There are 50 volcanic features dotted across the Auckland region, which means we're not the flattest city out there. And this can make things a bit tricky if you're trying to move about in a wheelchair or with a pram.
Mark Bowater, Auckland Council’s head of parks services, says it’s important that everyone has access to our world-class parks and green spaces.
“Parks are places for everyone, no matter your physical ability," he says.
"They help inspire us and are places where we can spend time in nature."
“To ensure everyone has access to these spaces, we aim to provide a range of facilities and programmes in our parks that are inclusive of people with disabilities and limited or special mobility needs.”
While not all experiences in our parks are fully accessible, we’ve pulled together a few highlights to get you started:
1. Auckland Botanic Gardens
Most paths in the gardens are accessible for wheelchair users, pushchairs and mobility scooters. Those that aren’t are marked with signposts advising that there is no wheelchair or scooter access. Huakaiwaka Visitor Centre has manual wheelchairs and mobility scooters available to borrow during opening hours.
2. Hart Domain
This accessible-friendly park in Henderson has an open grass space and playground, which is designed to encourage play for all children regardless of physical ability. The playground has ramps and a flush rubber matting surface. Mobility parking is also available along the road.
3. Panmure Basin
This is a mostly flat 3km circuit around the perimeter of the Panmure Basin – there is just one short steep section of the walkway that may require assistance. You can start this walkway from Lagoon Drive or 100 Ireland Road, Panmure.
4. Ambury Regional Park
Family Farm Walk at Ambury is a great walk for the whole family. It takes you through the milking and woolshed and animal closures. There is pram and wheelchair access around the education areas.
5. Arataki Visitor Centre
Starting from the Arataki Visitor Centre, the Beveridge Track takes you down a concrete path past the scenic picture frame. There is a short gravel-surface walk (slight uphill gradient) to a viewpoint of the Manukau and Waitematā harbours. The track then descends steeply and crosses Jacobson’s Depot Road. The walk continues with scenic views to meet Exhibition Drive at Mackies Rest.
There is easy wheelchair access from the Arataki Visitor Centre to the viewpoint (approximately 150m). From there, assistance may be needed as the track descends and zig-zags. From Mackies Rest end, it is wheelchair friendly but rises slightly near the end. This is a safe, off-road option linking Titirangi village to the Arataki Visitor Centre.
6. Albany Lakes Civic Park
Located next to the Westfield Albany shopping mall, this 6.5ha park offers a floodlit path around two artificial lakes. Other features include 17,000 plants and a bridge with an ornate wrought iron balustrade.
7. Barry Curtis Park
A wide concrete path loops around this park in Flat Bush. Other features include sculptures, a large playground, picnic areas, sports fields and an amphitheatre for large-scale events. The park is currently under development and is due to be complete in 2022.
8. Archibald Park
Te Whau Pathway, which runs through this large park in Kelston. offers a wide, flat and accessible route for wheelchairs and prams along the Whau River.