As the yearning to hit the trails of the regional parks beckons this summer, spare a thought for the effort that has gone into getting as many of the tracks restored to a kauri safe standard for us all to enjoy.
Several tracks in the regional park network have already re-opened with upgrade works to others either underway or about to start.
Keep an eye out for opening announcements for the following:
Omanawanui Track - 3km in length, it forms a key section of the Hillary trail and has spectacular views across the Manukau Harbour and down the West Coast as far as Raglan.
Signal House Track - a short 400m track off Omanawanui leading to a beautiful viewpoint overlooking the Manukau Heads.
Puriri Ridge Track – 2km in length it is a key link on the Hillary Trail connecting Te Rau o Te Huia/Mt Donald Mclean carpark to the start of Omanawanui Track; great views of the Manukau Harbour, Whatipu and the forested interior
Gibbons/Muir - these two tracks with a combined distance of 4.4km traverse the ridgeline above the sweep of Whatipu Beach connecting to the Pararaha Valley; a walk back along the beach creates a loop walk with Whatipu beach - allow for five hours to complete this return trip.
Pararaha Valley Track - connects the Pararaha campsite with Whatipu Beach and Tunnel Point campsite; new boardwalks help protect the sensitive wetlands in the Whatipu Scientific Reserve.
Cutty Grass Track - a 3.6km rolling, ridge line track in the heart of the Waitākere Ranges that doubles as a service road; at the Anawhata end, cross the road to McElwain track which has a 10-minute tramp to the top of a hill and a scenic lookout over Piha Valley and north along the coast as far as Muriwai - a great place to stop for lunch.
Auckland City Walk - a popular 1.5 km loop track in the Cascades that takes an hour to complete and is suitable for most walkers with a beautiful stream, some of the finest forest in Auckland and the heart of the Ark in the Park pest mainland island project.
Waharau Ridge Loop Track in Waharau Regional Park (eastern side of the Hunua Ranges) - at 11km it is the longest single section of track network upgraded to date; allow 3.5 - 4 hours to complete the loop; along the top of the ridge there are a number of viewpoints across the Firth of Thames to the Coromandel Range.
Glen Fern walk on Aotea/ Great Barrier - a popular track in the Glen Fern Sanctuary that includes beautiful views over Port Fitzroy and access to the canopy of a 600-year-old kauri via a short swing bridge; the track is 3 km in length and is a 1.5 hour return walk.
And a reminder when out on the trails, scrub, spray and stay on open tracks to help protect kauri.