Auckland has over 50 Islands to explore, 55 volcanoes to climb, 22 conservation parks within easy reach of the city and plenty of beautiful beaches. The diverse lanscape means Auckland is a city for outdoor lovers with a seemingly never ending supply of walking trails. We've picked out a few of our favourite areas.
Catch the short ferry to the pretty seaside town of Devonport and head up the high street to Mt Victoria. It’s a short, steep and scenic walk that allows you to enjoy 360 degree views of the Waitemata Harbour and Auckland City.
Heading to the other Mount in Devonport, North Head is lovely 20 minute walk from the Ferry Terminal. The Mount is full of military history complete with gun settlements and a series of tunnels to explore. The 20 minute walk up to the summit provides sweeping views of Cheltenham beach, Waitemata Harbour and Rangitoto Island.
Southwest of downtown Auckland, Mt Eden is the city’s highest natural point at 196m above sea level. The walk up rewards you with magnificent 360 degree views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. With a 50m-wide crater, it’s also a popular spot for picnics. On the side of the mount, the award-winning Eden Garden offer 5.5 acres to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Rangitoto is the youngest of the Hauraki islands at around 700 years old. Catch the 25 minute ferry from downtown Auckland (or Devonport) and follow the trail through the volcanic landscape to the summit. At the top, there are a couple of viewing platforms with stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and the Auckland skyline. On the way down you can try to find the lava caves. There are about 3-4 sailings out to Rangitoto per day and 2-3 back, so it's best to get to the terminal on either side 20 minutes ahead of time. Allow 4-5 hours for the entire trip.
Mission Bay Coastal Walk
A coastal walk from downtown out towards Mission Bay. Running alongside the main road, the walk along Tamaki Drive gives continuous views of the harbour from the city past the beach and cafes of Mission Bay. The path is split into a walking and cycling lane and you can expect to see plenty of joggers. When you are arriving close to Mission Bay, walk up the driveway to the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial to enjoy the wonderful view of Rangitoto Island.
45 minutes west of Auckland is the wild and rugged Piha Beach and the much photographed Lion Rock. From Piha beach you can walk to a waterfall, while at Bethell’s beach there is a great river-based walk just before you get to the beach car park on the left. Look for a cluster of parked cars and/or trampers heading out. Of course, you can also just walk along the beach until you reach the end where there is a giant cave.
In the heart of the shopping district of Auckland, there is still an opportunity to stretch your legs and enjoy a scenic walk. Take a walk up the hill from Queen Street to Albert Park, cut through the university and turn left on Symonds street until you reach Alten Road. It’s at this point that you turn right and head down to cross over Stanley Street. From here, you walk up into the trees where you will soon reach the Auckland Domain.
One Tree Hill
Together with adjacent One Tree Hill Domain (the two are often erroneously grouped together as one place), Cornwall Park forms Auckland's largest green area. The park is a popular settign for joggers and walkers with no area of the park closed off for pedestrians. The view at the volcano summit offers impressive panoramic views of the Auckland region. Within the park there's plenty of cattle, a playground area and the Stardome Observatory and Planetarium so you can combien a walk with a family day out.
A short walk from the upper end of Queen Street, Auckland Domain is 75 hectares of open parkland and the site of the Auckland Memorial Museum. Set on the volcanic remains of the Pukekawa volcano, it includes a number of sports playing fields and the Wintergardens. It's a good opportunity to combine a walk with a visit to one of Auckland's most popular tourist attractions.
Coast to Coast
The walk runs from Manukau Harbour at Onehunga to Waitemata Harbour. Along the walk you've the option to climb up One Tree Hill and Mt. Eden volcanoes, and will pass by many parks and old Kiwi houses. There are numerous places to catch a bus back to the city if you decide to take the easy way back. To start the walk, take a bus (the 347 from Britomart) to Beachcroft Avenue in Onehunga and then walk back to the waterfront in the city.