Summer's here and that means getting outdoors. In Auckland, we’re spoilt with some of the best bushwalking experiences around - the region really comes into its own at this time of year.
But while the forested areas in the Waitākere Ranges and some other tracks in local and regional parks remain closed to protect kauri, we all need to find alternatives for our outdoor adventures.
There are loads of other tracks and nature spots out there to enjoy. Whether it’s our rugged black-sand surf beaches, forested areas, rolling green pastures or urban city centres, there are walks for every Auckland landscape.
You could take in the stunning, panoramic views of the Hauraki Gulf by walking the Coastal Track at Long Bay Regional Park, go bush through beautiful nīkau palm and tree fern groves at the Auckland Botanic Gardens or wind your way up our highest volcano, Maungawhau/Mount Eden.
Below are a few other suggestions for places to get your nature fix while steering clear of closed tracks. And if you do chose to enjoy tracks in the Waitākere or Hunua Ranges or your local park where kauri is present, please respect the closures; they’re off-limits for a reason; help us to keep kauri standing for our future generations. And remember to use the hygiene stations and scrub, spray and stay on the open tracks only.
Explore Auckland’s urban forests
Oakley Creek Waterfall
It’s not just the Waitakere and the Hunua Ranges that have great native forest. We have great examples within the city boundaries that are often driven past but seldom get explored. From the centrally located Oakley Creek which has the highest urban waterfall in the country, through to the regenerating forest on Hellyers Creek Path in Glenfield or the diverse landscape of Howick’s Mangemangeroa Kōwhai Path, there is urban forest all around us.
Climb a maunga (mountain) or skirt a crater
Orakei Basin Walkway
Auckland has a huge amount of volcanic cones. We all know Maungakiekie One Tree Hill or Mangawhau Mt Eden but with close to fifty cones within twenty kilometres of the city centre there are also enough to explore one a week for a year. Perhaps this summer could be the time you skirted around the Orakei Basin or climbed Ōtāhuhu Mt Richmond?
Visit somewhere new
Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park
We have 27 regional parks on our back doorstep. From big to small, from the north to the south and all points in between, there is something for everyone. Pack a picnic, head to one of the parks further afield like Duder Regional Park, Te Rau Pūriri Regional Park or Tāwharanui Regional Park and make a day of it - Tāwharanui's Ecology Trail is kauri safe and provides an up close experience with some of these beautiful trees.
Still stuck for ideas? Here's some more suggestions:
Check out these walks for every Auckland landscape.
Find some alternative walks out west.
Take a hike on these Auckland tracks.
Keep Kauri Standing
Wherever you end up, 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 gear.
- Spray– your footwear and gear with disinfectant at every cleaning station you encounter. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Stay– on open tracks and off kauri roots.
Always check the Auckland Council protect kauri webpage before going for a walk to find out what tracks are currently closed.