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”).
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”).
Another beautiful autumn day and todays walk in Auckland Central is one of contrasts – from the quietness of secluded reserves to the noisy Parnell farmers markets. This Auckland urban bush walk is great to do all year round.
There are two markets:
Parnell Farmers Market – behind the Foundation for the Blind off Parnell Road. It is open from 8am to noon every Saturday. Today there was quite a variety of stalls from cheese to bread, to unusual pumpkins. The stall holders are very friendly and enjoyed giving us a taste of their products.
French Style Farmers Market at La Cigale, off St Georges Bay Road. This is a bigger market with more variety. There is a wide range of delicious looking and smelling foods for humans plus an interesting looking stall of dog food. These markets are open Saturdays 8am to 1.30pm and Sundays 9am to 1.30pm. La Cigale cafe was busy with people catching up for coffee with friends and staying on for lunch. Again, everyone is friendly and happy to share a taste of their tasty produce. It is all locally produced so you know that it is fresh and in many cases organic.
Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths/steps. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet. 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: NZ native ferns palms and cycads, Waitemata Harbour views, farmers markets, old cottages. Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 3.92kms) Start: Stratford Street (off Gladstone Road) MAP Suggested Cafés: la Cigale, 69 St Georges Bay Road, Rosie’s Café, 82 Gladstone Road
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochures over at our Walks Store (AC-009 Parnell Markets and Reserves) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly part 3”).