Awaruku Bush, Torbay
Accessible from Moorgreen Heights, Awaruku Road and Relko Crescent in the northern reaches of the city at Torbay. A feature of this reserve is the self-guided nature trail.
Beach Haven Point
The wharf area at Beach Haven Point is ideal for children’s fishing and swimming and a picnic area is available with tables. Access is at the end of Beach Haven Road, Beach Haven.
Birkenhead Point and Wharf, Birkenhead
A water sports paradise with all-tide boat ramp and facilities for all water activities and fishing. Hinemoa Park, which is alongside Birkenhead Point provides a playground and picnic area.
Centennial Park, Campbell’s Bay
Centennial Park, one of the city’s largest metropolitan parks, is best known for its world class 18-hole golf course. However, it is also a haven for bird life and has a large adjoining bush area of both native and exotic flora like redwoods, Australian gum trees and palms.
Charcoal Bay/Island Bay, Island Bay Road
Charcoal Bay is a hidden highlight for those more adventuresome, a short walk down a track from Rosecamp Road. Island Bay has a high-tide boat ramp, a good spot for fishing and a play area for picnics and activities. Access is via Island Bay Road.
Chatswood Reserve, Birkenhead
The reserve is a remnant of the kauri/hard beech forest that once covered much of North Shore City. Some large kauri remain aged approx. 350 to 400 years. The reserve is botanically rich and is reached from 17 entrances from surrounding streets.
Chelsea Sugar Refinery, Birkenhead
Among the country’s first steps into the industrial era, Chelsea Sugar Refinery began operations in 1884. The large estate in which the refinery still operates has matured into a beautiful, privately owned park. New Zealand Sugar Company allows public access to the grounds, which feature the old water supply lakes and interesting walkways connecting to the adjoining Chatswood Reserve and Kauri Point Centennial Park. Please note that access for large vehicles such as buses is difficult to the site as there is no public turning circle. Due to Health & Safety regulations, the company does not do refinery tours, however a video tour can be viewed on the company website www.chelsea.co.nz .
East Coast Bays Walkway
The East Coast Bays walkway extends from Long Bay Regional Park, at the northern end, and connects to the Takapuna Coastal Walkway. There are many points of interest along the way, including spectacular Hauraki Gulf views and some diverse geology and topography.
Eskdale Park, Glenfield
Eskdale Park is on the corner of Lauderdale and Eskdale Roads in Glenfield is a composite of many parks. It features a two-hour return walk past the old cemetery, boardwalks and early regenerating bush as well as mature forest.
Fernglen Gardens, Birkenhead
Fernglen, on Kauri Road in Birkenhead, boasts a rare collection of indigenous plant species – particularly alpine plants and ferns. The collection was largely established by Muriel Fisher before the council acquired Fernglen in 1989 and includes a fernhouse and rock garden established in the 1960s. In 1997 a purpose-designed educational facility, set amid native bush, was built there.
Glenfield Coastal Walkway
A family walking track which takes you from Lynn Road through Manuka Reserve with views of the upper harbour and native bush. Suitable for all age groups. Access is at the bottom of Glendhu Road (off Lynn and Bayview Roads).
Hinemoa Park, Birkenhead
Located at the end of Hinemoa Street, Hinemoa Park and the Birkenhead wharf provide the perfect spot from which to view two of Auckland’s most famous icons – the Harbour Bridge and Sky Tower.
Kauri Glen, Northcote
Located on Kauri Glen Road by Northcote College the park features large kauri trees, taraire forest and the Waiurutoa Stream. Walkers can enjoy a loop track which takes one and a half hours. Adjoining Kauri Glen is Cecil Eady Bush, where the walk takes one hour. Make sure you watch for the deep ruts in the undergrowth, a legacy from the bullock teams that used to haul out the kauri logs last century.
Kauri Park, Birkenhead
Accessible from Rangatira Road, Birkenhead, Kauri Park has fine stands of large kauri trees with the oldest examples to be found in the north of the park. The walking track is a one and a half hours return trip. This park is noted for seasonal changes in rich mix of ferns and flowering species, including native orchids.
Kauri Point Centennial Park, Birkenhead
The park is accessible off Onetaunga Road, and has walks that take you to the tranquil beach of Kendall Bay. Several lookouts afford good views of the harbour. Here is the only remaining example of a fortified pa on Waitemata Harbour. Some of the land was originally owned by Sir John Logan Campbell. Much of the land was taken for harbour and defence purposes earlier this century. In 1987 22 hectares were purchased from the Harbour Board to form the present park. Wetlands and regenerating native bush are a feature.
Kawerau Reserve, Bayswater
Off Kawerau Avenue in Bayswater, the reserve has a boardwalk and bridge providing access to the wetland areas. It is suitable too for wheelchairs and prams.
Kell Park Heritage Walk, Albany
The Kell Park Heritage Walk links three larger reserves and bush-covered parks – Kell Park, Gills Reserve and Albany Domain. The network is close to historic Albany Village, as well as the new commercial centre, Massey University and North Harbour Stadium.
Kendall Bay, Birkenhead
This is a safe swimming spot for children at high tide and has a number of bush walks. There are many places to stop on the way and take in panoramic views of the harbour. Access is through Centennial Park, off Onetaunga Road, Birkenhead.
Kennedy Park, Castor Bay
Kennedy Park, on the eastern side of Beach Road in Castor Bay, is a popular and picturesque clifftop location for a picnic. An historic battery post and observation point, the park still bears the signs of its military past. It is also the location of a popular pentanque terrain.
Killarney Park, Takapuna
Killarney Park is home to the Pumphouse in Takapuna and is a pleasant setting for outdoor concerts or for feeding the ducks.
Le Roys Bush, Northcote
Le Roys Bush’s entrance is between 210 and 212 Onewa Road. There is a walking track of one hour from Onewa Road to Little Shoal Bay, which affords views of notable trees, bush and a waterfall. Children will enjoy the play equipment.
Leigh Reserve, Glenfield
Found at the corner of Leigh Terrace and Morriggia Place in Glenfield, Leigh Reserve is a scenic 5.3 hectare reserve with a well-developed walkway system. A spectacular feature of the reserve is a mighty kauri tree, estimated to be around 700 years old.
Little Shoal Bay, Northcote
The ultimate family activity area, the bay features a tennis court, petanque court and three-on-three basketball hoop as well as a large grassed area and an all-weather cricket pitch. A boardwalk around the wetlands that border Little Shoal Bay provides easy walking for the family and also access into the Le Roys Bush Reserve. Access is via Maritime Terrace, Northcote.
Long Bay Regional Park, Long Bay
Long Bay Regional Park is part of the Auckland Regional Parks network and has a wonderful setting. The long white sandy beach is complemented by picnic and BBQ areas, adventure playgrounds and a restaurant. There are cliff top and beach walks for a leisurely stroll or keen tramp. The Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve is a new feature.
Manuka Reserve, Glenfield
A pleasant family picnic spot with playground and easy access at high-tide to launch canoes and kayaks. A coastal walkway through to Lynn Road, Glenfield will take in view of the upper harbour and native bush. Access is at the end of Manuka Road, Glenfield.
Mount Victoria, Devonport
Mount Victoria, the highest of the volcanic cones, is rich in history and was an important Maori pa for generations before European colonisation. It provides the perfect high point from which to observe the harbour.
Mt Cambria, Devonport
Mt Cambria (Takaroro), accessible from Vauxhall Road and Church Street, Devonport, was originally a volcanic cone which was quarried away to provide roading, garden walls, and ships ballast. The Mt Cambria restoration was recognised with a national award for park design and construction in 1992. The area has gardens, walkways, and is home to the Devonport Museum. A feature is the hand-crafted steps up and over the precipitous bluffs of the old quarry.
North Head, Devonport
North Head Historic Reserve in Devonport is the only mainland reserve included in the Hauraki Gulf Maritime Park. It is open 6am -10pm seven days, with the vehicle gates open 6am – 6pm. Tunnels and disappearing guns tempt the adventurous to explore while superb views are afforded of the harbour and the Hauraki Gulf. North Head was first occupied by Maori and later by Europeans who built many of the fortifications in the late 1800s. Note the disappearing guns, some of the few remaining in the world.
Onepoto Domain, Northcote
Onepoto Domain began life more than 30,000 years ago in a massive volcanic eruption, leaving a spectacular crater which today acts as a magnificent natural sports venue and park. Covering 26 hectares, it comprises sportsfields, a playground, a stream and lake plus native bush areas.
Shepherds Park, Beach Haven
Lovely family picnic and playground area within walking distance of the Shepherds park sports fields. Coastal beach walking is easily accessible. Access is at the bottom of Cresta Ave, Beach Haven.
Smith’s Bush, Northcote
Smith’s Bush is on Northcote Road with its main entrance from Onewa Domain. Here the 40-minute nature trail leads past a cathedral grove of giant puriri. Kahikatea and totara feature as well.
Sylvan Park, Milford
Sylvan Park on the Milford side of Lake Pupuke is a popular base for sailing and rowing events. It has walks and a BBQ area.
The Maze – Ngataringa Park, Devonport
The Maze, created in 1994 and located at Ngataringa Park in Devonport, represents a unique interweaving of Celtic and Maori cultures. Created by a team of stonemasons, horticulturualists and designers, it uses hedges and stone to recreate the circular ring mazes of ancient Europe. Maori motifs have been incorporated to provide a truly New Zealand character.
Tui Park, Beach Haven
A short walk through Tui Park brings you to Hellyers Creek, suitable for swimming at high tide. Tui Park is great for family picnics or an evening walk. Access to Tui Park is off Rambler Crescent, Beach Haven.
Waiake Beach, Torbay
A one-hectare beachfront reserve at the northern end of the East Coast Bays, Waiake Beach boasts a range of flora from native specimens. The southern section of the reserve features an impressive stand of phoenix palms and Norfolk Island pines.
Windsor Reserve, Devonport
Windsor Reserve is located on the foreshore on King Edward Parade, opposite Victoria Road, providing a beautiful recreational space in the heart of Devonport. The reserve is a link in the Old Village Walkway, taking visitors through historically significant areas including Maori fortifications to the point the British Navy came ashore to begin European settlement of the area.