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
Another fine autumn day. And a wonderful walk in Auckland up through Onehunga Mall and across to the Pah Homestead in Monte Cecilia Park. This walk is certainly diverse! The Onehunga Railway station is a great spot to arrive in Onehunga at the southern end of the mall. From here you can either amble slowly and enjoy the curious collection of shops, seek out some of Onehunga’s landmarks or just push on up the hill. Once you reach Monte Cecilia Park you can enjoy the magnificent old trees and the views across to One Tree Hill and Mangere Mountain, before heading down to Onehunga Bay Reserve. Or you can linger longer and walk around Pah Homestead and view the art collection at the TSB Bank Wallace Arts Centre.
Tree lovers may like to read this NZ Herald article: Growing our heritage
This walk takes in 3 children’s playgrounds and numerous cafes.
** Catch the train to Onehunga and consider making this into a day outing by taking the time to discover the places of interest along the way. Onehunga Heritage Walks. Dressmart Outlet Shopping offers a large range of products. Sunday indoor markets **
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: Historic cottages, Views of One Tree Hill and Mangere Mountain, Historic Homestead and parkland Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7.5 kms) Parking: Princes Street OnehungaMAP Buses: Onehunga (Municipal Place)
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.
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
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.
Suggested Cafés: 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.
When children are age 5 or 6, they may be ready to get out walking to discover things to do in Auckland that are low-cost and fun.
What age do you start walking with children? You can get out and about with very young children in pushchairs and backpacks, but at some stage they will want to start stretching their legs and do their own walking. My general advice is from ages 5 or 6. But it does depend on your child, their attention span and how much energy they have.
When I lived in England, I went walking with my husband-to-be and his friend Tony and Tony’s daughter Joanna. Joanna must have been about 3 or 4 years old. It was May and the bluebells were out and it was a beautiful spring day. Joanna walked about 10kms that day and only asked to be carried for a short while. I was amazed at the stamina of the wee girl. For this child, she had plenty of energy and a long attention span (and possibly a working imagination too).
When my son was about 8 our family went out on walks and he used to be the one out front – it was hard to keep up especially as his little sister was only 4. We also had to be aware where he was, so that he did not get too far ahead and lost. The ways to overcome that problem is to a) have an adult accompanying the child, or following at a short distance b) provide the child with a whistle to blow if they get post c) if they are obedient, tell them to wait when they come to another path.
Think carefully when choosing the walk. Here is a list of questions to ask yourself before you make your plans:
Does it have something that will interest your child and keep them motivated?
Would they like to play in the sand at the beach so that they can have a rest?
Are they adventurous and would enjoy exploring tunnels with torches?
Would they like a ride on a mini-train at the end of the walk?
Would like to go with a friend or they are happy to keep company with your pet dog?
Do they have the stamina to walk up hills and steps?
Would a visit to a museum be an enticement to a walk?
When you start off with short walks try to pack a picnic or carry healthy snacks (such as nuts, dried fruit and low GI health bars) and water with you to keep the “hungries” away. Be sure to have hats and sun block handy on sunny days. Pack raincoats for those cloudy days,and wool hats for colder days. And of course, make sure the walking shoes are comfortable (and be prepared for blisters).
The book “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen is fun to read and to play along with when out walking.
Here is the video:
Look for places near your home where you could start to encourage your children to love walking. In Auckland there are many walking options and as they get older they will enjoy longer walks and new places to visit. You could do weekend hikes up in the hills of the Waitakeres, or go further afield and camp out. Giving your children a taste of the outdoors at an early age gives them an appreciation of their own capabilities and a love of nature.