Mangere Mountain and Domain are one of Aucklands true gems to explore. It is full of spectalular views of Aucklands Harbours and City, as well as many geological and history highlights. Our recommended route requires a good level of fitness as the loop encounters a range of steep slopes and uneven terrain. There is a good pathway to the summit on a braod track suitable for buggies if you walk the route clockwise, however this is only out & back and misses many interesting features of this mountain.
Recently a friend enquired about doing walks in Auckland with young children who like to ride bikes and scooters. This can be a lot of fun for the kids, and is a great way to get them into outdoor activities while adults get their exercise and fresh air too.
Be prepared to carry the bike/scooter and also make sure your children know how to stop on downhill slopes (and warn them about how to use their muscles to go up hills!). Good idea to have a first aid kit handy and some water and snacks to keep up the energy!
The important thing to look for is mainly flat wide paths, so with that in mind here are a few ideas:
Cornwall Park * – the circular path does have hills
Western Springs – take some bread to feed the ducks!
Albany Lakes Civic Park – An urban oasis, this 6.4ha Albany Park has an art bridge, water features, an outdoor staging area and two large storm water lakes.
Waiaturua Reserve – Wander over wide open spaces, enjoy the beauty of the wetland environ or explore pockets of bush. With wide pathways established for walking and jogging and a landscape that includes extensive native planting. See more of Waiaturua Reserve.
Watercare Coastal Walkway – 7kms one-way from Ambury Farm to Otuataua Stonefields
Henderson Creek Cycleway
Opanuku Walk & Cycleway – Twin Streams Walk & Cycleways Fun Map
Te Atatu Peninsula Walkway *
Pikes Point/Onehunga Foreshore walkway – Southdown to Mangere
(Those marked with an * are currently included in Short Walks in Auckland self-guides.)
More ideas from the NZ Herald here
And some other great bike rides for when the children are older – Bicycle Culture on Auckland’s North Shore.
If you have another suggestions, please share and post in the comment box below. Thanks!
One of my “most-walked” walks in Auckland is the loop of Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill. This volcano walk is right on my doorstep, I can walk there from my home.
Each season of the year can be enjoyed in this park – from the lambs and daffodils in the spring to the autumn colours in April through to pohutukawa flowers in December. Even when the leaves have dropped from the old oak trees in winter, the trees still look majestic.
Tree lovers may like to read this NZ Herald article: Growing our heritage
Watch video highlights: Walks in Auckland – Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill
The park has many things to enjoy. There are large areas of grass for picnics and ball games. There are the cattle and sheep and birds. There are native New Zealand trees such as the pohutukawa and the yellow flowers of the kowhai, and introduced species such as the oaks and eucalyptus trees. The information centre next to the Cornwall Park Restaurant provides leaflets on all the trees in the park plus information on other aspects.
One Tree Hill is a volcano and it has a fabulous view from the summit that takes in views of other Auckland volcanoes (Mt Eden, Mt Hobson, Mangere Mountain, Rangitoto Island, Mt Wellington, Mt Roskill) as well as views of both harbours – the Waitemata and the Manukau.
The park has picnic areas and barbecues, a bandstand and flower beds. And places where children enjoy riding bicycles and scooters. It includes a children’s playground as well as the Stardome Observatory Planetarium. It really is a great place to spend a day.
For visitors who have to choose between visiting One Tree Hill and Mt Eden – One Tree Hill is a larger area with more to see, sheep and cattle, a cafe plus a fine view from the summit. Whereas Mt Eden has a huge crater and a fabulous view of Auckland City.
If you like a bit of a laugh, in 2008 my son James created a 12 part video series titled ‘Steve McGill of One Tree Hill’ which you may enjoy watching. “Meet Steve, a farmhand on Auckland’s One Tree Hill who has many misadventures. He loves his job, his gumboots and his sheep.”
Description: A mix of mainly level paths, and a few steep paths. Suitable for users of all ages and abilities, suitable for normal footwear and for wheelchairs and pushchairs.
To see: City views, harbour views, trees, Volcano, farm animals, observatory. The Park is home to many birds ranging from Native Pigeon, Fantail to California Quail, White-faced Heron and Paradise Shelduck.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.14kms).
Parking: Carpark, Manukau Road entrance.
1) Frolic Café, Manukau Road opposite the park entrance. We have had many coffees here – children friendly.
2) Cornwall Park restaurant and ice-cream kiosk
3) Various at Greenwoods Corner (Golf Road exit).
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochures over at our Walks Store (AC-001 Cornwall Park) and our Book Store (Volcanoes). Or you can download it for free when you sign up in the box at the top right hand side of this page.
There are many outdoor activities and things to do in Auckland, and I would like to share with you one thing that won’t cost you too much money and won’t take up too much of your time – and thats by going on one our short walks in Auckland!
When you go for a short walk in Auckland, you will not only feel energised from being outdoors in the fresh air, you will also be able to experience the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Auckland. Life is such a rush these days, and a short walk gives you the chance to slow down, unwind and maybe discover something about Auckland that you weren’t aware of previously.
What makes Auckland special?
Auckland is a city with lots of green spaces and native bush. There are lots of places to walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are some areas that are so close to residential house or city streets and yet you could feel very isolated because of the surrounding native bush.
I have spent the last three years finding new places to explore and I am continually being pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness and diversity of Auckland.
Here are seven good reasons to get out walking in Auckland.
New Zealand is famous for the All Blacks and Rugby, winning the America’s Cup, skiing in Queenstown, Sir Edmund Hillary and the flightless Kiwi. But did you know that the Auckland region contains 55 volcanoes? (Don’t worry, they are extinct.) Two well-known volcanoes are Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. Both have great views from the summits and walking paths around the volcano’s crater, and through fields that feed cattle and sheep (and there aren’t many cities with sheep farms handy to the city center). Mangere Mountain is a volcano with two craters and is more rugged and natural. Rangitoto is an island that can be viewed from many parts of Auckland – you can catch a ferry and then walk to the top of Rangitoto from where you can get great views of the Gulf.
If you would like to learn more about Auckland’s volcanoes, I recommend this very good book Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide
By Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon
Because Auckland is on an isthmus that goes between two harbours, the shores have many inlets and beaches, making it great for sailing and swimming. However, do take care when swimming – the tidal flow in the Harbours can be strong.
The Maori people were the first to settle in Auckland and their traces can be found in and around the volcanoes and craters. More information about the Maori people and their way of life before white man came, can be viewed at the Auckland Museum. When the Europeans arrived they built their fences for their fields from the volcanic rock.
New Zealand is a young country compared to America and Europe. Man-made structures are fairly recent. The cemetery in Symonds Street under the Grafton Bridge was established in 1848. Part of it has not been maintained which is quite sad because it is a fascinating place to wander around.
North Head looks across the harbour to Auckland City. The strategic position made it one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. During World Wars I and II the fort was expanded as part of Auckland’s coastal defence system.
Pah Homestead in Hillsborough was built between 1877 and 1879. It has recently been restored and now houses an art collection.
This brochure Heritage Walks The Engineering Heritage of Auckland can be downloaded for free.
There are several places for bird lovers to go to enjoy seeing New Zealand’s native birdlife. There is a large wetland that has been established out east near Pigeon Mountain, and there are breeding places on the edge of the Manukau Harbour for rare species. As you walk along the bush tracks in Auckland, you will hear many birds singing.
The planners in Auckland have been thoughtful enough to leave areas of native bush. The bush provides cool shelter on hot days. You will get to see native Kauri trees and Nikau ferns amongst the many other varieties. You do not have to look out for snakes and spiders – the spiders are harmless and there are no snakes.
You are never far from a cafe in Auckland. They are famous for serving up some of the best coffee in the world and the food is pretty good too – just what you need after an energetic walk?
Gather up your walking shoes, friends, family, pet dog and discover the pleasure of walking in Auckland – there are so many things to do and see in Auckland – you may be surprised.