Auckland – it’s hard to imagine a more geographically diverse region. Whether it’s rugged black-sand surf beaches, dense native forest, rolling green pastures or urban city centres, there’s something different to see and do.
Auckland Council’s Head of Parks Services, Mark Bowater, says Auckland’s parks reflect the region’s unique and diverse landscapes.
“Our parks represent the iconic landscapes of Auckland and play an important part in the identity of the region. This diversity is also reflected through the many ecosystems and native species that call our parks home, as well as the different ways in which people experience and use our parks.”
Wherever you are in Auckland, these park walks are perfect for a staycation adventure this summer.
This walk will take you to the edge of the Manukau Harbour, which is not usually noted for its beauty, but can be very picturesque and peaceful on a good day.
Even though suburbia isn’t far away, just concentrate on the wetlands and the birdlife and you’ll feel like you’re a million miles out of the city.
Maraetai is a destination in itself. You can take a picnic and relax on the beach, or pop into a waterfront cafe for brunch.
The walk begins in native bush and then follows the coastline with breath-taking views across the Hauraki Gulf. It’s a great spot to watch all of the sailing action on the water.
This pocket of native bush tucked away in the middle of a quiet Auckland suburb features a giant kauri. As if that’s not enough for you to get your hiking boots on, if you’re lucky you’ll be greeted by the sounds of tui birds singing their hearts out.
A bonus is views across Auckland Harbour to Hobsonville Point. This walk goes through two reserves and is family friendly.
Auckland is so fortunate to have pockets of native bush thriving in our city environment. If you’re quiet, as well as the native bird life, you’ll hear running water as it makes it way downhill through the native trees.
This walk goes through two reserves, both with different species of trees and bush. As these reserves contain Kauri trees, be sure to clean your footwear and keep dogs on leash.
This is a great walk to do throughout the year and starts off in the character village of Mangere Bridge. The gentle walk upwards reveals a stunning 360-degree view from the raw mountain top.
It’s amazing how far you can see. It’s worth just sitting for a while to take it all in and imagine how it must have been before the Europeans arrived.
Helen Wenley’s full back catalogue of walking reviews and maps can be found on the Walks in Auckland website.
Help protect our kauri
Kauri dieback in Auckland is a serious problem and it’s important we all play our part to prevent the spread of the disease.
If you enter or leave a forest or area with native trees anywhere across the region, here are three easy steps you need to remember:
- Scrub – clean all soil off your footwear and gear. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Spray – your footwear and gear with disinfectant at every cleaning station you encounter.
- Stay – on open tracks and off kauri roots.
Always check the Auckland Council kauri webpage before going for a walk to find out what tracks are currently closed.