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Best Auckland City Walks

The Best Walking Trails and Areas in and Around Auckland City, New Zealand

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Auckland City has a number of unique features that make it ideal for walking. Firstly it sits between two harbors, so the coast (including some great beaches) is never far away. Secondly, it is part of an ancient volcanic area. This has left a large number of extinct volcanic cones, several of which can be climbed or walked around. Here are some of the best walks in the central Auckland City region. For more walks in other parts of Auckland, check our Auckland City Region Walks Guide.

1. Auckland Viaduct Harbor

Auckland Viaduct Harbor
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
Auckland's waterfront area was revitalised for the defense of the America's Cup yachting regatta in 2000. The area has recently been extended in a new development called the Wynyard Quarter. The whole area is a great place to go for a stroll or for a meal or drink at one of the many restaurants and bars. It is also home to the Auckland Maritime Museum. Although not strictly speaking a walking route, if you have limited time and want to experience some of the best of central Auckland on foot, the Viaduct is a great way to spend an hour or two. From here you can also get out sailing on the Waitemata, with a cruise on either an America's Cup boat or the fifty-foot yacht the Pride of Auckland.

Location: Slightly north of the bottom (harbor) end of Queen Street in Central Auckland.
Google Map and Directions

2. Albert Park and Auckland University Grounds

A couple of blocks from Queen Street, and in the heart of Auckland City, Albert Park is the site of one of Auckland's earliest European military posts, the Albert Barracks. It's a steep walk up from Queen Street, although the park itself is largely flat. The park contains flower gardens, a fountain and several art pieces and memorials. It is a popular spot for students from the adjacent Auckland University to relax.

Across the road from Albert Park is the distinctive University of Auckland Clocktower building. Nearby are several other historic buildings that are now part of the university campus. The surrounding grounds are also a delightful place to take a restful walk.

Location: Entrance at the corner of Kitchener Street and Bowen Ave (next to the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki), central Auckland.
Google Map and Directions

3. Auckland City Domain

This is the oldest park in Auckland city. It sits in a prominent position on an extinct volcano near the center of town. In addition to walks, other attractions of the park are duck ponds, a band rotunda and a very pretty garden area enclosed and surrounded by two striking glasshouses known as the Wintergarden.

The best known attraction in the Domain is the Auckland War Memorial Museum which sits in a commanding position overlooking Auckland harbor.

Location: Grafton, a suburb slightly east of the city center.
Google Map and Directions

4. Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie)

Cornwall Park and the adjacent One Tree Hill Domain together make up one of the largest public green spaces in Auckland, with a total area of 220 hectares (540 acres). It is dominated by One Tree Hill, also known by its Maori name Maungakiekie. This 182-meter (597 feet) is a prominent Auckland landmark, noticeable for the large obelisk at the summit which marks the grave of sir John Logan Campbell, an early public figure who donated the land to the city. Until the year 2000 there has also always been a single tree on the summit; hence the name.

There are many places to walk throughout the park. However, don't miss a visit to the top of One Tree Hill (on foot or by car) for one of the best panoramic views of Auckland City and its surrounds.

Location: 20 minutes (12 kilometers/7.5 miles) south of the Auckland CBD, either by the southern motorway or Manukau Road.
Google Map and Directions

5. Mt Eden

Mt Eden is another extinct cone offering great city views from the summit. It also gives a good view of Eden Park, home of Auckland rugby and venue for many an All Black win (although it's a bit far away to watch a game from here!). Although the mountain is surrounded by the streets of the suburb also called Mt Eden, it's possible to walk the circuit around the base.

Location: Four kilometers (2.4 miles) south of Auckland City center.
Google Map and Directions

6. Tamaki Drive

If you are wanting a serious walk or run within minutes of the Auckland CBD, the scenic path along the eastern waterfront is a great choice. It takes in some of Auckland's best beaches and beachside suburbs. The entire length is around 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) and is the course for the annual Auckland Round the Bays run which has been held since 1972 and is now one of the largest fun runs in the world.

Location: East from the Auckland CBD along the waterfront.
Google Map and Directions

7. Panmure Basin

This circuit, around another volcanic crater (this time filled with water), is an easy 30-minute walk. It is virtually all on flat terrain and with a wide pathway is ideal for families. Nearby is Mt Wellington, another volcano that provides good views of the surrounding city.

Location: 15 minutes' drive south east from central Auckland, a distance of 19 kilometers (12 miles).
Google Map and Directions

8. Mangere Mountain

This is one of the least-known volcano walks in the central Auckland district. It is located on the shore of the Manukau Harbor. From the summit (106 meters/348 feet) it gives a great view of the harbor and back to Auckland City.

There are actually two craters on the mountain and evidence of early Maori occupation of the site.

Location: 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the center of the city and just 6 kilometers (4 miles) from Auckland International Airport.
Google Map and Directions

Te Araroa Trail

New Zealand also has a national walking trail, Te Araroa, which covers the entire length of the country. Several sections pass through Auckland.

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