Walk this way: 6 of Auckland's best hikes
We often get asked ‘which Auckland day hikes would you recommend ?” We’re so blessed with natural Auckland attractions including breathtaking walking tracks and beaches, that it’s like being asked to choose your favourite child. So here's our 'best Auckland walks' guide, the tracks and trails we love to hike in a day.
The Auckland Coast to Coast Walk (18 km, 5 hours, Difficulty: Moderate) Where else can you walk across a country in a day? This metropolitan walk spans two oceans, volcanoes, views and reveals life in Auckland’s quiet suburban streets. Best of all around two-thirds of the walk winds through parks and green spaces. We recommend starting at the least scenic end namely Onehunga on the west coast. Take the train west from downtown’s Britomart station to Onehunga station then start walking east back towards the city. This means you'll end the 5-hour hike with stunning harbour views. You’ll earn them! At the walk’s end, reward yourself with a brew beside the stunning Waitemata, one of the most beautiful city harbours in the world. Just a warning, there aren’t many cafes or bathrooms en-route (Cornwall Park) and the route's not well sign-posted either so plug the Ferry Building into your phone map or drop into the city iSITE for a trail map.
Te Henga Walkway (12 km, 4 hours, Difficulty: Moderate) Forming part of the spectacular Hillary Trail, the Te Henga Walkway is a West Auckland walk which crosses the cliff-tops from Bethells to Muriwai. It’s possibly the most interesting and varied track in the Waitakere Ranges which disect the city from the West coast. You’ll need to take two cars and leave a car at each end so you can begin the track from Bethells Road crossing the Waitakere River footbridge where you'll quickly rise to stunning coastal views. Take in Bethells, O'Neill Bay and phenomenal coastal vistas before tackling the staircase exit to Constable Road. Local’s tip: Pack a picnic and plenty of water.
Rangitoto Island to Home Bay (15 km, 6 hours, Difficulty: Moderate) After your ferry trip from downtown, walk up to the summit for a picturesque blend of volcanic, coastal and rural scenery. Take the inland route from the Rangitoto Wharf to the Islington Bay Wharf, crossing the causeway to Motutapu Island and over farmland to reveal the idyllic Home Bay. Follow the same track back after a break at the campsite or take the Coastal Track back to the Rangitoto Wharf from the Islington Bay Wharf (note this detour will add an hour to your trip). Offering beautiful views and a really unique perspective of the Gulf, plenty of water is required as there's none on either island and plan your walk duration around the ferry timetables.
Rotoroa Island (Allow the whole day) Another island walk, Rotoroa Island east of Waiheke has recently been reopened to the public after 100 years as a rehab centre. Now thriving with wildlife, visitors can explore the island sanctuary and idyllic bays from Cable Bay on the northern side to Ladies Bay on the east. Catch the once-a-day ferry from downtown in the morning which returns to pick you up later in the day. Take adequate food and supplies. Local’s Tip: Visit Kiwi environmental artist Chris Booth's sculpture on the southern tip of Rotoroa.
Matiatia – Owhanake Loop, Waiheke (8.5km, 2-3 hours, Difficulty: Moderate) A great option when you do not want to venture far from the ferry terminal at Waiheke. Offering great views of the Hauraki Gulf, the scenery is nothing short of spectacular. Break up the loop by stopping for lunch and wander around the lovely shops in Oneroa. Or pack a lunch and have a picnic in an idyllic location of your choosing. Remember to pack swimwear and spend an hour or two relaxing on the beach, soaking in the island lifestyle.
Wenderholm Regional Park (5 km, 1.5 hours, Difficulty: Low) We’ve left the easiest to last. Drive north some 45 minutes towards Wenderholm Regional Park. Nestled between the inlets of the Waiwera and Puhoi Rivers, the park offers sprawling grass for picnics, plenty of trees to climb, a beautiful white sandy beach and best of all, a lovely loop track suitable for all ages, the Perimeter Track
Of course, if you’ve only got a day in the city, book one of our top-rated Auckland walking tours for the city’s hidden lanes, legends and loads of local advice. And check out our guide to Auckland's best restaurants. All that walking will work up an appetite!
For more Auckland walking tracks click here