Tag Archives: Spectacular Views

Pigeon Mountain Volcanic Cone

One of Auckland’s less known and visited volcanic cones, Pigeon Mountain (Ōhuiarangi) is worth exploring. This is Auckland’s easternmost volcanic cone and offers fantastic views of the Hauraki Gulf and back across Auckland City. It provides a very unique perspective of Auckland’s geography and at only 55m in height is not a daunting climb.

Pigeon Mountain Ōhuiarangi
Pigeon Mountain Ōhuiarangi fields and view towards the summit

Ōhuiarangi contains sports fields, a Scout Hall, Kindergarten and plenty of opportunities to climb and explore. The northern side was quarried from 1847 by the early Fencibles Settlers and this increased through the 1950’s-1970’s. Today, the northern part of Pigeon Mountain is no more and there are protective fences to stop visitors from falling up to 30m. The southern side of the mountain contains grassy slopes and sports fields.

The detour to the Wetlands across Pigeon Mountain Rd is a pleasant boardwalk through growing native bush.

Walk Time45 – 90 minutes
SurfaceGrass tracks and some rocks near quarry
Difficulty2
Buggies/WheelchairsOffroad buggies could be pushed up the grass slopes if fit & strong. Wetlands Section is wheel friendly.
FacilitiesToilets, Carparking
HighlightsViews of Auckland City and Hauraki Gulf

Click to open the Google Map is a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of the map.

Short Walks In Auckland alternative Pigeon Mountain Walk here.

Pigeon Mountain and Wetland Walk Descriptions

The walk to the summit can be commenced via Gills Rd or from the carpark on Pigeon Mountain Rd. If commencing from the carpark head to the south and start your climb up through the remains of the quarrying. There are a lot of interesting rock formations and outcrops that make it an interesting place to explore. Be aware that much of this terrain is very uneven. After climbing up the edge of the old quarry, you intersect with a track that will take you to the summit.

Left over from the quarry
Interesting rock outcrops remaining from the quarrying

If you choose to walk from Gills Rd, just head your way across the sports field and towards the summit. There are a few grass tracks that eventually lead towards some stairs that take you to the top!

Once at the summit, you’ll enjoy some great views back over Auckland City and towards Browns Island and Rangitoto Island. On your decent, try going down the way you did not come up so you appreciate both sides of the mountain.

The view of Rangitoto from the summit
The view of Rangitoto from the summit

A couple of other interesting facts:

  • Pigeon Mountain was a Maori Pa and so you will see historic terraces on the mountain.
  • A group of Pakuranga College students found some artefacts and skulls in the 1960’s

Buggies/Wheelchairs

This walk is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs unless off-road capable. They can be used to access the summit from Gills Rd side but there is no way you can take a buggy up the northern track.

Dog Friendly

The Pigeon Mountain Walkway allows dogs on a leash.

Pigeon Mountain Volcano Additional Information

Further history of Pigeon Mountain

Council Upgrade of Pigeon Mountain

Hamlins Hill – historic gem

Hamlins Hill (Mutukaroa) Regional Park is a gem in the midst of Auckland City with a rich history and plenty of open space for you to unwind and enjoy. You can enjoy 360 degree views of Auckland city and explore the bush where you almost forget you are in the middle of New Zealand’s largest city. At times you are only 20m from the main Eastern Arterial route, but you feel one hundred miles away!

This park has been replanted with native bush and the grassland is farmed with cattle. Dogs are permitted on a lead.

The main access to the park is off Great South Rd, while bike and walking access is from the cycle lane next to the Eastern Arterial Route. The Gt South Rd entrance has a carpark.

Walk Time60 – 90 mins
SurfaceGrass or gravel track
Difficulty 2 – undulating with uneven surfaces
Buggies/WheelchairsOnly suitable for off-road buggies. There are also lots of gates to go through -some may require a buggy to be passed over.
FacilitiesPicnic Table, Park Benches, Portaloo near the picnic site (has been there when we have visited)
HighlightsBush, Farmland, Curious Cattle, Views of Auckland, Historic Rock Wall

Click to open Google Map is a separate tab or tap on the icon in the top right of this map.

Hamlins Hill – Mutukaroa Walk Description

Looking for some tranquillity and peace in the midst of the city – Hamlins is a place to visit and explore. It is a not-so-hidden-gem of solace surrounded by businesses and industry but when you are there, you will hardly know it. Further, it has relatively few visitors and compared with other city parks such as Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park, it is quiet.

If visiting by car, park at the entrance on Great South Rd – beware, it can be hard to find and if you blink you can miss it! If by bike, you can access from the cycleway via the Eastern Arterial route. The access from the car park is via a farm vehicle track, while from the cycleway the entrance is through native bush. This discussion will be written from the viewpoint of entering via the car park.

Walk about 150m from the carpark and through the first gate into the Regional Park. You can choose to continue straight ahead towards the main junction and picnic table or turn right to head through the native bush and to the highest points of the park. We will assume this is the route for this review. This provides great views across our wonderful city.

Enjoy a rest at the top of Hamlins Hill where you can enjoy one of the bench seats. Once ready, head north towards the main junction area of the park – here you will find the picnic table and a portable toilet.

There are four options to explore from the junction – you will see these clearly on the Google Map. I would recommend heading to the right and winding your way through the native bush until reaching the northern edge of the park, from here turn left and head back up to the junction or continue to the grassland and explore the western farm areas of the park. It is here you will see the historic stone wall.

Take your time exploring the farm, enjoying the curious cattle and the wide-open spaces. On your return, head back straight across the grass towards the junction or take the more adventurous and fun bush route just inside the southern perimeter.

Hamlins Hill is a real gem in the heart of our city. Walk it, bike it and run it! Bring the kids, the dog (on a lead) and just have a couple of hours out of the hustle.

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The park has gravel trails and grass paths and is only suitable for off-road capable buggies/wheelchairs. It also has a lot of farm gates/styles to pass through and at times buggies may need to be passed over the fence if they cannot squeeze through the gaps.

Auckland Council Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Webpage

Cudlip Point Walk – NORTH AUCKLAND

Cudlip Point Loop Track is a stunning walkway in the Mahurangi Regional Park, about 50 minutes drive north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.  This track is one of three main walks in the park and includes amazing coastal views, beautiful beaches and a range of grasslands and native bush.  It is quite hilly, so requires a reasonable standard of fitness. 
Views of Mahurangi Harbour
Views of the stunning Mahurangi Harbour
Walk Time45 – 75 mins – 3.2km (yellow)
SurfaceGravel or Grass Tracks
Difficulty3/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs1/5 – Steep up and down sections plus the
surface can be slippery. Buggie’s may be
possible if dry and you are very fit and strong.
No good for wheelchairs except by beach.
FacilitiesToilets, Water, Seats, Swimming, Beach,
Camping
HighlightsBeach, Views, Nature. Rocks for fishing

Click here to open the Google Map in a separate tab or tap the icon in the top right of this map.

Download a pdf version of the Cudlip Point Loop Map

Cudlip Point Loop Track Description

This Loop Track surprised me with its beauty, variety and challenge.  The views are superb as the Mahurangi Penninsula juts out into the Ocean, providing water and beaches on both its ‘coasts’.  The track is quite steep in places and is a mix of gravel and grass trail. 

Views across the Inlet to Te Muri Beach Mahurangi Regional Park
The Inlet to Te Muri Beach can be crossed at low tide

We commenced our walk at the higher carpark, the parking spot that greets you after entering the Regional Park.   You could also opt to veer left and head down the hill to Sullivans Bay and start your walk there.  This is probably recommended if you want to swim and picnic at the beach.

If starting at the top carpark, take the further right track entrance that heads towards Te Muri Bay.  This winds its way downhill for 10-15 minutes on a good gravel track until it reaches the water’s edge.   If starting at the carpark, follow the road or grass track as per the GPS Map up to the top carpark and then continue as above.

Upon reaching the inlet, you track alongside the waterway, through bush and patches of grass for about 10 minutes before turning left and heading up a steep incline.  You could also have crossed the inlet to Te Muri Beach if you desire and walk to the campsite or follow the track towards the end of the inlet.  Note: the inlet can only be crossed at low tide and remember you do need to get back again also!

Mirror views on the Te Muri Esturary
Mirror views on the Estuary

Head up the hill and towards the top of the ridge where you start to get the reward with some stunning vistas.  When we completed the track, there was a detour that took us to the ridge as the cliff-top track through the bush was unstable.   You have the choice of going right and heading through the gate to Cudlip Point Lookout or turning left and heading back along the ridge towards Sullivans Bay.  The  Lookout here gives views across the Gulf, looking East – they are ok but there are a lot of trees that block aspects of the view.

The walk along the ridgeline to Sullivans is stunning.  Views looking north up the coast are ‘million dollars’ and ahead are the views into beautiful Mahurangi Harbour.   prior to your decent to the beach, you can choose to go straight ahead or veer right and down the fenceline, which is the shorter option.

The red markers indicate the Cudlip Point Mahurangi track
Red markers indicate the track

Sullivans Beach is beautiful and fine for swimming, especially with higher tides.  There are good facilities here, including toilets, water fountains, an information kiosk and a campground if you wish to stay overnight.

If you started at the top carpark, walk back along the beach and up the steep grass hill back to the car.  If you started at Sullivans Beach, you are finished!

If you still desire more walking and even more stunning views, add the option of the Mita Loop Track that commences at the western end of Sullivans Bay. 

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The tracks in Mahurangi Regional Park are steep and unsuitable for wheelchairs.  If you are get and strong, you should be able to push a buggie with a baby around the Cuplip Point Loop Track but be aware that places are a bit slippery under foot and steep.  The Mita Loop is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.

Other useful Links:

Auckland Council Map and Information

Mahurangi West Wing Luxury B&B

Book one of the Park Campgrounds here

Sullivans Campground Information

Interesting article about Mahurangi Regional Park development

Walks around Devonport Auckland

Devonport is one of our favourite places to walks in Auckland. The combination of harbour and city views, Victorian style homes and fabulous cafes makes it an enjoyable place to visit.

We have put together three one hour loop walks starting from the Devonport ferry terminal.

Walks in Auckland North Head Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedDevonport to North Head. Take your torch for the tunnels and your camera to capture the views across the Gulf!

 

Read more: Devonport and North Head Loop Walk

 

Walks in Auckland
Mount Victoria, Devonport

Devonport to Mt Victoria. Spectacular views, historical cottages and interesting shops on this loop walk.

 

Read more: Spectacular views from Mt Victoria Devonport

Devonport © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited
Devonport to Ngataringa. Walk along the esplanades and parades of Devonport with the view across the Gulf and to the skyline of the city and beyond. Take the time to admire the beautifully kept Victorian style homes. Followed by the sounds of birds as you walk alongside Ngataringa Park. Read more :Devonport Ngataringa Loop

 

Spectacular views from Mt Victoria Devonport

walks in Auckland

Today was clear and sunny, which called for a walk and climb to look over Auckland from up high from Mount Victoria. Mt Victoria provides spectacular views – it is higher than North Head and closer to Auckland City. This walk has a dog friendly off-leash area. (See other Dog Friendly Walks) And Devonport’s village-style shops and cafes is always a great place to visit and walk around. It’s fun to arrive in Devonport by ferry. And you could spend the whole day there – spend half the day at North Head and the other half at Mt Victoria with a lunch and shop browse in-between…..

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 views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City, historical buildings.  Mount Cambria Reserve – A volcanic cone that is now a park, having been quarried away for roading, garden walls and ship’s ballast. Victoria Picture Palace/Theatre – built in 1912, oldest cinema in NZ. Fort Mt Victoria and the Disappearing Gun. St Francis De Sales Catholic Church, St Paul’s Presbyterian Church, Devonport Cemetery
History: http://www.devonport.co.nz/heritage.htm
Time: approx. 60 minutes. MAP

12 Volcano Walks

Suggested Cafés: 1) Along King Edward Parade 2) Many in Devonport Village 3) Five Loaves@ 29 Church St

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map  (AN-020 Mt Victoria Loop) over at our Walks Store and our Book Store (Volcanoes).

More: Devonport Walks and Trails 

St Heliers and the Hauraki Gulf

Walks in Auckland

What a fabulous day for a walk in Auckland – warm, sunny, no wind….and there were so many people out and about taking advantage of the great weather!

St Heliers is a buzzy little place on Tamaki Drive with a small selection of cafes and restaurants to choose from for refreshments.

Todays walk provides spectacular views looking over the Hauraki Gulf to the small islands and the impressive Rangitoto volcano. And then onto Glover Park another of Auckland’s volcano remains – this one is an ‘explosion crater’.

This is a dog friendly walk with an off-leash exercise area.

Description: A mix of level and steep paths. 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 views of Rangitoto, Hauraki Gulf and Auckland City.
Time: approx. 60 minutes. (about 4.5kms) Map

Find this walk over at our Walks Store (AE-016 St Heliers and Glover Park) and our Book Store (Volcanoes, Dog Friendly part 2, Best of the East)

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

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

Walks in Auckland – Mt Eden/Maungawhau

Mt Eden/Maungawhau is one of the many volcano walks in Auckland, and one of the most popular places to visit.

Mt Eden boasts spectacular views of the city centre and surrounding region. Most people take a coach to the summit, hop out, take photos and then get back on the coach again.

Today, Grace and I walked around and over the summit in the summer humidity.

There are some shady tracks that do give relief from the heat. These tracks can be slippery when wet so we advise suitable footwear. Mt Edens walking paths and tracks are not as developed as the ones in Cornwall Park. It feels like more of a country walk than a city walk. But it does allow us to do the Mt Eden ‘Round the Maunga walk’.

As I mentioned the views are spectacular. Which is the highlight of this walk, as well as of course, getting the outdoor exercise. This is an excellent workout walk for people who are watching their weight because of the steep inclines and steps.

For visitors who have to choose between visiting One Tree Hill and Mt Eden – One Tree Hill is a larger area with more to see, sheep and cattle, a cafe plus a fine view from the summit. Whereas Mt Eden has a huge crater and a fabulous view of Auckland City. There is a good choice of cafes in Mt Eden Village, a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.

Auckland City provide a Mt Eden Heritage brochure for people who enjoy history.  More info online here.

Find this walk and other walks in Central Auckland here.