There’s nothing like a good old hike. Fresh air, beautiful vistas, native bush and wildlife – what more could you want?
Well known for its long walks and back country activities is the rugged Waitākere Ranges Regional Park. However, due to kauri dieback disease the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges are closed. This means we need to find alternatives to embrace our adventurous side.
“The closures of the Waitākere Ranges forest and a number of higher-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park is about protecting our native kauri – a precious taonga – for future generations to enjoy,” says Penny Hulse, Environment and Community Committee chair and Waitākere ward councillor.
“If you are considering a trip into any of our parks across the region with native forest, don’t be the one to spread kauri dieback disease. Please remember to scrub and spray your footwear and any equipment at all hygiene stations you encounter and stay on the open tracks.”
Here are some alternative hikes in Auckland:
Coast to Coast Walk
The Coast to Coast walk is a 16km hike across Auckland from Waitematā to Manukau. It takes you through landscapes shaped by 600 years of Māori occupation, and through some of our finest natural and built heritage areas, offering panoramic views along the way.
Te Ara Hura
Explore Waiheke’s coastline, pass through native bush and visit historical sites, all in a day’s walk on Te Ara Hura. A 100km network of walking tracks, Te Ara Hura is the perfect way to explore Waiheke Island and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Choose between a day trip or multi-day adventure, there’s a great range of walks from short and easy through to the more challenging. All tracks are connected so you can start at any point, finish wherever you want and go in any direction.
Watercare’s Coastal Walkway
Spend a few hours exploring the Watercare Coastal Walkway. This 7km walkway winds around the Manukau foreshore between Ambury Regional Park and the Ōtuataua Stonefields and is perfect for a weekend walk. Keep an eye out for eastern bar-tailed godwit, pied oyster catcher, banded dotterel and a range of other birds you may spot along the way.
Rangitoto Summit Track
Catch a ferry over to the iconic Rangitoto Island and hike to the top of the maunga (volcanic cone). Rangitoto is the largest and youngest of the cones and craters in Auckland's volcanic field. The island is also steeped in Māori history – it was used as a lookout over the Hauraki Gulf in times of war and as a parrot reserve. If you want a longer walk, the Coastal Track from Rangitoto Wharf to Islington Bay Wharf takes about 5 hours return.
Visit the Auckland Council website for more walks and outdoor activity ideas in Auckland.
Keep our kauri standing
Kauri dieback in Auckland is a serious problem and it’s important we all play our part to prevent the spread of the disease.
To help keep our kauri standing for future generations, the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park have been closed until further notice. Some higher-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges Regional Park have also been closed as a proactive measure to prevent the introduction of kauri dieback disease into the park, where it has not yet been detected.
Controlled Area Notices (CANs) are in place across the currently open tracks within the forested area of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park and whole of the native forested area of the Hunua Ranges regional parkland.
Aucklanders and visitors to the region are advised to find alternatives to get out and enjoy what our beautiful backyard has to offer.
If you enter or leave a forest/area with native trees anywhere across the region, here are three easy steps you need to remember:
- Scrub – clean all soil off your footwear and other gear.
- Spray – your footwear and gear at every cleaning station you encounter. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Stay – on the designated open tracks.