Tag Archives: Peacefulness

Hamlins Hill – historic gem

Hamlins Hill (Mutukaroa) Regional Park is a gem in the midst of Auckland City with a rich history and plenty of open space for you to unwind and enjoy. You can enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland city and explore the bush where you almost forget you are in the middle of New Zealand’s largest city. At times you are only 20m from the main Eastern Arterial route, but you feel one hundred miles away!

This park has been replanted with native bush and the grassland is farmed with cattle. Dogs are permitted on a lead.

The main access to the park is off Great South Rd, while bike and walking access is from the cycle lane next to the Eastern Arterial Route. The Gt South Rd entrance has a carpark.

Walk Time60 – 90 mins
SurfaceGrass or gravel track
Difficulty 2 – undulating with uneven surfaces
Buggies/WheelchairsOnly suitable for off-road buggies. There are also lots of gates to go through -some may require a buggy to be passed over.
FacilitiesPicnic Table, Park Benches, Portaloo near the picnic site (has been there when we have visited)
HighlightsBush, Farmland, Curious Cattle, Views of Auckland, Historic Rock Wall

Click to open Google Map is a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of this map.

Hamlins Hill – Mutukaroa Walk Description

Looking for some tranquillity and peace in the midst of the city – Hamlins is a place to visit and explore. It is a not-so-hidden-gem of solace surrounded by businesses and industry but when you are there, you will hardly know it. Further, it has relatively few visitors and compared with other city parks such as Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park, it is quiet.

If visiting by car, park at the entrance on Great South Rd – beware, it can be hard to find and if you blink you can miss it! If by bike, you can access from the cycleway via the Eastern Arterial route. The access from the car park is via a farm vehicle track, while from the cycleway the entrance is through native bush. This discussion will be written from the viewpoint of entering via the car park.

Walk about 150m from the carpark and through the first gate into the Regional Park. You can choose to continue straight ahead towards the main junction and picnic table or turn right to head through the native bush and to the highest points of the park. We will assume this is the route for this review. This provides great views across our wonderful city.

Enjoy a rest at the top of Hamlins Hill where you can enjoy one of the bench seats. Once ready, head north towards the main junction area of the park – here you will find the picnic table and a portable toilet.

There are four options to explore from the junction – you will see these clearly on the Google Map. I would recommend heading to the right and winding your way through the native bush until reaching the northern edge of the park, from here turn left and head back up to the junction or continue to the grassland and explore the western farm areas of the park. It is here you will see the historic stone wall.

Take your time exploring the farm, enjoying the curious cattle and the wide-open spaces. On your return, head back straight across the grass towards the junction or take the more adventurous and fun bush route just inside the southern perimeter.

Hamlins Hill is a real gem in the heart of our city. Walk it, bike it and run it! Bring the kids, the dog (on a lead) and just have a couple of hours out of the hustle.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The park has gravel trails and grass paths and is only suitable for off-road capable buggies/wheelchairs. It also has a lot of farm gates/styles to pass through and at times buggies may need to be passed over the fence if they cannot squeeze through the gaps.

Auckland Council Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Webpage

Hillsborough Cemetery to the Bays

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.

Dogs – this walk includes  off leash dog exercise areas.

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!

Short Walks in Auckland: Urban Bush

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”).

Parnell markets and urban bush walk in Auckland

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:

Walks in Auckland

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.

We walked from the busy bustling markets to the peacefulness of reserves with birdlife, nikau palms and New Zealand native ferns, past quaint cottages and the massive Holy Trinity Cathedral and the more modest St John the Baptist Church.

Parnell Village is a popular shopping strip with many cafes and restaurants to choose from. To make this a full day outing, you may wish to stay and explore Parnell Village and learn about its history.

This is a great walk if you wish to take in both markets on a Saturday or you can exclude them if you prefer a quieter walk. Dog walk friendly with off-leash areas.

Short Walks in Auckland: Urban Bush

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”).