Everyone knows the spectacular beauty that is Auckland. And, this beauty is something that we all want to protect and never more so than when it comes to our native kauri. Now that the Waitakere Ranges have closed we know that we can only enjoy them via photographs or from a distance, but that's no reason to not get yourself up and about and enjoy Auckland's walks!
Whether you want a calming walk away from the city or be within the hustle and bustle, there’s a walk for everyone. Here’s a list of Auckland walks you can take now that the Waitakere Ranges have closed!
North Shore Coastal Walk
Long Bay To Devonport
Go from one end of the Auckland shore to the other by foot and earn a full sense of appreciation of how much greatness Auckland has to offer. The long seven-hour walk covers almost 25km starting from Long Bay and ending at lovely little Devonport. Make a day out of it and stop over at the local cafes on the way for a little break and caffeine fix, you may need a few of those! Take someone with you and the company will make you not even realise that you’ve walked as far as you have! For more information on this shore to shore walk, click here.
When we mention “New Zealand” to people overseas, many of them will think farmland, greenery, rural and all things associated to nature. Well they’re not wrong when it comes to Ambury Regional Park! 15km away from the bustling streets of Central Auckland is a huge prairie, filled with farm animals just casually wandering around. Let these furry friends join you on your Auckland walk on the lush, green grass and enjoy the Sound of Music vibes Ambury Regional Park has to offer. For more information on Ambury, click here.
Ōtuataua Stonefields Walk
Another gem in Mangere is an historical gem that is just an archaeological masterpiece. Ōtuataua Stonefields is actually how tropical colonists made use of the volcanic rocks and soil to grow crops like taro and kumara. Maybe we could learn a thing or two on this walk so we don’t face another kumara shortage! Ōtuataua Stonefields is not only rich in history but the scenery is absolutely stunning with the rugged rocks contrasting the delicate greenery. Surrounding the countryside, you’ll be away from the noise of car honking and pedestrian crossings at this stunning location overlooking the harbour. For more information on Ōtuataua Stonefields, click here.
Coast To Coast Walkway
Waitemata To Manukau
This walk gives you major bragging rights—you can claim you walked from one side of New Zealand to the other in a day #nobigdeal. The urban hike leads 16km from downtown Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour to the Manukau Harbour. The walkway passes through five volcanic sites (just casually), suburban streets, and places of Maori and colonial history.The walk will take you about five hours but you’re gonna want to stop for lunch at one of the numerous cafes along the way! For more information on the Coast to Coast walkway, click here.
Tawharanui Regional Park
Elevate your beach walk experience by visiting one of Auckland’s most beautiful white-sand beaches in Tawharanui. The regional park has lots of different walks for you to take, some taking less than an hour and some going a little more than three hours. No matter which walk you take, the sights are as beautiful as each other. The walking tracks at Tawharanui Regional Park don’t just stop at a nice stroll along the beach. Their many walking tracks have lookout point that showcases picturesque views of the tranquil ocean as well as a chance to walk the farm animals that graze along the park freely. For those who want something less sandy and beachy, you can also take a walk in the forests to really get in touch with nature. For more information on Tawharanui Regional Park, click here.
Tamaki Drive Walk
Take in the beauty of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour with this popular coastal walk. Tamaki Drive curves 10km along the waterfront from downtown Auckland to St Heliers Bay. Feast your eyes on the harbour or gaze enviously at the mansions lining the cliff tops and beaches of Orakei, Mission Bay and Kohimarama. The walk takes about two-and-a-half hours but allow time to stop for a coffee at one of the many great cafes overlooking the water. If the sun’s shining there’s an unwritten rule that you have to grab a cheeky ice cream from Movenpick in Mission Bay.
Cornwall Park is one of the nicest spots for a leisurely walk in Auckland. The park and the neighbouring One Tree Hill Domain form the largest area of parkland in Auckland Central. Get up close and personal with the grazing sheep and cattle—the entire park is open to foot access! Walk to the top of One Tree Hill to enjoy 360-degree views of wider Auckland. Once you’ve work up an appetite, have a well-deserved brunch at Cornwall Park Cafe. The bustling cafe has a mouth-watering breakfast menu and their deconstructed hot chocolate is a must-try for every Aucklander.
Located on the Western shores of the Firth of Thames, Tapapakanga Regional Park is one of Auckland’s most beautiful walking spots—and also home to the Splore music festival. There’s a range of walking tracks for you to embark on, each marked with coloured posts. From the main car park, our pick is the orange farm walk. The 5.9km track takes you through open pastures (anyone for a Sound Of Music rendition?) where sheep and cattle graze. Loop back along the shoreline and you’ve had an afternoon worth Instagramming about.
Rangitoto Island Summit Walk
Can you really call yourself a true Aucklander if you haven’t walked up Rangitoto? We think not! Auckland would not be the same without this volcano being at the forefront of the views of this town, which is what makes this icon one of the most famous walks in Auckland. The shortest and most popular route to the summit takes an hour but you can take longer routes if you’re up for the challenge! Make sure you take the slight detour to check out the island’s breath-taking lava caves (BYO torch and/or iPhone flashlight). The island is just a 25-minute ferry ride across the Waitemata Harbour with ferries running from downtown Auckland and Devonport daily.
Another Aucklander staple, The Lightpath (a.k.a., the Pink Walk) is an absolute must. If you’re not looking to get in touch with the nature of Aotearoa, get amongst the city lights as this short walk overlooks the busy intersections while providing a scenic view of our beautiful city. The hot pink colour scheme makes the walking experience a vibrant one and is surely one of the best urban walks Auckland has to offer. Don’t forget to take someone with you for this one as an Instagram shot is mandatory!
Image Credit: Todd Eyre