Tag Archives: Native Bush

Summer walks in Auckland

December is a beautiful time of year to get out walking when hopefully the weather starts becoming more stable and before it gets too hot.  We are also blessed with the red pohutukawa tree blossoms at this time of year.

One of our favourite places to head out for a walk from is Mangere Bridge Township. We have documented five walks from this area. The village cafes are a great place to meet walking companions before and/or after a walk. On Sunday mornings there are small markets to buy goodies at. And a little further south, in Kirkbride Road, is a place where you can indulge in fresh strawberry ice-cream while the strawberries are in season. And if you are walking with children, then Ambury Park Farm is always a fun place to visit.

The Mangere Bridge walk circuits vary in length. And you have the option of linking two or more if you are feeling creative and energetic. Take a look at the selection at this link: Mangere Bridge Walks

Other places to enjoy the pohutukawa tree blossom are:

1. Cornwall Park

2. Highbrook

3. Conifer Grove

4. Three Kings

Once December passes and the weather warms up, it is time to seek the shade of the native bush or the cool breezes of the coast.

All these walks (with maps, detailed directions and other vital information) can be downloaded in individual brochures.

A series of 12 self-guide walk books is also available. Visit the book store or The Women’s Bookshop (in Ponsonby, Auckland).

Glen Eden Bush and Stream walk

Glen Eden is undergoing stream restoration and cycleways development as part of the Twin Streams Project, so we set out for an exploratory walk to see what we could uncover.

We started off at Ceramco Park, but if you are arriving by train, you could take the Upper Waikumete Walk and Cycle Way starting from the corner of Captain Scott Road and West Coast Road, turn right into Savoy Road to continue to Ceramco Park. We followed the Waikumete Stream, footpaths, walkways and tracks through native bush and wetlands, over bridges and along pleasant residential streets, making this an enjoyable short urban bush walk.

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas within reserves and parks.

Nearby Walk: Glen Eden and Waikumete Cemetery Circuit Walk

Description: Mainly flat with one steep road. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Waikumete Creek, wetlands, native bush, kauri trees.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.47kms).
Parking:  Ceramco Park.
Start: 120 Glendale Road, Glen Eden. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-099 Glen Eden Bush & Stream Walk) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Part 2” “Best of the West“).

Point View Reserve Loop

Last weekend while we were exploring the Whitford area, we stumbled across the Point View Reserve, and decided to check it out. Point View Reserve Copyright 2014 Unleashed Ventures Limited

Point View Reserve is close to Botany and Dannemora and the view from the trig station, looking north to Auckland City puts the city’s housing sprawl into perspective.  Looking towards the opposite direction there are still the rolling hills of the quiet countryside to see. What a contrast!

And then, in the middle of the reserve is regenerating native bush – taraire, karaka, puriri, rimu, totara and kahikatea trees; as well as tree ferns, kanuka and nikau palms.   What a treasure this reserve is.

A tributary of the Mangemangeroa Creek runs through the steep gully (we were told there are 500 steps on the Koura Track).

Our 3km loop walk does require a good level of fitness – due to the steep steps.  Dogs must be on-leash in the bush areas, and off leash in the open areas.

You can download the Auckland Council Point View Reserve brochure here.

Description: Mix of level and steep paths, with a series of steep steps. Suitable for good levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Not suitable for pushchairs.
To see: Views of Auckland City and countryside, bush and birds.
Time: approx. 45 to 60 minutes (about 3.16kms). Plus exploring time.
Parking:  Corner of Caldwells Road and Point View Drive. MAP

 

Best of the South: Short walks in AucklandStay on track… Find this walk (AS-097 Point View Reserve Loop) and other walk brochures with map and directions at our Walk Store . One of 12 walks in our book “Best of the South” available from our Book Store.

Tiritiri Matangi Island walk

It’s been over 15 years since Helen last visited Tiritiri Matangi Island. Since then, the thousands of young native bush plants have grown to a lush environment (restoration began in 1983). And the bird song has intensified as the protected birds carry on with their breeding without having to be concerned about predators. This island is an example of how man can repair our environment.
Tirirtiri Matangi Island, Auckland

Our party opted for the guided tour and our volunteer guide Anna educated us about the trees and the birds as we made our way up the Wattle Track to the Visitors Centre, shop and lighthouse. We ate our picnic lunch at the table provided. (There is an option to have your picnic supplies driven up to that point to save carrying them with you.)

After lunch we ambled back down to the ferry via the Kawerau Track. It was magic to stop in a bush clad gully to hear and see so many birds in the magnificent trees. My favourite stopping point was by the 800-1000 year old pohutukawa tree – there were many tui birds calling.

This was a great day out and we are planning to come back in the spring to see the trees in bloom.

For information about how to get to Tiritiri Matangi and what to see, click here.  The Department of Conservation has information and maps here. You may wish to ‘Like’ the Tiritiri Matangi Facebook page.  (Click on photos below to enlarge).

Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway

Today we headed south along the Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway – previously we had walked north to Shelly Park Beach.  Today started off overcast but the sun came out, and there was a cool breeze.  The breeze was very welcome when we were walking uphill in Hayley Lane and at the end of the Rotary Loop.

Mangemangeroa Valley Walkway © 2011-2014 Unleashed Ventures Limited All Rights Reserved

We started off at the barn in Somerville Road (MAP) and turned right.  It was good to see new maps and direction posts have been erected since our last visit, one year ago.  A lot of work has also been done with the planting of flax and cabbage trees – where this is done it will be a joy to see the rejuvenation of the native bush. We were pleased to see young kauri trees growing strongly. We walked up the steep hill of Hayley Lane, along Point View Drive, then back down the steep steps to rejoin the path, then followed the next turn left up the steps of the Rotary Loop to return to the start – a length of just over 5kms.

This walkway is very pleasant and perfect for a day walk and picnic, if doing the full length. Get the Auckland Council brochure here.

We drove onto Whitford for refreshments beside the Turanga River at Amy’s Kitchen.

Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk

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).

The Block cafe at Blockhouse BayWe 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.

Dogs – this walk includes an off leash dog exercise area in Craigavon Park.

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

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-087 Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa Walk) and from our …

Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part  2″  and “Best of the West“).

Click photos to enlarge.

 

Lynfield Coastal Walk

The views across to Blockhouse Bay and Manukau Heads in the far distance along the Lynfield coastal walk this morning, were spectacular! The sun was shining, the sky was clear and the tide (check here for tide times) was almost full.

Lynfield Coastal Walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

This was an explore walk for us – trying to work out the best circular route without too much street walking.  The route has a few steep ups and downs, which makes it a good workout. We met some people who were walking their dog off leash along the reserve.

July 2016 Update: The sculpture “Open Stone” by late Japanese sculptor Hiroaki Ueda is now on view in the Manukau Domain, Lynfield.

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. 45 minutes. (about 3.75 kms). One small children’s playground. Dog friendly off-leash in Manukau Domain (alongside the Lynfield Cove Walkway).
Parking: Himalaya Crescent, Lynfield.
Buses: Halsey Drive, Lynfield MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-086 Lynfield Coast & Bush Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

 

 

Northcote Tuff Crater Loop

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”.

Onepoto Domain NorthcoteWe 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).

Tuff Crater - dogs on leash onlyDogs 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

P1 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-085 Northcote Tuff Crater Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 1”).

 

Beach Haven Coastal Walk

The Beach Haven coastal walk on Auckland’s North Shore hugs to the coastline with views to Bayview, Hobsonville Point and the bush that runs alongside the Upper Harbour Highway. The route follows Hellyers Creek, then all the twists and turns of the small mangrove-filled inlets, and through trees filled with birdsong.

Beachaven Coastal walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedToday was rainy and windy – the yachts sailing out from Hobsonville Point were making the most of the winds.  But we were sheltered by the trees and small gullies.

This walk begins at the Community Creche entrance to Shepherd’s Park, where there is a children’s playground  a cyclists learning track and a fitness trail, as well as sports fields. The signs indicate that dogs must be kept on-leash (but we did see dogs off leash along coastal walkway).

If you wanted to make this a day outing, you could catch a ferry from Britomart to Beach Haven.  Bring a picnic lunch.

Description: Bush track, 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.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Beach Haven Community Creche carpark.
Buses: Tramway Road stop on Beach Haven Road.
Ferry: to Beach Haven MAP

Cafe suggestion: CAFE AU BON COIN CAFE PATISSERIE

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-084 Beach Haven Coastal Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Westmere Loop Walk

This Westmere Loop walk explores the gems of Wellpark Reserve and Jaggers Bush Reserve beside the creek, and touches on the harbour edge at Westmere Park and the end of Garnet Road.  It is interesting to observe the varied style of housing. At low tide it is easy to take a short cut alongside the harbour.

Garnet Station CafeDespite the grey clouds and the rain forecast, we set off to explore the streets and reserves of Westmere, starting from the fabulous community-minded Garnet Station Cafe in Garnet Road.

Description: Bush track, 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.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.5 kms). Dog friendly (off-leash in Jaggers Bush Reserve).
Parking: Garnet Road, Westmere.
Buses: Warwick Avenue, Westmere MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-083 Westmere Loop Walk) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store.

Bayview Giant Kauri Walk

Bayview Giant Kauri tree © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited We returned to Bayview on the North Shore to complete a circular walk in a different direction to our previous Bayview Coast and Bush Walk.

Today’s walk starts off in Lynn Reserve, and heads up a bush filled gully with a small stream, to a giant Kauri tree (over 2 metres in diameter and is said to be about 800 years old) among a grove of smaller kauri trees which are growing in Leigh Scenic Reserve.  It is awesome!

The route joins up with the Glenfield Coastal Walkway and heads around to the boat ramp and Manuka Reserve at the bottom of Manuka Road.  Hearing the song of the tui birds as we slowly walked up the incline of Manuka Road gave us great encouragement.

This walk through the bush and along the Upper Harbour coastline is not only beautiful, it provides a great workout if you are into fitness. It is also a fun family walk that includes two children’s playgrounds, plus dog off leash exercise areas.

The new playground at Lynn Reserve looks great, and in the week since we last visited, a children’s ‘learn to cycle track‘ has been installed.

Description: Bush track, steps, inclines and board walks. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, including Giant Kauri, small waterfalls, views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point, native birds.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.8 kms). Dog off leash areas. Three children’s playgrounds.
Parking: Lynn Road, Bayview near Glenfield.
Buses: 111 Lynn Road, Bayview MAP

P3 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-082 Bayview Giant Kauri Walk) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

 

Moire Park Bush Walk

We have done this Moire Park Bush Walk in Massey, West Aucklandtwice previously and this time we returned to make use of the yellow walking/cycling bridge that now crosses the motorway.

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.

View from Flaunty Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThere 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“).

Bayview Coast and Bush Walk

Today we set out to explore the Bayview area near Glenfield on Auckland’s North Shore. What a wonderful surprise to find a beautiful bush walk, alongside the Upper Harbour reaches, all part of the Glenfield Coastal Walkway.

Manuka Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe walk takes in Manuka Reserve with views of the upper harbour, Hobsonville Point and native bush. Not only are there stands of manuka trees (tea trees) beside the estuary, but inland within Leigh Scenic Reserve, there are kauri trees and palms.

This circular walk is mostly bush with only a small section of street footpaths.  It is suitable for families, with two places to stop at playgrounds. Dogs must be kept on leash.

Description: Bush track, steps, inclines and board walks. Muddy in places when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, small waterfalls, views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dogs on leash. Two childrens playgrounds.
Start: Lynn Road, Bayview near Glenfield. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-080 Bayview 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 two”).

 

Le Roys Bush Loop

Saying that you are going for a walk in the bush in urban Auckland, may sound like an oxymoron…however, that is one of the many wonderful aspects of walking in Auckland – you never have to go far to find native bush. Kauri Glen Reserve lives up to it’s name and Le Roys Bush follows a stream downhill to the restored wetlands of Little Shoal Bay, Northcote (which was once a tidal estuary filled with mangroves).

Little Shoal Bay © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThis morning the sun was out (as well as the tide!), which made it a very pleasant and warm winter’s day.  Some of the smaller tracks are wet, muddy and slippery so if that doesn’t fit with you, then I suggest that you save them for a summer walk. The loop walk we have documented keeps you on the drier paths and boardwalks.

We were rewarded with sunlight filtering through the native trees, the sound of the bubbling stream and the songs of the native birds – we could have been deep in the bush instead of in the middle of urban residences!

  • Free Map for your smartphone – go to the new prototype site:  Le Roys Bush Walks [22Nov2015]

Kauri Glen is one of the oldest bush reserves on the Shore (measures about 25 acres and first sizeable pieces of land that was placed under public management) which includes trees such as taraire, totara, kauri, tawa, rewarewa and maire. Kiekie and nikau are abundant in this sub-tropical rainforest. Smaller species of note are pate and karapapa. The area is alive with the likes of tui, fantails and moreporks.

Little Shoal Bay Reserve is a great place to start and finish at – with plenty of parking and a fun looking children’s playground.  Dogs must be kept on leash to protect the flora and fauna.

Alternatively you could begin your walk at Birkenhead. A new track has been constructed (September 2016) from 31-45 Birkenhead Avenue. Called the Maori Pipi Walk.

You could pop into the Northcote Tavern  for lunch, coffee or a beer afterwards – full of character and nice ambience. Or stop at Sausalito Cafe.

Description: Bush track and board walks. Slippery when wet. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Native bush, waterfall, wetlands, views across Auckland Harbour, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms)
Parking: Little Shoal Bay Reserve
Buses/Ferries: Queen Street, Onewa Road, Northcote MAP


Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-079 Le Roys Bush Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 2”).

 

Chelsea Heritage Park Loop

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.

Auckland Harbour © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedOur 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 2015The 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

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.