carpark
We have wanted to include Oakley Creek walkway in our walk guides for some time. The Oakley Creek Te Auaunga (whirlpool or swirling waters) Walkway itself is a one-way track, and we wanted to include it as part of a bigger circular walk. And today we did it! There was a lot of water in the creek today and the 6 metre high waterfall was in fine form. The new viewing platform is great (update December 2012 – sad to see that the platform has been burnt down).
Oakley Creek flows from Hillsborough, through Mt Roskill, Owairaka and Waterview to the Waitemata Harbour, making it one of Auckland’s longest urban streams. Oakley Creek is also home to the New Zealand longfin eel which is threatened, so fishing is not allowed.
The Friends of Oakley Creek is a project to help preserve and protect the creek, and was set up in 2004. The Friends of Oakley Creek have been doing a fantastic job with restoration and keeping the creek maintained, clean and improving the water quality. This is a volunteer organisation, and they continually seek help with their efforts – lend a hand if you can. If you would like to get involved, visit their Facebook page: Friends of Oakley Creek .
You can walk through native bush, wetlands, see water birds and enjoy the peace beside Oakley Creek. We have decided to create two separate loop walks – one a northern loop, the other a southern loop. You may wish to get both, and link them together for a longer walk.
Children’s playgrounds in both walks – the southern loop Heron Park has a flying fox.
Both loop walks take in off-leash dog exercise areas (dogs on leash alongside the Creek). See other Dog Friendly Walks
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Water birds Habitat, waterfall, Oakley Creek Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms Start: Cadman Avenue (off Fairlands Avenue/ Great North Road) MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AC-042 Oakley Creek Walkway Loop South) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).
Watch this video to get a taste of the Oakley Creek walkway.
Mt Eden is one of the most popular places to visit in Auckland. Today’s walk around Mt Eden in autumn sunshine and clear skies was wonderful. We enjoyed the fly past of the Spitfires and DC3’s at 10am to commemorate Anzac Day.
This walk around Mt Eden takes you along the road and smaller tracks up and around the summit and crater, to give you an idea of the immense size of this volcano.
View of Rangitoto Island from Mt Eden, AucklandFriends of Maungawhau have kept up with planting native trees, so that in time, the mountain will have improved heritage protection.
Since our last visit, the work undertaken on the water reservoir has been completed, so we have added an extra optional loop to take in a bigger view of Auckland City and the harbour.
This very popular visitor’s site gives fine views of Eden Park (home of the All Black’s Rugby Team), the Waitakere Ranges, Rangitoto Island, Mt Victoria, North Head, Mt Hobson and more…Why visit Mount Eden?
There is a good sized childrens playground (and a flying fox). And Mt Eden village offers a good choice of cafes.
Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather. Sturdy shoes required to cope with loose gravel, tree roots and small rocks. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet. To see: Volcano crater, Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views and the Waitakere Hills. Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 4.74 kms). Start: Owens Road (off Stokes Road/Mt Eden Road) MAP
A beautiful sunny morning made our trip south for a walk around the Auckland Botanic Gardens and Totara Park walking tracks and the Puhinui Stream forest, a wonderful experience.
We had set out to do a 5km walk but we ended up getting lost due to poor signage.
There was a good side to getting lost 1) we walked further than we had planned and 2) we found a look-out that we did not know existed which gave us a clear view all the way to the Auckland city skyline and across to Manukau Harbour.
The Puhinui Stream Forest Trail (the full loop trail is approx 4 kms) in Totara Park was gorgeous with the sunlight dappling the native ferns and palms. The trail took us past beautiful totara, puriri, nikau and kauri trees. We enjoyed soaking up the beauty of the lush native forest.
There are great spots to stop and picnic along the trail and children’s playground areas (including a children’s flying fox). Dogs on-leash on the trail, but there are off-leash areas. It makes for a great family day out. (And if you are into mountain biking or want to give it a try, there is a 15 km mountain bike track here too).
Dogs – off leash exercise area between north side of the Gardens and Totara Park.
If you have children then we do recommend a visit to the Potter Children’s Garden (within the Botanic Gardens) – and as adults we enjoy visiting them too! The Auckland Botanical Gardens are magnificent and a wonderful place to visit all year round – the spring blossoms are stunning.
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Auckland Botanic Gardens, native bush and palms Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms) Start: Auckland Botanic Gardens Carpark MAP Miko Cafe at Auckland Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre provided us with much needed refreshments (we especially enjoy the Piazza D’Oro coffee).
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-037 Botanic Gardens and Totara Park Loops ) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush”, “Dog Friendly Walks part 2” and “Best of the South”).
The weather did not look too promising this morning (it did improve), so we set out to walk 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.
We got our ‘out in nature’ hit in Myers and Western Parks (with children’s playgrounds and a dog friendly off-leash exercise area). The Children’s playground in Western Park has seven slides and a Flying Fox, making this a short family friendly walk.
Auckland doesn’t seem so big when we walk it – it seemed to take no time at all to walk from Aotea Square to Ponsonby!
This is a great walk for visitors to Auckland and for families. Catch the train to Britomart to begin the mini adventure!
Description: A mix of level paths, steps and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see: Views of Mount Eden, Auckland City, Auckland Harbour bridge, parks, K’Rd shops Time: Loop approx. 60 minutes. (about 4 kms) Parking: 1 hour meter parking off Queen Street (2 hours on Sundays)
How do you recover after last night’s fabulous TV screening of the wedding of Prince William and Catherine? Go for a walk in Auckland of course!
Today’s walk begins at Victoria Park Markets and takes us through the suburban streets of Freemans Bay up to Ponsonby Road via the well-hidden gem of Western Park and the sculptural installation by John Radford on Ponsonby Road.
Victoria Park Markets have been upgraded and the last time we were there (2014), they were starting to look interesting. Did you know that these buildings started life as “The Destructor; Auckland’s first rubbish depot”? Read more at Suite101: History of Victoria Park Market
Western Park is a delight. There is a comprehensive children’s playground that includes a flying fox and long slide, a fitness trail and wonderful trees such as the massive Moreton Bay Fig trees and Kauri trees and Cyprus trees to name a few. This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash area. (See other Dog Friendly Walks)
Colourful Ponsonby Road is worth exploring and there many cafes and restaurants to choose from. This area is also full of heritage buildings and places of interest. Choose from four Ponsonby Heritage Walks.
A mix of level and steep paths. Suitable in dry and wet 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 : City dwellings, City tourist market, park with mature trees, character shopping street with cafes and restaurants. Dogs: Off leash area. Children’s Playground=Yes Time : approx. 60 minutes. Allow extra time to explore. Start Point: Victoria Park Market