Beautiful gardens, huge Pohutukawa trees, history, sculptures, monuments, swimming and wonderful Harbour views ensure the Parnell Rose Gardens Loop is a walk for all to enjoy. Add to this the onsite Redwall Chinese Restaurant and famous Rosie Cafe and you have the perfect experience.
Today was our first walk around the 3 km perimeter of Omana Regional Park near Maraetai (pronounced my-right-eye). The walk itself was pretty uninteresting apart from the view looking back to Auckland City. However, the walk along the coastline from Omana Beach to Maraetai Beach was much more interesting.
The weather was brilliant and it was fabulous to see so many people out enjoying themselves in and on the beautiful blue clear water, as well as picnicking on the grassy shore in the shade of the pohutukawa trees. The tide was high (actually a “king” tide) which added to the beauty.
The shared pathway/cycleway between Maraetai and Beachlands is very scenic, and suitable for family cycle rides.
Description: Mostly level paths, with a few short steep bits. Gravel and sealed track/paths. Sturdy footwear recommended for Omana loop.
Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Farmland, bush, coast, boats.
Time: We did the Omana perimeter loop (3kms) and walked to Maraetai return (5kms).
Start: Either from Maraetai or Omana Beach Road. 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
There is so much to discover when you take a walk in Parnell! One moment you can be in the solitude of a reserve and the next looking at large cranes moving shipping containers with a helicopter nearby warming up to take off, and a train swiftly moving along the tracks.
The weather did not look the best today with low grey clouds in the sky after a day of rain yesterday. So we took our raincoats and didn’t need them…
However, we chose a walk that would not get our feet too wet. But if you do want to get wet when it’s a lovely sunny day, then this walk takes you along Judges Bay and around the Parnell Baths via the Parnell Rose Gardens in Dove Myer Robinson Park (named after Auckland’s longest serving (18 years) Mayor – Dove Myer Robinson). The walk takes us out along the end of Solent Street. The Council planted a row of native pohutukawa trees along the path in 2008 and a few years later they have grown significantly. We wondered how much they will grow in another few years and if they will hinder walkers…
The roses today were looking bedraggled because of all the rain. However, the fernery was stunning and a great place for children to wander around safely.
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, roses, Waitemata Harbour views, City views, helicopters, cranes, big trucks, container wharf, Parnell Baths Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 5kms) Parking: Gladstone Road or Stanwell Street, off Gladstone Road, Parnell
As much as I enjoy going for walks in Auckland, it is also refreshing to head out of town.
Our family has a holiday house on the south-east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is mostly an unspoilt part of New Zealand with beautiful beaches, many walk paths and natural bush. I love going there to relax and refresh myself.
It is only a two hour drive for us from Auckland via Paeoroa and the Karangahake Gorge. Two places that are worth stopping at. The Gorge has interesting walks and mining tunnels that are fun to explore with torches.
You can choose from a variety of walks in the Coromandel region, no matter where you stay. There is a great uphill walk (that I suggest you do on a cool day) to the Wentworth Falls near Whangamata that I enjoy. And another walk for cool days is around the Martha Mine in the gold mining town of Waihi – I like to go around that anti-clockwise. From the northern end of Waihi Beach is a track that leads to the spectacular secluded beach of Orokawa Bay with the typical pohutukawa trees providing shade at the edge of the sand.
In the future I will be putting together some family day trips from Auckland that will include interesting places to visit.
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun