Get active for free this summer

Last Updated : 05 Dec 2022
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Tāmaki Makaurau is a great place to be outdoors and get active.

With so much to explore and do outdoors, here are some ideas to help get the whole whānau active this summer.

Sports courts and fields

If you fancy a game of basketball this summer, visit one of our five cool basketball courts across Auckland called The Boroughs.

Perfect for a pick-up game or to practice three-pointers, the courts can be found online here.

Free tennis court use is available at Windmill Park, Mt Eden throughout the summer too. Click here for more information.

Find out more about booking our sports facilities for events on the Auckland Council website.

For other sports, including paid facilities, visit the Auckland Council Pools and Leisure website.


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Get the young ones outside, slap on some sunscreen and get them enjoying some water fun at seven splashpads across the region. 

Four of those splashpads are at pool and leisure centres so can be incorporated into a family swim day. 

The other three are within parks, with Potters Park being the most popular. 

With all the splashpads incorporating water re-circulating systems, answering the splash call and having some water fun this summer can also be guilt free. 

Te Onewa Pā / Stokes Point with AKL Paths

If you are after a walk with a difference, try the Te Onewa Pā / Stokes Point path. 

Walk along the shore beside the Northern motorway, take in the incredible views across the Waitematā to the city centre. 

Make sure to try this at low tide to travel under the harbour bridge from Sulphur Beach to beside the boatyard off Princes Street. 

Then enjoy strolling under the bridge and enjoy the literary inscriptions on the Stokes Point pillars before admiring the majestic pou that stands at the headland as a reminder of the pā that once stood there. 

Finish by taking in some of the historic buildings from the early settler period. 

Head to AKL Paths for other paths to explore across the region. 

Splashpads turned on for summer

Pakuranga Rotary Path – Dick Quax Memorial Run

 For the runner who is looking to really challenge themselves, try the Dick Quax 5000m memorial run along the Pakuranga Rotary Walkway. 

The feats of the former Olympian and councillor (both in Manukau City Council and Auckland Council) have been remembered with interpretative signs and bollards along the walkway that runners can use to gauge their times with Dick’s. 

Why not give it your all and test yourself against his world record run time set in Stockholm in 1977 as you run along the banks of the Tāmaki River. 

Mountain Biking at Tōtara Park

 Just off the motorway at Manukau lies Tōtara Park with a dedicated mountain bike park within the park. 

With a mix of beginner to intermediate trails, including a children’s mountain bike park, this is a great place to test your riding skills. 

With trails making up 15 kilometres there is plenty to spend a great afternoon in the saddle. 

Primarily cross-country trails there is plenty for riders of all ages to enjoy. 

At the end of your ride, head around to the Tōtara Park Pools to cool off. 

Only open during summer between 11am and 7pm this is a perfect way to end a day’s riding. 

Open Tracks in Waitākere Ranges

Those eager to head out into nature for a tramp can make a day of it by combining the Karamatura track, and the Donald Mclean track up to the lookout atop of Mt Donald Mclean before returning back the same way.  

For the extra fit, continue walking along Pūriri Ridge Track and onto Omanawanui to walk down to Whatipū, before retracing your steps back to Little Huia. This is a day long effort so please ensure you pack what you need including plenty of water. Note that storm damage has closed the Whatipū road, so the only way to access it is through these tracks. 

Alternatively, for families keen to immerse themselves in nature, walk the Karamatura Loop track and take in the beauty of the Karamatura Falls, or head to Karekare and explore the recently opened Ahu Ahu track that follows the coastline, connecting with the Mercer Bay Loop just south of Piha. 

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