Tag Archives: Playgrounds

Devonport Narrow Neck Loop

Narrowneck Beach © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe dark grey sky and strong winds did not bode well for our walk from Narrow Neck Beach (north of Devonport) to Ngaratinga Bay – a mini coast to coast loop. However, we did stay dry and the walk was invigorating and very enjoyable with plenty of interest along the route.

Fort Takapuna Reserve stands guard above Narowneck Beach and is one of four off leash dog exercise areas. The other off leash areas are: Ngaratina Park, Woodall Park and Cambria Reserve. Cheltenham Beach is off leash at certain times.

From Fort Takapuna Reserve there is a good view across Cheltenham Beach to North Head.

There is only a little of street walking and that provides a peek at the pretty Victorian style houses that Devonport is well known for.

If you have time, you may wish to stop at the Devonport Museum – you will pass by the entrance along the route.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. 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: Wonderful Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City views, views of North Head and Mount Victoria, historical buildings & sites, Victorian style homes.
Time: approx. 60 minutes (about 5.5 kms).  Dog off leash areas. Children’s playgrounds.
Start:  Old Lake Road, Narrow Neck. MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AN-090 Devonport Narrow Neck Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk

The Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa walk in Auckland follows the high cliff edge alongside Manukau Harbour to Green Bay Beach and then continues inland to Craigavon Park..

This is another newly discovered gem for us.  The  Pathway of Tiriwa (Te Ara O Tiriwa) is named after a Maori chief who lived in the area pre-canoe days.  The pathway takes you through Punga ferns and mature Puriri trees.  Native pigeons feed here in summer months.

There are steep steps  down and up the small gullies along the pathway, and the track was muddy today but not too bad (best to walk in dry weather).

The Block cafe at Blockhouse BayWe stopped for refreshments at the newly opened The Block cafe in the main street of Blockhouse Bay.  What a wonderful “buzzy” community friendly place – and the menu looked mouth watering.  The brunch plates that were being served looked generous.

Dogs – this walk includes an off leash dog exercise area in Craigavon Park.

This walk also includes children’s playgrounds, picnic spots with BBQ’s, a fitness trail, public toilets – and hungry ducks to feed.

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. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms).
Parking: Blockhouse Bay Reserve
Buses: Blockhouse Bay Road MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-087 Blockhouse Bay Tiriwa Walk) and from our …

Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part  2″  and “Best of the West“).

Click photos to enlarge.

 

Northcote Tuff Crater Loop

This loop walk that takes in Northcote’s volcanic Tuff Crater and Onepoto Domain is based on one from Margaret Scrymgeour’s booklet “Explore the Shore”.

Onepoto Domain NorthcoteWe started the walk from the children’s playground area at Onepoto Domain.  We had heard about the children’s cycle track and it is a really safe place to bring young children and their bikes.  The playgrounds looks like a lot of fun too (it has a flying fox).  It is a great place to have a picnic, feed the ducks and an ideal spot for parenting groups to meet up.

Onepoto Basin is another of Auckland’s explosion craters and it is the oldest dated, erupting about 250,000 years ago. The Maori name “Onepoto” means small beach (named after Halls Beach near Northcote Point).

Tuff Crater is another explosion crater (this one is filled with water), which is being restored to its natural state with a balanced ecosystem of native plants and wildlife, all with volunteer help. It was formed by explosive eruptions around the same time as Onepoto.
For more information about the Tuff Crater, you may wish to view this video. (please note that our loop walk includes part of the Tuff Crater. There are future plans to build a circular walkway completely around the Tuff Crater).

Tuff Crater - dogs on leash onlyDogs may be off-leash on the track within the Tuff Crater Reserve (according to Auckland Council  Bye-laws Department re phone call 3/6/2014).  There is a risk that they could disturb endangered bird life, so please keep them under control.  We do have a request for dog owners to pick up litter (as we did come across litter).
PLEASE NOTE: As of the 29th October 2014 the new dog rules for Tuff Crater – Dogs prohibited within the foreshore (mangroves) of Tuff Crater; on-leash on track around reserve.

Description: Bush tracks, 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, volcanic crater
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dog friendly, but on leash only.
Parking: Onepoto Domain, Northcote.
Buses: Onewa Road, Northcote MAP

P1 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-085 Northcote Tuff Crater Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 1”).

 

Bayview Giant Kauri Walk

Bayview Giant Kauri tree © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited 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.

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

P3 Dog friendly walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-082 Bayview Giant Kauri Walk) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

 

Grey Lynn Explorer

It was time to visit the newly opened (15th June 2013) Cox’s Bay Reserve boardwalk and to incorporate it into another circular walk to add to our collection.

Cox's Bay Reserve board walk © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

This walk explores both Cox’s Bay Reserve and Grey Lynn Park.
Cox’s Bay Reserve is made up of three parks – Hukanui Reserve where the new boardwalk is, Bayfield Park where you may wish to have your picnic, and the sports fields of Cox’s Bay Park. It is a mini-paradise for dog owners with off-leash dog exercise areas.

And it is family friendly too, with a selection of children’s playgrounds and picnic sites. It is a great place for joggers and people who like to use the outdoor fitness stations.

The wide open spaces, sculptures, playing fields, the creek, mangrove swamps, gullies, the bay itself, a field with cattle and tall mature trees surrounded by interesting residential housing, make this another walk that is full of variety.

Also of interest is the Kelmarna Gardens Nature Trail off Hukanui Crescent – A self-directed nature trail will show you chickens, vegetable gardens, a pony and young cattle, an organic orchard, beehives, worm farm, compost making, native trees and flax. The trail winds its way through the gardens, across paddocks and links to Cox’s Creek Walkway. The gardens were established in 1981 and have been organically managed for 32 years. The land is owned by Auckland Council for the benefit of the whole community.

For history information visit “Meanderings about Cox’s Creek”.

Dogs – Off leash exercise areas in Cox’s Bay Reserve and Grey Lynn Park (check signage for rules).

Description: Paved walkways, steps, inclines and board walks. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. (Suitable for prams/buggies excluding the steps).
To see: Sculptures, playing fields, the creek, mangrove swamps, gullies, the bay itself, a field with cattle and tall mature trees surrounded by interesting residential housing.
Time: approx. 70 minutes. (about 5.58 kms)
Parking: Westmoreland Street West off Richmond Road, Grey Lynn.
Buses: Dog friendly walks in Auckland - part threeRichmond Road, Grey Lynn MAP
Children’s playgrounds. Off-leash dog exercise areas in in Grey Lynn Park and Cox’s Bay Reserve (please read the signs).
Cafe: Bread and Butter

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AC-081 Grey Lynn Explorer) and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Dog Friendly Walks part 3”).

 

 

 

Moire Park Bush Walk

We have done this Moire Park Bush Walk in Massey, West Aucklandtwice previously and this time we returned to make use of the yellow walking/cycling bridge that now crosses the motorway.

The walk now begins from Westgate Shopping Centre with the option of starting from the Moire Park sports complex off Granville Drive, if preferred.  There is a short stretch of street walking, but the majority of the walk is off road with a long stretch through native bush, following the Manutewhau Stream.

View from Flaunty Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThere is a collection of children’s playgrounds (some with flying fox) that could provide a great incentive for doing the walk with children, and if you take some bread, you may wish to feed the ducks in the ponds near Westgate.

The view from top of Flaunty Reserve across Auckland Harbour to the city can be breath-taking.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. May require boots in wet weather, running shoes suitable in dry weather. Muddy tracks after rain.
To see: Auckland City views, Waitakere Hills view, views of Te Atatu Peninsula, native trees and fauna, urban development. Childrens playgrounds. Dog friendly off leash areas.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms)
Parking: Westgate Shopping Centre.
Buses: Westgate Shopping Centre MAP

 

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-031 Moire Park Bush Walk) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the West“).

Bayview Coast and Bush Walk

Today we set out to explore the Bayview area near Glenfield on Auckland’s North Shore. What a wonderful surprise to find a beautiful bush walk, alongside the Upper Harbour reaches, all part of the Glenfield Coastal Walkway.

Manuka Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThe walk takes in Manuka Reserve with views of the upper harbour, Hobsonville Point and native bush. Not only are there stands of manuka trees (tea trees) beside the estuary, but inland within Leigh Scenic Reserve, there are kauri trees and palms.

This circular walk is mostly bush with only a small section of street footpaths.  It is suitable for families, with two places to stop at playgrounds. Dogs must be kept on leash.

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, small waterfalls, views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point, native birds.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.0 kms). Dogs on leash. Two childrens playgrounds.
Start: Lynn Road, Bayview near Glenfield. MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-080 Bayview Bush Walk)over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Urban Bush” and “Dog Friendly Walks part two”).

 

Le Roys Bush Loop

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).

Little Shoal Bay © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThis 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.

You could pop into the Northcote Tavern  for lunch, coffee or a beer afterwards – full of character and nice ambience. Or stop at Sausalito Cafe.

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”).

 

New Lynn pottery and parks

Manawa Wetland Reserve © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedThis walk in New Lynn (West Auckland) explores either side of the town centre and takes in Olympic Park and it’s popular children’s playgrounds, and the wetlands of Manawa. The Park and the Wetlands has a community of ducks and pukekos.

According to the TimeSpanner: “The Manawa Wetland Reserve has been redeveloped from a dump for Crown Lynn  rejects, before the clay was scoured out for bricks and pots and other thing, and it was the site of the poudrette factory, and before that, it was New Lynn’s Waterfalls Estate in the 1860s.”

Watch video Manawa Wetlands – Anywhere Auckland

To research the clay and brick history of New Lynn, get lost in Papers Past.

Taking the train to New Lynn could be the start of a day’s outing.  Do this walk along this side of the Whau River in the morning, have lunch in New Lynn, visit the Mall and then do the Avondale Whau River walk on the other side of New Lynn.

Description: Mix of flat and undulating paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Olympic Park, Manawa Reserve Wetlands, Gardner Reserve, Ambrico Kiln, Whau River
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5.25 kms) Children’s Playgrounds: Olympic Park
Start: Olympic Park (off Wolverton Street)
Buses/Trains: New Lynn Train Station (MAP)

Best of the West - Short Walks in AucklandStay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AW-076 New Lynn Reserves) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Best of the West“).

 

 

Otara Creek Walkway

The Otara Creek Walkway in South Auckland, passes through some 220 hectares of waterway/tidal mudflats and forms a green corridor within Otara township.

Otara Creek WalkwayThis huge reserve was almost empty today; we saw two cyclists and one stray dog.

This walkway is ideal for family cycling and for taking your dog for an off-leash walk. (Dogs are welcome along the walkway provided they are kept under control and do not disturb wildlife or other park users. Dogs are not permitted on sport fields or near children’s playgrounds.)

The creek has mangrove mud flats and is sadly polluted – the locals seems to take delight in dropping shopping trolleys into the creek. However, if you can overlook the neglect, you may find enjoyment in the bigger view: the sounds of the birds and the trees and the native plants within the Otara Creek Reserve.

When I got home the thought came to me what it was that was missing here.  Other walks along waterways in Auckland like Wattle Downs and Conifer Grove have homes facing the waterway, but here alongside Otara Creek, there are only fenced off back yards.  Would people feel a sense of ownership, if another row of houses inside the reserve faced the creek?

History: An Otara timeline from 1955 to 2010

Description: Mainly level paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Dog friendly.
To see: Otara Creek and estuary, mangrove mud flats
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.75 kms)
Start from: Fair Mall, Bairds Road, East Tamaki  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-073 Otara Creek Walkway) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 3” and “Best of the South”).

 

Conifer Grove Circuit

Conifer Grove Circuit © 2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited. All rights reservedThe walk along Conifer Grove Esplanade offers views across Manukau Harbour north to Wattle Downs and south to Karaka.

We met friendly chatty people along the shared walkway/cyclway, many with dogs and children in tow (there is a good selection of children’s playgrounds in the reserves).

More information: My Auckland: Conifer Grove
The boardwalk through the mangroves provides a mini adventure for young children (but do keep an eye on them – one child’s scooter took a flying leap into the mud when we were there; luckily the tide was out!).

Suitable for family cycling – Brylee Drive Reserve, Takinini, 6km of shared paths.

Description: Mainly level paths, some steps. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Manukau Harbour views, mangroves, residential homes and gardens
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.55 kms)
Start: Walter Strevens Drive, Conifer Grove  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-069 Conifer Grove Circuit) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” and “Best of the South”).

Saint Johns Explorer

We have previously explored St Johns Bush and wanted to incorporate the beautiful nature reserve into one of our longer circular walks.

St Johns Bush native ferns
St Johns Bush native ferns

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
Short Walks in Auckland: Urban BushTime: 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”).

Belmont Bay Walk

This Belmont Bay walk on Auckland’s North Shore, was chosen by my friend after she read an inspiring article about the founder of the Belmont cafe “Little & Friday“.

View of Auckland Harbour Bridge from Belmont
View of Auckland Harbour Bridge from Belmont

This was my first explore around the Belmont and Bayswater area and was delighted to find reserves, cycleways, playgrounds and views of the Harbour Bridge with the Waitakere Ranges as a back drop.

The walk itself takes under an hour, and is mostly flat. One of the highlights is crossing the Bayswater Bridge (the new cycle/pedestrian bridge completed September 2013 – officially opened 5th October 2013, made with recycled totara timber balustrades).

Dogs – On-leash but lots of opens spaces.

Description: A mix of level paths and slightly inclined paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Estuary views, wetlands, residential housing, Auckland Harbour Bridge
Coastal walks in Auckland part twoTime: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.00 kms). Playgrounds.
Start: Corner Eversleigh Road & Rutherford Street  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-058 Belmont Bay Walk) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Coastal part 2” and “Dog Friendly part 1”).

 

Hobson Bay Walkway Loop

Visitors to Auckland can  catch a train from Britomart to Orakei, and enjoy a walk along the Hobson Bay Walkway with views of three volcanoes – North Head, Mt Victoria and Rangitoto Island.  This walk in Auckland along the Hobson Bay Walkway also takes you up higher through the streets of Remuera with views of the Sky Tower, the Holy Trinity Cathedral and Auckland Museum. (You can also begin this walk from the car park at Martyn Wilson Fields Reserve.)

Hobson Bay Walkway with views of the 3 volcanoes.

Auckland Council has done a wonderful job  on the stormwater upgrade at the Martyn Wilson Reserve – we have been waiting months for this to be completed so that we could document this walk.

Other things to see on this walk are the shore birds that live in the mangrove swamps and creeks at the edge of Hobson Bay. Today we saw pukeko, herons, shags and ducks.  There are two children’s playgrounds and a dog off-leash area. The track can be a bit wet and muddy in places after rain.

For more photos visit our Facebook Page

The Martyn Wilson Reserve is opposite Palmers Garden Centre which houses Cafe Greenfingers.  This popular cafe is now en-route for this and two other of our walks:

1) Orakei Basin Walkway
2) Remuera to Hobson Bay

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: Volcano Views, shore birds, residential housing, mangroves, boardwalk
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.7 kms)
Start: Marytn Wilson Fields Reserve Map

Coastal part 2Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AC-051 Remuera and Hobson Bay Walkway) over at our Walks Store   and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 2”).

 

 

Family walk around Panmure Basin

It takes only 30 minutes to walk around the Panmure Basin – another Auckland volcanic crater, but if you take young children with you then it may take longer.  Take the tricycles and scooters – this is a mostly flat walk, as there are only two steep bits.

Panmure Basin is a fun family walk in Auckland with several distractions – there is access to 3 playgrounds, and on weekends there is a mini-train ride (runs on Sundays from 1pm to 4pm) and you can stop and watch people controlling their boats on the pond. Keep an eye on the tide chart – it does look prettier at high tide.

You can see the nearby volcano cone of Mt Wellington from the lagoon and if you look carefully from the Jubilee Bridge, One Tree Hill in the far distance.

Nearby is a skate park and the Lagoon Leisure and Fitness Centre, Lagoon Dr, Panmure – Here you’ll find outdoor pools, a hydroslide, diving boards, and an adventure playground – all kid magnets in the summer. The outdoor area and gardens with barbecues and shaded picnic tables are great for family picnics and functions (source NZ Herald).

The walking route is also suitable for prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash only). This walk has a fitness trail.

Also nearby is Mount Wellington Domain which is fun to explore and has great views of Auckland.

This area does lack nearby cafes but if you have a car you may want to venture to Pakuranga Plaza or Sylvia Park.

Description: Mostly level path, only 2 slight inclines. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility. Running shoes suitable in dry weather.
To see: Mt Wellington, boats, water birds
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4 kms)
Start: Panmure Train Station MAP

Stay on track… download this walk (AC-045 Panmure Basin) for free HERE