There’s nothing like a run in the sunshine to get you out of the house when you start feeling a little cooped up. So why not reset your fitness, get your mind firing on all cylinders and hit two birds with one fit stone whilst practising social distancing.
Whether you’re a regular runner, or trying something new during these unprecedented times, these running routes around Auckland will surely bring you some inspo.
If you don’t want to stray too far from Auckland CBD, then the Orakei Basin is your new best friend. The entire walkway is less than 3km, so it’s perfect for runners starting out. If you want a bigger run, extend the loop through the ‘walkway alternative’ track, taking you through tree-lined streets and a bunch of reserves in the area.
Tamaki Drive Walk
Tamaki Drive is an Auckland must-do—or should we say Auckland must-run? Curving 10km along the waterfront from downtown Auckland to St Heliers, the route is not only flat, but there are minimal road crossings—winning. Better yet, the views have you spoilt for choice. Feast your eyes on the glistening Waitemata Harbour or gaze enviously at the mansions lining the cliff tops. Start at the ferry terminal and run along Quay Street through to St Heliers. A mandatory pit stop at Achilles Point must be made. Take a break and enjoy the look-out.
Start at Silo Park and run through Westhaven Marina. You’ll enjoy scenic views of the City Of Sails while running over the Westhaven Promenade. Follow the track under the Auckland Harbour Bridge and up into Herne Bay. You’ll be marvelling at what Auckland has to offer after this route.
Auckland Domain Walks
Feel at one with nature on one of Auckland Domain's great running tracks. The Domain Walk, Centennial Walkway and Lovers' Walk are a nature-lover’s paradise. Run with gleeful abandon through native bush taking careful note of the beautiful scenery which will take the pain out of the steep incline.
Coast To Coast
This run gives you the ultimate bragging right—you can claim you ran from one side of New Zealand to the other. The urban track starts from Auckland CBD’s Waitemata Harbour and heads south to the Manukau Harbour. You’ll pass five volcanic sites (just casually), suburban streets and places of Maori history. The route is 16km so make sure you’re armed with blister pads and a drink bottle. Oh, and take your HOP card or have Uber at the ready—you’ll need to suss a return trip. Check out the course for yourself here.
The Pipeline Track
For a scenic run, head to Titirangi and run the Pipeline Track. Go in the late afternoon and you’ll have the sun beaming through the native bush. Enjoy listening to the bird life and gaze at the amazing views while being at one with nature.
The pink cycle path that graces Auckland is short and sweet. For something a little out of the ordinary run it at night, you’ll get to see the city light up and the reflection of the pink path underneath your gaze.
Devonport To Takapuna
Tie up your laces and ferry across to Devonport (you can opt to drive but sailing there is part of the fun). From here, jog along the suburban Vauxhall Road until it becomes Old Lake Road. Take a right onto Hamana Street and cruise along until it becomes Seacliffe Avenue. While there are some gentle slopes along the way, it all makes for good training. Turn left onto Winscombe Street and hey presto, you’re at Lake Road. Continue until you get to the heart of Takapuna and refuel at a café of your choice and congratulate yourself on having run a not insignificant 6km.
Head to Cornwall Park on a Saturday morning and join other likeminded runners. There’s a regular 5km Cornwall Park run held every Saturday at 8am. Make new running buddies with a post-park run coffee at the Cornwall Park Café.
We all know and love Western Springs for its stadium, zoo and museum, but it’s also one of the best running spots in Auckland. The lake is surrounded by a wide footpath, perfect for getting your jog on. Three full loops (don’t take the shortcut) form a 5km-course. Six loops and—you guessed it—you’ve run 10km. There are no road crossings involved, meaning you can really get into your running zone. However, a word of warning: watch out for duck and/or goose poo—it can make the path slippery.
Murray’s Bay To Browns Bay
For North Shore locals, you’ll be familiar with this track. Starting from Murray’s Bay, the track begins just before Murray’s Bay Wharf. Run up hills and through the bush, with clifftop pit stops on the way. Take your run down to Rothesay Bay beach and, if you’re super keen, make it all the way to the Browns Bay stairs. If you’re game, do some stair sprints!
Thanks to Totara Park, South Auckland folk are spoilt for running routes. Stretching over 200 hectares, there is no shortage of running or walking tracks—you can even bring your mountain bike. The park has it all: rolling farmland, native bush and a bubbling stream. Download a map and create a route to suit your personal fitness levels. Our advice? End your run at the nearby Botanic Gardens for a tranquil post-run stretch.
Can't get enough of the great outdoors? Check out Auckland's best hidden adventures.
Image credit: Hamish Melville