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Auckland Region Walks and Hikes

Guide to the Best Places for Walking and Hiking in the Auckland Region

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One of the best ways to explore the Auckland region is on foot. There is a huge number of interesting walkways of varying lengths dotted throughout the city and the surrounding areas. Most of the walks range from a few minutes to a few hours. The city itself is well set up for walkers. Thanks to the area's unique geography there is a wide variety of places to go for a walk. These areas include beaches, forests, farmland, islands and even dormant volcanoes. Auckland can be divided into different regions, each with something unique to offer.

Central Auckland City Walks

Auckland Ferry Building, Auckland City
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Even in the center of the business and commercial districts of Auckland City, you aren't far from some interesting walks. Aside from simply walking the city streets, some of the best walking is around the Viaduct Harbor area at the bottom of Queen Street. Albert Park is the city's most central green space, just behind Queen Street and bordering the Auckland Library, Auckland Art Gallery and Auckland University.

Slightly further afield are walks on several of the forty-eight dormant volcanic cones that are dotted throughout Auckland. Amongst the best to climb and explore are One Tree Hill (which includes one of the best city parks, Cornwall Park), Mount Eden, Mount Wellington and Mangere Mountain.

Also popular with both walkers and cyclists is the route along Tamaki Drive. This starts in the downtown city center harbor area and follows the coast to the south east, passing through several beachside suburbs along the way.

Discover the Best Auckland City Walks:

North Shore Auckland Walks

North of central Auckland, across the Auckland Harbor Bridge, there are some of the best beaches in the Auckland region, with many great walking areas to match. For a good day walk, follow the coastline all the way north from Devonport to Long Bay.

Both Devonport and Long Bay also have reserve areas that offer good walking. North Head, near Devonport at the northern entrance to the Waitemata Harbor has served as a military post in both Maori and European history and the remains of military activity are still to be seen there.

West Auckland Walks

Auckland City Walk, Waitakere Ranges
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

To the west of Auckland city, the climate is very different and offers a totally different experience for walkers and hikers. The West Auckland region is dominated by the sub-tropical rainforest-clad Waitakere Ranges and the wild west coast beaches. Unlike the rest of Auckland, there are walks here that can take several days. If you are looking for a serious tramp near Auckland, west is the direction in which to head.

Discover the Best West Auckland Walks:

South and East Auckland Walks

The south and east are amongst the least visited parts of Auckland by tourists. Nevertheless, there are some great places to walk and hike through. The eastern suburbs of Auckland are fringed by popular beaches such as Bucklands Beach, Howick, Mellons Bay and (further away yet worth the drive) Beachlands and Maraetai.

To the southwest there are some interesting walks near the beaches on the southern side of the Manukau Harbor, including Clarks Beach and South Head.

Island Walks in Auckland

The islands of the Hauraki Gulf also offer many great walking opportunities. Most of the islands are accessible to the public and the most popular are serviced by ferry from downtown Auckland. The best for walking are Rangitoto, Waiheke and Great Barrier Islands.

Best Walks North of Auckland

Orewa Beach Walk, North of Auckland
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Further north, beyond the North Shore suburbs, the Rodney district has more great walking trails and areas. On the east coast are the beaches of Orewa and the Whangaparaoa Peninsula. North beyond that is the Mahurangi Peninsula, which contains several parks and more great beaches.

The western part of the Rodney District is centered around New Zealand's largest harbor, the Kaipara. What was once a vast kauri forest, the area is now largely farmland. There are some good coastal walks on both northern and southern reaches of the harbor.

Auckland Coast to Coast Walkway

Auckland sits on the junction of two harbors, the Manukau on the west coast and the Waitemata on the east coast. The narrowest point between them is just 2 kilometers (1.24 miles). There is a marked walk between the two harbors that will give you an interesting perspective on the city.

Te Araroa National Walking Trail

Tautarangi Walkway, Eastland
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

The Te Araroa walkway provides a continuous network of trails extending the entire length of New Zealand. It encompasses many interesting shorter walks as it passes through the Auckland area. If you are looking at doing extended walking throughout the country, the Te Araroa Trail is well worth checking out.

Be Careful with Tides at Auckland Beaches

Anawhata Beach, West Auckland
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm

Many of the coastal walks around Auckland cross beaches, at least in part. If you are considering a beach walk make sure you account for the tide. The tidal range around Auckland (and the rest of New Zealand) can often be 3.5 meters (11.4 feet) and some areas may only be accessible at or near low tide. Always consult a tide chart before heading out.

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