Seven destination parks worth visiting in Auckland

Publish Date : 07 Dec 2023
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City planners have long recognised the need for large, open green spaces within urban areas - places where people can enjoy being active, walk their dogs, or simply relax in the shade of a tree. Tāmaki Makaurau is a great example of this, with a variety of parks and reserves right across the region. There genuinely is something for everyone. Here are a few of our top picks to explore:

Tūī Glen Reserve

Henderson locals love this hidden treasure that’s close to the town centre, great for cycling, and features a playground with three towers that extend right into the tops of the surrounding trees as well as a popular flying fox. Registered as the first camping ground in the county in 1925, it contains 10 historic cabins, and can be accessed via a range of wide concrete pathways including the Henderson Creek shared path, which links to the Northwestern Cycleway.

Bramley Drive Reserve

Life-sized game of snakes and ladders, anyone? This playground in Farm Cove gets a high five for creativity with its network of paths and slides. There’s also outdoor fitness equipment nearby, or you can follow the Pakuranga Rotary Path along the edge of Tāmaki Estuary.

Eskdale Reserve

Another of the large green spaces on the North Shore, the boardwalks and tracks wind through a mixture of native and exotic trees and shrubs. The outer loop is great for wheelchairs and buggies as it doesn't have any steps.

Birkenhead War Memorial Park

This recently upgraded green space is close to Birkenhead centre, with sports fields, a playground, BMX pump track complete with a bike fixing station, skatepark and amazing tracks. Check out this park where you can flip from activity to activity for a great family day out and at night, there are even glowworms.

Monte Cecilia Park

You’ll go for the iconic Wallace Arts Trust collection at Pah Homestead and find yourself wandering these gorgeous grounds hours later, admiring sculptures, ancient trees and views of One Tree Hill and Manukau Harbour. This is a perfect outing for the whole family, with a 1.2km path running through a Victorian-designed landscape.

Puhinui Reserve

As well as being a working farm, this is a fascinating place to wander around, with links to pre-European settlement around Matukutūruru / Wiri Mountain and Matukutūreia / McLaughlins Mountain. Stroll along Puhinui Path and enjoy views of the countryside and Manukau Harbour.

Tōtara Park

This 216-hectare urban oasis is known for its mountain bike tracks and fantastic bushwalks, as well as outside pools that are open throughout summer. Look out for the cool tree house playground and take your gear for a game of tennis.

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