Big 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.
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
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).
Today I was shown an interesting waterway – Meola Creek. It is hidden between the St Lukes shopping hub and Mt Albert Grammar School. Meola Creek is the result of run-off from Mt Albert, Mt Eden and Three Kings and runs over and under ground (in pipes) out to Waitemata Harbour at Meola Reef.
The St Lukes Environmental Protection Society (STEPS) has been very active getting Meola Creek clean, the area planted with natural habitat and a boardwalk built (Roy Clements Treeway). Elizabeth Walker, a member of STEPS very kindly showed me around. This historic map clearly shows Meola Creek. Elizabeth has since shown me one of the sources of Meola Creek – an overgrown area covered in toxic weeds, behind Haverstock Road. It would be wonderful to see the area restored to allow more water fowl to live there.
The view from Mt Albert across to the city skyline and the top of Rangitoto Island shows how spread out the city of Auckland is. There is an off leash dog area in Kerr-Taylor Park and a fenced off-leash area at the top of Mt Albert. (See other Dog Friendly Walks)
HISTORY. Nearby is the historic mansion ‘Alberton‘ on the corner of Kerr-Taylor Avenue and Mt Albert Road. Further historical information can be found in the archives of the Mt Albert Historical Society here and here. ‘In old Mt Albert’ by Dick Scott (this book is available from Auckland Libraries) tells the history of Mt Albert from 1911 to 1961. You may wish to download the Mount Albert Heritage Walks brochure.
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.
To see: Volcano crater, boardwalk and water birds, reclaimed creek vegetation, Auckland City views, Waitemata Harbour views, glimpses of Manukau Harbour and the Waitakere Hills.
Off leash dog areas. Children’s playground.
Time: approx. 60-75 minutes, about 5.4 kms. MAP Suggested cafes: Pyrenees French Delicatessen and Parkside Cafe
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store (AC023 Mt Albert Meola Creek) and our Book Store (Volcanoes).
Our self-guides indicate if there are any dog friendly off-leash areas and/or are suitable for dog friendly walks in Auckland. This is noted when we visit the area – it may change without any notice due to Council regulations. Check with this Auckland Council webpage: Exercising your dog before you head out.
It was great to see so many people, with their children and their dogs, out enjoying walking today at Western Springs and Meola Reef.
Other things to do here are to visit the Auckland Zoo and MOTAT – Auckland’s Museum of Transport and Technology. And have a tram ride!
Western Springs Park has a warm spot in my memories. My son loved coming here when he was little. He would ride his tricycle (and bicycle when he got bigger) around this man made lake. He had special places where he would have to stop to participate in the imaginative story he had going on in his head with characters from books we used to read.
Western Springs has a mostly level path suitable for wheelchairs, pushchairs and children’s scooters and trikes. There are ducks, geese, swans and eels to feed, so be sure to bring your bread scraps. And there is a fabulous playground with a BBQ area nearby. “Timespanners” view: War, water and birds at Western Springs
And when your dog gets tired, there is a seat to rest on…
There are two great places to enjoy your picnic – on the many picnic tables in Western Springs, or out at the point of Meloa Reef.
Unfortunately there is not a cafe within walking distance. But there is a van that sells coffee in a paper cup and icecreams in a cone just by the entrance to Western Springs from the Zoo carpark and not far from the children’s playgrounds. (Weekends only, not July and August).
Description: Mainly level paths plus 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: Waitemata Harbour views, a natural spring-fed lake with ducks, swans, geese and long-finned eels; stream, trams, planes.
Time: approx. 90 minutes. (about 7 kms)
Start: Great North Road (Western Springs gardens) opposite Western Springs. MAP
Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure (AC-011 Western Springs – Meola) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our three books “Volcanoes”, “Coastal part 2”, “Dog Friendly part 1”).
Self guided short circular walks in Auckland for health, fitness and fun