Ever heard the saying 'West is best'? Well, west Auckland is home to some of the best walks in the region. But while the forested areas in the Waitākere Ranges and higher-risk tracks in the Hunua Ranges are closed to help keep our kauri standing (visit for more info), we need to find alternative west-side walks to wander.
“West Auckland is a beautiful place to explore. We have an outstanding coastline, popular black-sand beaches, and diverse indigenous flora and fauna all in our backyard,” says Waitākere Ward Councillor and Environment and Community Chair Penny Hulse.
“Kauri dieback disease is a serious problem that’s threatening the survival of our kauri trees. If you’re considering a walk out west, whether you’re a local or just visiting, make sure you do your bit to prevent the spread of the disease. Please stay away from kauri dieback areas and remember to scrub and spray your footwear and gear at all hygiene stations you encounter and stay on the open tracks.”
Here are some west-side alternatives to get you started:
Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden
Take a walk through the historic Waikumete Cemetery. It’s the first cemetery in Australasia to be awarded the prestigious international Green Flag Award, recognising it as one of the best parks in the world.
Orpheus Graves Walk, Cornwallis Regional Park
From Cornwallis Road, this short walk (approximately 5 minutes return) leads to the graves of three sailors who drowned when HMS Orpheus floundered on the Manukau Harbour bar in 1863.
Opanuku Stream Walkway, Henderson
The Opanuku Stream shared path is one of the award-winning Twin Streams walk and cycleways in Henderson. The path stretches from Great North Road through Palm Heights to Henderson Valley Road. Make sure you check out the community art installations along the way.
Manutewhau Walkway, Massey
The Manutewhau Walkway gets its name from the Manutewhau Stream, which runs through Moire Park in Massey. You can paddle in the cool shallow water and marvel at the sculptured stream bed or wander through the lush native bush.
There is a footbridge which crosses Lawsons Creek, linking Allington Road and Realm Esplanade with West Harbour Drive; a good spot to check out the estuary. Enjoy a picnic afterwards in St Margaret's or Moire Park where there’s a playground for the kids and plenty of space to kick a ball around.
Whatipū Caves Track, Whatipū Regional Park
Starting at the information shelter near Whatipū car park, this walk follows the campground boundary fence line to Gibbons Track, then branches off to take you around the headland to a large cave where dances used to be held during the timber milling era. The walk is 2.4km and takes approximately 50 minutes return.
Make sure you make a stop off at the Arataki Visitor Centre to learn more about kauri dieback disease and other awesome experiences our west.
Waipareira Walkway, West Harbour
This is a coastal walk along the inner reaches of the Waitematā Harbour in West Harbour. It meanders in and around many little inlets, passing by wetlands and through native bush on its way from Luckens Reserve to Clearwater Cove Reserve, where you can watch the boats come and go from the marina. Waipareira Walkway is 1.5km and suitable for bikes, buggies and wheelchairs.
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.
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. Kauri dieback can be spread by just a pinhead of soil.
- Spray– your footwear and gear with disinfectant at every cleaning station you encounter.
- Stay– on open tracks and off kauri roots.
Always check the Auckland Council kauri webpage before going for a walk to find out what tracks are currently closed.