Today was my first visit to St Johns Bush. This little gem of a nature walk is in a reserve of beautiful native trees and bush, with a stream and a mighty Kauri tree.
This is a great spot to take vistors to show them native New Zealand bush without having to drive to the Waitekere Ranges.
The only sounds we could hear were the calling of the birds, the rain dripping off the trees and the running of the stream. All this in an urban area!
We arrived via a back entrance so we got a little lost at first, however once we found the main entrance and a map, it all became clear.
There is no nearby cafe, so we drove up to nearby Meadowbank shops and found a choice of 3 cafes.
The Hillsborough Cemetery to the Bays walk is one of the few walks in Auckland that does not have a nearby cafe. However, we feel that it deserves to be in our collection because it is quite magical – from the peacefulness of the cemetery, to the rustling of the bush and then the lapping of the water at the edge of Manukau Harbour.
There is a publication called ‘Not Just Passing Through – the making of Mt Roskill’ by Jade Reidy that devotes a page to Hillsborough Cemetery.
The cemetery contains resting places for about 17,000 people who were buried there from 1916.
Even the first man to go over the Niagara Falls in a barrel, Bobby Leach, is buried there.
The walk passes through the native bush of two reserves – Goodall Street reserve and Belfast Reserve. These two reserves have stands of native bush and fauna.
At the bottom of the hill, you can get great views across Manukau Harbour to Mangere Mountain. And when the tide is in, the scene is set for a spot of kayaking!
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: Muddy and slippery when wet. Not wheel-friendly.
To see: Cemetery, native bush, harbour beaches, Manukau Harbour views.
Time: approx. 60 minutes.
Start: Hillsborough Cemetery corner Hillsborough Road and Goodall Street MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (GS008 Hillsborough Cemetery to the Bays) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Coastal part 1”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun