Beautiful spring sunshine, great friends, our dog and a simply wonderful track and environment. Today we enjoyed walking the long-version of the Puhinui Stream Forest Loop – great native bush, parklands of Totara Park and a picnic – the kids even had a swim in the stream, not really a swimming paradise but lots of fun!
If you are looking for a fantastic family walk out south, this is one for you to enjoy. The bush includes large and mature native trees and the track through the bush is well maintained and full of interest. The southern part of the track is mostly flat and easy, while the return part of the loop is hilly.
The added attraction of this walk is immediate access to Totara Park and the Botanical Gardens. We enjoyed a great picnic on the grass next to a pond – our friends even bringing a camping gas cooker to make pancakes for lunch !
Details of the Puhinui Forest Loop Walk can be found here:
This is one of our smaller loop walks but a delightful one, boasting native bush and many birds. Kohuora Park is full of surprises – not only is it one of Auckland’s 50 volcanoes but is the home of the Papatoetoe Panthers Rugby League Club. The kids will also enjoy the playground.
The volcano at Kohuora Park is about 600m across and defined by a tuff/rim that is about 30m high, some of which still remains today. The track is mostly flat and incorporates paved walkways and boardwalks.
Kohuora Park is one of Auckland’s hidden parks, probably one only known by locals and rugby league fans – it is the home ground of the Papatoetoe Panthers Rugby League Club. It is also one of Auckland’s 50 volcanoes, measuring about 600 meters across and 30m deep.
The tracks consist of primarily two large loops that thread their way between native bush and grass fields. The walkways are paved or boardwalk and mostly flat, with just some smaller undulations. There are marshlands that can in places overflow sections of the track in seasons where there is heavy rain – certainly, there were aspects of the track that were underwater when we completed it but it was still all passable. The local ducks were celebrating :).
We commenced our walk at the carpark closest to the tracks and walked clockwise. If you have the time, make the effort to complete the outer circuit, approximately about 2km – its a peaceful native bush walk, interrupted by plenty of wonderful birdlife – pukeko, kingfisher, white-faced herons and more waders. The northern part of the track contains a little undulation as it rises up some of the crater tuff.
The Tohuora Park can via the Papatoetoe Train Station, with just a few minutes walk.
This walk is great for buggies and wheelchairs due to its relatively flat nature and paved walkway.
Kohuora Park is suitable for dogs and includes an off-leash dog area also. As with all Auckland Parks, dogs should not be on the sports fields.
The Unsworth Heights to Rosedale Park walkway is a spectacular ‘there & back’ walk with many activities and options for variety to make it a loop. Enjoy native bush, streams, playgrounds, fields and even frisbee golf! The core tracks are paved and wide with some more adventurous options of natural bush tracks if desired. It really is a walk (or bike) for the whole family.
This is a wonderful and picturesque walk, with options for all abilities. Enjoy walking on the paved walkway or for more adventure and variety add in some undulating bush track, enabling this to become more of a loop walk.
The walkway has wide paths and boardwalks that at times follow alongside the stream through extensive native bush. The more challenging route runs parallel on the other side of the stream, through bush until it joins the shared path after Barbados Rd. Beyond the bush, there are lovely grass areas, a variety of playgrounds, many sports fields and even a free 9-hole frisbee-golf course en route for your enjoyment.
This track is suitable for buggies and wheelchairs, making it an adventure for families and groups. The walk can be completed one-way by leaving a vehicle at each end or could be completed as a return trip, which can involve a few variations to heighten interest and effectively make it a loop track. If completing one-way, commence at the Unsworth end of the path as most of your journey is downhill.
If completing your walk from the Goldfinch Rise entrance, park your vehicle in Azure Grove. Enter the walkway at the intersection of Azure Grove and Goldfinch Rise. The path winds its way downhill, initially past an excellent playground, grass areas and exercise equipment before entering the bush on a wide, fully- fenced boardwalk. The next section is stunning with dense native bush, birds and stairs to little sidewalks through the bush, often ending up near the stream. The river is also alive with wildlife, including eels. At the end of this section, cross the road and either follow the narrow dirt path beside the bush or head to Rook Place and re-join the track at the end of this cul-de-sac. An underpass takes you safely under Upper Harbour Drive and more picturesque pathway to Rosedale Park.
The bushwalk option commences off Caribbean Drive – use the lower of the two entrances – the other entrance joins directly back to the shared walkway. This walk is undulating and winds through pretty bush on a formed dirt track. The bush is wonderful with sounds of tui’s and other birds singing and plenty of ferns, rimu and other natives along the path. This walkway gets muddy in the wet, so be prepared for this during rainy times. There are also many exposed tree roots along the path, you will need to watch where you put your feet! At the end of this track, it uses Mallard Place to reconnect with the shared path. Once across Barbados, take the short bush track on the left or use Rook Place to continue your journey.
Paul Matthews Rd requires crossing to get to enjoy Rosedale Park. This is quite a busy street and so some patience and care are required, especially for children. There are also bus stops at this point making the path accessible via public transport. Cafe’s are also closeby, Cafe Drina is about 60m from the track, heading west.
Once in Rosedale Park, there is a lot to do. Bring your frisbee and enjoy the 9-hole frisbee golf course or make use of the playground beside the football fields. There is plenty of seating with various vistas and some picnic tables.
Rosedale Park has many fields, primarily soccer, so bring a ball and have a kick around. It also hosts softball and hockey. As you progress through the park via walkways or the road, you eventually leave the fields behind you and arrive at the far entrance to the walkway on Rosedale Rd where you can finish or turn around and return Unsworth Heights.
On the return, there are a few variations you can add as shown on the Google Map.
The Loop Track!
Add variety by adding a number of loops to this walk as shown on the Google Map.
Follow the main paved pathway from the start at either Goldfinch Rise, Unsworth Heights or Jack Hinton Drive off Rosedale Rd, depending on which way you are completing the walk. This review assumes walking from Goldfinch Rise.
Complete the walk to Rosedale utilising the main paved/boardwalk. This is a wide and easy walk, suitable for buggies and wheelchairs.
On the return walk, add a number of different routes that add significant interest to this walk and almost make it a loop walk. These are detailed below.
Follow the track through the sports field, rather than follow the track around the road.
Continue past the soccer club and along the road, up the hill and past the pretty duckponds. The frisbee golf-course is on your right. At the top of the hill turn right and walk down the footpath back towards the main track.
Head on the main track until after the Upper Harbour Drive Underpass and then turn left on to the tracks that take you to Rook Place and Mallard Place.
Walk along Mallard Place about 120m and then take the bush track on the right. This winds its way up and down through native bush and some pines until you reach Caribbean Place. This walkway is undulating and has plenty of tree roots, so requires an average level of fitness and health.
To return to the start, you have the choice of using the roadway or hanging a hard right and back into the bush. The bush track joins back to the main pathway and a left turn on to this will take you back to the start. If walking the road, continue on Caribbean Drive and then turn right into Goldfinch Rise.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
The main walkway is excellent for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes. It is up and downs, with it slowly descending towards Rosedale. The bish tracks are not suitable for wheels!
The Hobsonville Point Walkway circumnavigates a newly developed area of Auckland. Much of the walkway follows the foreshore and offers pictureque harbour views . This is a walk of variety – parks, developments, wharf and historic homes.
This walk is full of interesting views and experiences.
Start the walk from Catalina Cafe , next to the beautiful Hobsonville Point Park and then meander your way around the newly developed streets. The busy footpaths soon give-way to a coastal track which leads you around Hobsonville Point. The track is generally very wide and is in very good condition.
Views of the harbour and back to Auckland City in the distance are both stunning and plentiful. There are areas of grass fields and native bush enroute, particularly Onekiritea Park.
Once past Harrier Point Park the coastal walk takes in the Hobsonville Ferry Terminal precinct with its facilities and then tracks alongside recent housing developments. It is a fascinating mix of ‘the new’ alongside beautiful water views and two historic homes.
Chichester Cottage is a quaint old cottage built by Doug and Audrey Mill around 1927. Mill House, originally known as ‘Windover’, was built in the early 1930’s by prominent Auckland Architect George Tole for the Mill’s. Follow the links to find out more information.
This walkway is very easy and excellent underfoot, great for buggies, wheelchairs and bikes. There is a good playground at Hobsonville Point Park where the walk starts and another (only a flying fox and tyre swing) at Harrier Point.
Buggies and Wheelchairs
This walkway is excellent for wheelchairs, buggies and bikes. It is very flat overall, with minimal rise and fall plus the track is paved 95%+ of the way.
This short loop walk exploring the reserves from Botany Town Centre to Dannemora is suitable for people who work at Botany Town Centre and enjoy a short walk in their breaks, families with young children (playground, ducks) and dog owners.
The walkways are flat and concrete – ideal for wet days, and for buggies and scooters. We saw ducks, pukeko and shags on the waterways. There is a children’s playground en-route, picnic tables and off leash dog exercise areas.
The walking route is great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers.
Description: Mostly level paths. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for pushchairs. To see: Reserves and waterways. Time: approx. 45 minutes (about 3.4 kms). Start: Town Centre Drive, Chapel Road, Botany. MAP
It has been a while since we have headed down to Westhaven and Point Erin Park. We found three good reasons to make a return visit. It seemed appropriate to be down at Auckland’s waterfront while TeamNZ was enduring their second race of the competition for the America’s Cup! We had watched the new pedestrian bridge crossing the motorway from the steep steps of Jacob’s Ladder being built, but still had not traversed it. And the dark grey clouds threatened rain and we did not want to be a long way from shelter.
And the results were…TeamNZ won their second race, the pedestrian bridge looks better when you are on it and we stayed dry!
Since we last visited, the Council has built a new pathway that runs alongside the motorway, with panels that effectively screen the motorway traffic noise. It promises to be beautiful in December when the red flowers of the pohutukawa trees are in bloom.
30th January 2015: The Westhaven Promenade is now open. This will form part of a 20km continuous walkway and cycleway that runs from Herne Bay in the west to Tamaki Drive in the east. Read more: Westhaven Promenade
Description: Mainly level paths, two flights of steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Running shoes suitable. To see: Auckland City views, Rangitoto Island views, harbour views, Harbour Bridge. Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.24 kms). Point Erin Park for Dog off leash area, Playground, Picnic site. Children’s scooter friendly apart from the steps. Start: Westhaven Drive, Saint Mary’s Bay (Harbour Bridge end) MAP
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.
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.
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
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.
Today 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
***** ATTENTION Kauri Dieback has been identified on Auckland’s North Shore. Auckland Council will look to close tracks soon. As this Kauri tree in Lynn Reserve is the largest Kauri on the North Shore, and of significance to our community, you are asked to not visit this track. When walking near any Kauri, your shoes must be so clean you could ‘kiss’ them. Please protect our Kauri. The best way to help is to not walk near them. Danielle Grant – Deputy Chair Kaipatiki Local Board ****
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.
***Please note: September 2018 This track has been temporarily closed due to Kauri Dieback
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
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).
This 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.
**************************************************************** Please protect our Kauri. Clean ALL dirt off your shoes and dogs feet BEFORE you arrive. Spray feet on entering and leaving. Dogs on leash at all times. Keep to the tracks. Enjoy your walk. Join Le Roys Bush on Facebook.
***Please note: September 2018 This track has been temporarily closed due to Kauri Dieback **************************************************************** 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”).
We have now added a fourth loop walk taking in the wonderful Pakuranga Rotary walkway. This 5kms loop walk follows the Tamaki Estuary through Farm Cove and explores the Sunny Hills suburban streets, with views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill.
You may wish to cycle the whole 5 kms of the Pakuranga Rotary walkway, or just stop and watch the tide on one of the many seats along the walkway. Families may like to take a fun break on the snakes and ladders playground near the Bramley Drive entrance.
The walking route is also great for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only).
We stopped for coffee at the French inspired deli/cafe Mon Bichon, a delightful surprise in the Farm Cove village shops. You could buy your pastries from here to take and eat beside the walkway…(update: sadly it is no longer there).
Description: Mainly level paths (with one small incline). Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Suitable for cycling and push-chairs. To see: Tamaki Estuary, Mangroves, white volcanic pumice deposits, views of Mount Wellington and One Tree Hill, residential homes Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5 kms) Start: Fisher Parade, Farm Cove Village MAP
This Auckland walk takes you from Kingsland Train Station (with views of Mt Albert), touches the city end of Dominion Road, Eden Quarter, and through the suburban streets of Mt Eden, to Mt Eden Village and return.
You can enjoy the tree lined footpaths and beautiful old homes. And this walk makes it very apparent that Eden Park is really in Kingsland.
You can choose to take your time and stop at various shopping precints along the route or do the 90 minute walk in one gulp!
Description: Mainly level paths and steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. To see: Kingsland, Dominion Road, Mt Eden Shops; residential homes Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7.0 kms). Dogs on-leash. One small children’s playground. Start: Kingsland Train Station MAP
The loop walk in Auckland from Mission Bay to Okahu Bay takes in the views of Auckland Harbour from the M J Savage Memorial Park (the Auckland Explorer Bus stops here) and the Bastion Point Marae. The bright sunshine and blue skies today, enhanced the scenes.
Mission Bay is a great little seaside village that always seems to have a buzz with it’s cafes, restaurants, harbour promenade, famous fountain and sandy beach.
Okahu Bay has a sandy beach and on the other side of Tamaki Drive is the Orakei Domain. The Domain has an extensive children’s playground that includes a flying fox.
You may wish to linger at the Michael Joseph Savage (first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand and the founder of the welfare state) Memorial Park which overlooks Auckland Harbour.
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: part of the walk is a grassy track.
To see: Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, Orakei Wharf, MJ Savage Memorial, Bastion Point. Time: approx. 50 minutes (about 4.55kms) Start: Mission Bay Reserve or MJ Savage Memorial carpark
Another sunny winter morning in Auckland and no wind – perfect for a walk in Mangere and Onehunga! The Manukau Harbour tide was in and the water was like a mirror!
Many people were out walking, running, cycling and fishing.
This walk takes in views of Mangere Mountain and Manukau Harbour, the harbour shore birds, mangrove swamp area, Onehunga Wharf, Onehunga Mall, a dog off-leash area in Onehunga Bay Reserve, Jellicoe Park (with it’s historical houses, picnic tables, children’s playground and public swimming pool). With a distance of 7.5kms, it is a bit longer than our usual walks.
There are several cafes to choose from at Mangere Bridge village along Coronation Road as well as a good choice of funky cafes in Onehunga.
You could even catch the train to Onehunga and pick up the walk from the station!
The New Zealand Transport Agency is proposing to replace the old Mangere Bridge. Stop and relax at Onehunga’s beach Taumanu. Discover more about Onehunga’s rich past, click here.
Description: A mix of mainly level paths, steps and inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. To see : Views of Mangere Mountain and Manukau Harbour, the harbour shore birds, mangrove swamp area, Onehunga Wharf, Onehunga Mall, a dog off-leash area in Onehunga Bay Reserve, Onehunga’s beach Taumanu, Jellicoe Park (with its historical houses, picnic tables, children’s playground and public swimming pool) Time : approx. 90 minutes. (about 7.5 kms) Start from: Coronation Road or Church Road
We began our walk today with a route in mind, starting off from Onehunga Train Station. But as we progressed we changed our mind and found a walk that neither of us had done before, taking in part of Onehunga’s foreshore (as of November 2015Taumanu Reserve).
The walk follows the edge of the Onehunga Bay Reserve and then the edge of Manukau Harbour along Orpheus Drive. In summer, I would expect to see more shore birds. Even though the walk passes through part of the industrial area of Onehunga, it is still interesting.
This mostly flat walk can be accessed from Mangere Village also.
Onehunga Bay Reserve has a great wide open space (off leash dog exercise area) for dogs to run around in, and, at high tide, a lagoon to swim in. At low tide it is an esturine mud flat full of stinky, black mud (gumboots required in winter/after rain in the reserve itself). Cycle paths and a children’s playground included.
UPDATE 2013/2014: Auckland Council is “currently restoring the foreshore next to Orpheus Drive to bring back a natural coastal edge and create recreational opportunities for the community. The project will provide high-quality open space, beaches, a boat ramp and picnic areas. A new bridge will connect the new land to the Onehunga lagoon.” (source www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz) Video: Secrets of New Zealand’s new $28m beach
To see: views of Mangere Mountain, shore birds, Onehunga Wharf, mangroves, Waikaraka cemetery, industrial area, reclaimed beach at Taumanu Reserve. Time : approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.77 kms) Children’s Playgrounds: Onehunga Bay Reserve Dogs: Off leash area in Onehunga Bay Reserve (caution: muddy after rain). Dogs not allowed within Taumanu Reserve. Start from: Princes Street, Onehunga MAP
We stopped off at The Library Cafe for refreshments. There is a Columbus Cafe on the corner of Onehunga Mall and Princes Street.
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AC-046 Onehunga Foreshore Loop) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun