Tag Archives: Volcanoes

Mt Roskill Explorer

We had overlooked Mt Roskill as a place to walk and explore… until today.  The volcano double cone and twin craters of Mt Roskill have been destroyed through the installation of a water reservoir, but from the top it is easy to view Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Big King and One Tree Hill.

Mt Roskill © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures LimitedOur flat walk (if you choose not to walk up to the summit of Mt Roskill) links up three reserves – War Memorial Park,  Walmsley Park and Underwood Park. Take some bread to feed the ducks in Oakley Creek. The final part of the walk is at the colourful shops of Stoddard Road.

The walking route is also great for cyclists, prams/buggies and dog walkers (on leash and off  leash dog exercise areas in Walmsley Park and Underwood Park.).

We stopped for a very good coffee at an almost hidden Ethiopean cafe in the Tulja Centre called Cafe Abyssinia.

9th December 2013 – a new cafe has opened at 740 Sandringham Road Extension. Give your support to a community project – the Roskill Coffee Project.

Please note: An upgrade of Oakley Creek storm-water project has been proposed by the Local Board. If it goes ahead, there will be some disruption along this route within Walmsley and Underwood Parks from 2016.
Read about it here.

Description: Mostly level paths, steep paths ascent to summit of Mt Roskill. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs if Mt Roskill summit is avoided.

To see: Views of Auckland City skyline, Mt Albert, Mt Eden, Three Kings, One Tree Hill. Oakley Creek and ducks.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms).
Start: Corner of Sandringham Road extension/Stoddard Road.
MAP

Stay on track…find this walk’s map and directions guide (AC-093 Mt Roskill Loop) and other walk self-guides at our Walk Store

(Click on the photos to see an enlarged view.)

Winter walks in Auckland

Grab your rain jacket, hat and gloves and head outside to warm up with a winter walk!  Even though the weather may not appeal, walking will awaken your senses.

Cornwall Park © 2011-2013 Unleashed Ventures Limited

In this NZ Herald article, Growing our Heritage the author writes about tree spotting in Cornwall Park, Mt Eden and Monte Cecilia Park; as well as the benefits of taking a walk on a crisp winter day.

Another place to walk in winter and enjoy the trees is Waiata Reserve which you can walk through on the Remerua to Hobson Bay Circuit.

We cover Cornwall Park and Mt Eden in our new book “Short walks in Auckland:Volcanoes“.

When the deciduous trees have dropped their leaves, more views are revealed, and on those beautiful, clear, dry winter days, the sun is great for warming up our bodies!

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

Highbrook Park Loop

If you have been out to Highbrook Business Park in South Auckland, you may have noticed a walkway along the waters edge to the north.  This has intrigued my friend and I for some time, so today we set out to explore and work out a way to include it an interesting circular walk.

Mission accomplished and rewarded with a delicious iced coffee at Highbrook Park’s Sierra Cafe! **Update December 2014** There is now a further selection of cafes and eateries at The Crossing (we had coffee at The Light Horse).

IMG_4918

According to “Volcanoes of Auckland, the Essential Guide” Highbrook was developed as a racehorse stud farm before it was converted to a business park. The explosion crater’s proper name is Pukewairiki which means “the hill with the associated small lagoon”. The crater floor is now salt marsh and mangrove forest.

The pathway along Highbrook Park is safe for family cycling. This walk does not include a playground and would be suited for older children.  Look out for the pohutukawa blossoms early summer. There is an off-leash dog exercise area on the Otara Creek (south) side of this walk.

Description: A mix of level and slightly hilly paths. Suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.  Suitable for mountain bikes.
To see:  Pukekiwiriki Crater, wetlands, views of Tamaki Estuary, Otara Creek, Pakuranga Creek, Mount Wellington and other volcanoes,  Highbrook Model Airpark.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 5.8 kms)
Start: Business Parade North, Highbrook  MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map (AS-063 Highbrook Park Loop) over at our Walks Store  and our Book Store (one of 12 walks featured in our books “Dog Friendly Walks part 1” and “Best of the South”).

University of Auckland walks – Epsom Campus

Stage Three of the University of Auckland short walks project, with five walking circuits starting and ending from the Epsom campus in Epsom Avenue.

If you would like free copies of these PDF brochures, please leave your request in the comment box below.

Stay on track…get other detailed guides with maps from our Walks Store

Volcano crater, Mount Saint John

Mount Saint John Loop
This walk takes you around Melville Park and up to the Mount Saint John volcano rim with views of One Tree Hill, Mount Eden and the Waitakere Ranges before dropping back down to the streets of Epsom.
Time: approx. 40 minutes. (about 3.5 kms)

 

 

Entrance to “Rannoch”

Newmarket Loop
This walk starts off along the residential Epsom streets and winds into Newmarket. From Newmarket, it is a straight run back to the start.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.24 kms)

 

 

Cornwall Park Loop
A flat walk that takes you to the Puriri Drive entrance to Cornwall Park, past the memorial fountain and statue of Sir John Logan Campbell.
Time: approx. 45 minutes. (about 4.05 kms)

 

Streets of Epsom Loop
This flat walk is mostly along quiet tree-lined suburban streets.  Enjoy the original houses and well-tended gardens.
Time: approx. 40 minutes. (about 3.5 kms)

 

Mount Eden Loop
A walk through Mount Eden Village and a climb up to the summit of Mount Eden to take in the views of volcanoes and the city. Why visit Mount Eden?
Time: approx. 50 minutes. (about 4.5 kms) for full loop.  Optional shorter loop approx. 40 minutes

If you would like free copies of these PDF brochures, please leave your request in the comment box below.

Stay on track…get other detailed guides with maps from our Walks Store

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”).

 

 

Pigeon Mountain and the Wetlands Loop Walk

Pigeon Mountain in the suburb of Half Moon Bay is another of Auckland’s volcanoes.  The mountain was originally three times its present size but its two craters have been quarried away to provide scoria. It is called Pigeon Mountain because in early European times, native pigeons called ‘kereru‘ used to live here.

Walks in Auckland
View from Pigeon Mountain

You can walk to the top of Pigeon Mountain and from the summit there are great views of Tamaki Estuary and Wakaaranga Creek Reserve mangroves, whilst below are boardwalks that cross over wetlands that house nests for the pukeko bird.

walks in Auckland

The nearby mangrove edged Wakaaranga Creek has good paths for wheels.  And there is a cool long slide in a playground that is worth checking out. Because most of this walk is in a bird reserve, dogs must be kept on-leash. However if you choose to follow the 5km Pakuranga Rotary walkway, there are several areas for off-leash exercise between the Pakuranga Sailing Club and Wakaaranga Reserve. This is a mostly flat walk if the walk to the summit of Pigeon Mountain is omitted.

It is disappointing to find some pathways between houses and roads blocked off with iron bars that prevent users of wheelchairs, prams and cycles from using the path.

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: Auckland City views, Rangitoto Island views, Volcano summit, wetlands, Pukeko birds habitat.
Time: approx. 75 minutes. (about 6 kms). Allow extra time to walk to the summit of Pigeon Mountain.
Start from: Gills Road just off Pigeon Mountain Road MAP

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map over at our Walks Store  (AE-033 Pigeon Mountain and the wetlands) and our Book Store ( one of 12 walks featured in our books “Volcanoes” and “Best of the East”).

 

Kepa Bush

Walks in AucklandKepa Bush is another short walk in Auckland treasure that contains bush trails and native trees, flora and fauna that is easy to get to.

The circuit takes about 30 minutes, and it provides views of the bush, 3 volcanoes (One Tree Hill, Mt Hobson and Mt Eden) and Orakei Basin, which all happen to be walks that we have documented.   Kepa Bush Reserve is a cool shady walk for hot summer days.  It is quiet and peaceful – and still in the city! The track is not well maintained, so be sure to wear sturdy footwear.

The grass reserve has picnic tables, and space to kick a ball around.

Kepa Bush Reserve is beside Eastridge Shopping Centre, where you can leave your car and stop for a coffee afterwards.

Download the FREE Kepa Bush Reserve guide and map here

Mangere Mountain Walk

walks in aucklandI have driven past Mangere Mountain many times without realising where it was. I knew of it, but hadn’t seen it. I discovered it last year and found that it’s a huge and unspoiled volcano with fabulous views across the Manukau Harbour. Mangere Mountain has little exposure from the motorway to the airport, but on it’s western side it looms high (106 metres above sea level), from the Harbour shores. This volcano does not have paved paths and roads like Mt Eden or One Tree Hill. It erupted about 18,000 years ago and is in the most original condition.

Dogs – off leash exercise areas within reserve.

Other Mangere WalksMangere Bridge to Onehunga LoopAmbury Park Farm WalkMangere Esplanade Loop

Nearby places to visit: Watercare Coastal walkway, Ambury Regional Park, Villa Maria Winery and cafe, Butterfly Creek,  Otuataua Stonefields historic reserve , Mangere Strawberry and Vegetable Farm @ 127 Kirkbride Road.

Description: A mix of level paths and steep paths. Caution: Muddy and slippery when wet. Suitable in dry weather. 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: Volcano crater and rim, Manukau Harbour views, views of other volcanoes.
Time: approx. 45 minutes (3.69kms)
Start: Coronation Road, Mangere Bridge Village There is a children’s playground and an off-leash dog area.  (See other Dog Friendly Walks) Mangere Village has several cafes.

Find this walk and other walks over at our Walks Store  (GS006 Mangere Mountain) and our Book Store (“Volcanoes”  and “Best of the South”).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Volcano Walks
12 Volcano Walks

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

Coast to Coast Walk

This weekend we embarked on an alternative Auckland coast to coast walk – from Waitemata Harbour to Manukau Harbour.  Auckland City Council do have their own documented walk here.  However our alternate walk has less road, more parks, more bush, more direct, more variety, more views and more fun. It takes about 4 to 4 1/2 hours if there are no stops.

Read more: City hike ranks in the world’s top 10

*** Currently, you can download our alternative Coast to Coast walk for free by entering your email and name in the box on the right. *** Alternatively click HERE for the free EGuide & Coast to Coast walk

walks in auckland coast to coast
View of Waitemata Harbour from Mt Hobson

The walk can be done in stages (so that at convenient points, if you need to return to the start we let you know where you can catch a bus or train) or you may wish to set a day aside to do the complete walk. It takes about four hours non-stop, but do allow yourself time to explore the side-trips (e.g. walk around Parnell, one of Auckland’s most interesting and historic suburbs) and have refreshments.

If you are looking for things to do in Auckland this is a great day outing. This alternative coast to coast walk starts off at the Ferry Building and ends at Onehunga (or you could start from Onehunga and time your arrival to be at Wynyard Quarter to watch the sun set over the Harbour from a bar or restaurant.) The walk is full of variety from kauri trees, to the Parnell shops and cafes, churches and cathedrals, views of the harbours, volcanoes and Waitekere Ranges and an art collection. It includes many playground areas for children which we hope is an incentive for them to do this walk. This walk in Auckland shows off the diversity of this wonderful city.

Watch the short video – Things to do in Auckland – Coast to Coast Walk

Walks in Auckland coast to coastAuckland residents may even be surprised to find places they were not aware of!

Vistors will discover Auckland’s back yard secrets and many cafes and shops – the ones that the bus tours miss.

You really don’t get to know a place until you have explored it by foot!

walks in Auckland coast to coastFor instance we discovered a new labyrinth in Parnell – something that I would not have recognized if I had not recently read “Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice”.

Suggested Cafes in Onehunga: The Library Cafe and Columbus

If you are keen on other coast to coast walks around the world – you may like to try the Walk from Cumbria to Yorkshire which spans 85 miles of quintessentially English landscape

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.