Short walks in and around Auckland City
Auckland city is surrounded by a number of regional parks and natural areas that are easily explored on foot. Information on the many walking tracks within the regional parks can be found on the Auckland Regional Council website. Two of the more popular walking destinations are the Waitakere Ranges and Rangitoto Island. The Waitakere Ranges Visitor Centre (Arataki Visitor Centre) is located a short 30 minute drive from Auckland CBD and is the best place to start your exploration of this large tract of native forest. Here you’ll also find information on the many native birds you will see and hear. To reach Rangitoto Island you catch a ferry from the Auckland Ferry Terminal and information on the walks on the island can be found on the Department of Conservation website. A brief description of the more popular Auckland walks is outlined below.
Rangitoto Island Summit Track
Time: 1 hr one way from Rangitoto Wharf
The shortest and most popular route to the summit begins at Rangitoto Wharf and climbs through lava fields and forest to the peak at 259 metres above sea level. The summit gives panoramic views of Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf. At the summit another track circles the rim of the crater.
Arataki Nature Trail
A beautiful introduction to the flora and fauna of the Waitakere Ranges and a great addition to any visit to the Arataki Visitor Centre. The track is really a network of three gravelled loop walks. The Identification Loop is short and level, while the upper and lower loops contain graded descents and ascents. Making your way to the kauri knoll at the end of the lower track is recommended as a great example of remnant Kauri forest.
Muriwai Takapu Refuge Walk
Distance 0.8km, Time 45 minutes
From the carpark at Maukatia/Maori Bay, the Takapu Refuge walk skirts around headland then descends to the end of Muriwai Beach Access Road. Two short branch tracks lead to lookouts over the gannet colony.
Auckland City Walk
Distance 1.5km; Time 1 hour
This walk is a favourite for Auckland families. It provides a good introduction to the area and is one of the most beautiful walking loops in the Waitakere Ranges. Marvel at the huge kauri, one with a girth of 6.5m, and the large totara which were once used to make magnificent waka (canoes). A short side track leads up to Cascade Falls, set amongst towering rocky bluffs. Information signs along the way explain interesting features of this forest.