Tag Archives: Rangitoto

Takapuna Explorer

Our walk around Takapuna on Auckland’s North Shore was in warm winter sunshine.  It was great to see so many people out walking – some with their dogs off-leash on the beach (check out the Council dog rules), making the most of the day.

Takapuna Beach Auckland Copyright Unleashed Ventures Limited 2013

We followed a route documented by Margaret Scrymgeour from her booklet “Explore the Shore”. This walk takes in the sandy shore as well as the mangrove filled estuaries. The walk is quite undulating, so gave us a good workout. The views of Rangitoto are stunning, and we also enjoyed the view to Auckland City, Mount Eden and the Harbour Bridge.

Description: Mix of flat and undulating paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see: Takapuna Beach, Rangitoto, Mangrove, native birds, ducks
Time: approx. 90-120 minutes. (about 8 kms)
Start: Takapuna Boat Ramp, The Promenade  MAP

Coastal part 2Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AN-075 Takapuna Explorer) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our book “Coastal part 2”).

 

Half Moon Bay West

Half Moon Bay. Copyright 2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedHalf Moon Bay was bathed in sunshine this morning – very welcome after a week of rain.  The walk west follows the cliff tops with fantastic views of Point England Reserve, Tahuna Torea, Rangitoto and Mount Wellington.

It’s been a while since we had visited Half Moon Bay; the last time there was a lot of building work going on.

We were prompted by Brett to return – this is his suggestion “A great one to commute to by ferry, go for a walk & check out the cafes, restaurants & bar at Half Moon Bay Marina, even a supermarket now at the marina. Best kept secret, free push bikes available from Grangers Restaurant & Bar!” Thanks for the tip, Brett!

Description: Mainly level paths, some steps and steep slopes. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.
To see:Views of Tamaki Estuary, Point England Reserve, Tahuna Torea, Rangitoto, Mt Wellington.  Wetlands, Pukeko birds habitat.
Time:approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.7 kms)
Start from: Half Moon Bay Marina off Ara-Tai Road MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AE-070 Half Moon Bay west) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

Check it out: the Half Moon Bay ferry service

Three Kings | walks in Auckland

Walks in AucklandBig King is all that remains of the Three Kings volcano cones after the others were quarried away. 15,000 years ago there used to be three scoria mounds; the result of Auckland’s largest explosion crater measuring 800 metres across and 200 metres deep.

The lava flow from this volcanic center overflowed into a 10 kilometer ‘river’ that terminated at Meola Reef at the Waitemata Harbour.

This circular walk in Auckland takes us to the top of what remains of the  volcano, parks and playgrounds  with views of Mount Eden, One Tree Hill, Rangitoto, Manukau Harbour and the City skyline.

Big King Reserve is a favourite place for dog lovers as this is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level paths, steep paths and steps. Not wheel-friendly. Moderate fitness. Caution: muddy and slippery paths when wet. Sturdy shoes recommended.
To see: Volcanoes, gravel pit, parks and playgrounds, 1960’s state housing. Wonderful views of Manukau Harbour, South Head and the Waitakere Hills. Count the number of volcanoes you can see.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 3.45 kms)
Start: Main carpark off Duke Street (off Mt Eden Road) MAP

12 Volcano WalksSuggested cafes:
1) Orvieto, (dog friendly) Mt Eden Road
2) The Eiffel Cafe (further south down Mt Eden Road towards Mt Albert Road)
Both cafes serve great coffee and tasty food.

Stay on track find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store (AC-002 Big King) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog friendly part one).

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12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

Three Kings is featured in our book “Volcanoes”. Available from AmazonShort Walks in Auckland: Volcanoes (and on Kindle)

Things to do in Auckland

There are many outdoor activities and things to do in Auckland, and I would like to share with you one thing that won’t cost you too much money and won’t take up too much of your time – and thats by going on one our short walks in Auckland!

When you go for a short walk in Auckland, you will not only feel energised from being outdoors in the fresh air, you will also be able to experience the beauty, uniqueness and diversity of Auckland. Life is such a rush these days, and a short walk gives you the chance to slow down, unwind and maybe discover something about Auckland that you weren’t aware of previously.

What makes Auckland special?

Auckland is a city with lots of green spaces and native bush. There are lots of places to walk away from the hustle and bustle of city life. There are some areas that are so close to residential house or city streets and yet you could feel very isolated because of the surrounding native bush.

I have spent the last three years finding new places to explore and I am continually being pleasantly surprised by the uniqueness and diversity of Auckland.

Here are seven good reasons to get out walking in Auckland.


1. Volcanoes and Craters

New Zealand is famous for the All Blacks and Rugby, winning the America’s Cup, skiing in Queenstown, Sir Edmund Hillary and the flightless Kiwi. But did you know that the Auckland region contains 55 volcanoes? (Don’t worry, they are extinct.) Two well-known volcanoes are Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. Both have great views from the summits and walking paths around the volcano’s crater, and through fields that feed cattle and sheep (and there aren’t many cities with sheep farms handy to the city center). Mangere Mountain is a volcano with two craters and is more rugged and natural. Rangitoto is an island that can be viewed from many parts of Auckland – you can catch a ferry and then walk to the top of Rangitoto from where you can get great views of the Gulf.

If you would like to learn more about Auckland’s volcanoes, I recommend this very good book Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide
By Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon


2. Beaches

Because Auckland is on an isthmus that goes between two harbours, the shores have many inlets and beaches, making it great for sailing and swimming. However, do take care when swimming – the tidal flow in the Harbours can be strong.


3. First settlers

The Maori people were the first to settle in Auckland and their traces can be found in and around the volcanoes and craters. More information about the Maori people and their way of life before white man came, can be viewed at the Auckland Museum. When the Europeans arrived they built their fences for their fields from the volcanic rock.


4. European History

New Zealand is a young country compared to America and Europe. Man-made structures are fairly recent. The cemetery in Symonds Street under the Grafton Bridge was established in 1848. Part of it has not been maintained which is quite sad because it is a fascinating place to wander around.

North Head looks across the harbour to Auckland City. The strategic position made it one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. During World Wars I and II the fort was expanded as part of Auckland’s coastal defence system.

Pah Homestead in Hillsborough was built between 1877 and 1879. It has recently been restored and now houses an art collection.

Other historical buildings in the Auckland region are listed here at the Historical Places Trust. Find out more about European History at New Zealand History online.

This brochure Heritage Walks  The Engineering Heritage of Auckland can be downloaded for free.


5. Birdlife

There are several places for bird lovers to go to enjoy seeing New Zealand’s native birdlife. There is a large wetland that has been established out east near Pigeon Mountain, and there are breeding places on the edge of the Manukau Harbour for rare species. As you walk along the bush tracks in Auckland, you will hear many birds singing.


6. Native bush

The planners in Auckland have been thoughtful enough to leave areas of native bush. The bush provides cool shelter on hot days. You will get to see native Kauri trees and Nikau ferns amongst the many other varieties. You do not have to look out for snakes and spiders – the spiders are harmless and there are no snakes.


7. Cafes

You are never far from a cafe in Auckland. They are famous for serving up some of the best coffee in the world and the food is pretty good too – just what you need after an energetic walk?

Gather up your walking shoes, friends, family, pet dog and discover the pleasure of walking in Auckland – there are so many things to do and see in Auckland – you may be surprised.