Tag Archives: Close to Auckland

Matakana Shared Path to Point Wells and Omaha

We had wanted to explore the Matakana cycleway (or walkway depending on who you talk to, which website you are looking at and which sign post you are reading) for a while so an Abel Tasman training walk while we were staying in Matakana seemed the perfect opportunity.

We got off to a false start on our first day when we thought we would just walk the first part of it from Matakana and after setting off over the new-ish pedestrian ( and cyclist ) bridge and along the Matakana Community Group Walkway we arrived at a road with no directions and no sign of a path. Long story short the next 3-4 kms of the path is on the road so we decided to regroup and start the trail along Tongue Farm Rd the following day.

After setting off the following day and parking at the Tongue Farm Rd entrance we set off on a relatively easy 7km walk to Point Wells through farmland, with one small section walking on the road. If you are directionally challenged like me be aware that there is little signage so may be print the map to take with you.

If you do the trail in summer try to arrive at Point Wells at high tide as jumping off the jetties there is lots of fun.

I think walking or cycling to Omaha would be longer, however I couldn’t find any accurate distances online and as I said I am directionally challenged.

Yes its also a cycle path, mostly off road and predominately flat with just one steep section up to Takatu Road and down the other side. The trail is quite chunky gravel so probably wouldn’t suit road bikes or less confident riders.

For more information on the Matakana Trail and more information on walks in the area.

 

 

Exploring Tawharanui Regional Park

We have been camping at Tawharanui for about 15 years now and still haven’t done all the walks. Probably because when we get there we tend to go into major relaxation mode and just move between the campground and the beach. OK that makes us sounds more lazy than I would like – we do run out to the end of the peninsular andjumping around in the surf is a great workout. There are lots of tracks to run here ( usually we are camping in a group so the kids stay at the camp with friends ) and my husband and I run together but more recently we have camped by ourselves and of course we still wanted to run ( coz that’s what we do ) so we take the kids mountain bikes and all had an awesome time doing a 10km loop round the peninsula enjoying stunning views from every angle while on Takahe watch. Yes that’s right Takahe were recently introduced to the park and while we didn’t see them this time we saw 3 last time we were there. Even if you don’t see the Takahe the bird song in the bush is amazing and we ticked a few more birds off our bird spottinglist, Saddleback this time.

Now I’m not much of a bird watcher but there is an impressive list of birds to be found in the regional park. We found that when we camp by ourselves we are more motivated to explore so did more bird watching and ticked another walk of the list. The Maori Bay coastal walk starts and finishes at the Lagoon carpark near the park entrance, and can be walked in either direction. We walked around the coast first after checking the tide times very carefully.  We had a near disaster ( stranding ) on a coastal walk earlier in the year – lets just say children were carried on shoulders and my husband got quite wet.

At the start of this walk ( heading north around the coast ) there is a tide chart to avoid any tide disasters. While the main North facing beaches at Tawharanui are known for their glistening white sand, the Kawau Island side of the peninsula is rocky so be prepared to rock hop for about 1 hour. The views out to Kawau Island are of course stunning with lots of bird life to enjoy (shags and gannets ) and the rock pools were teaming with sea life to make the walk fun for everyone. Its a very peaceful walk with no other people around. When you get to Maori Bay ( a little hard to know exactly which bay it is ) there is an exit track up a cliff pathway which joins back onto the main trail network. We didn’t think the sign for the track was very easy to see so keep your eyes peeled for the stairs. It was then an easy 35 minute walk back through the bush where our Takehe watch could continue and of course we got to do some more bird spotting.

More information on Tawharanui regional park.

Tawharanui Regional Park
Tawharanui Regional Park

Auckland ( and close to Auckland ) Adventures

Riding the Tamaki path on the shores of the Tamaki estuary.

Tips for exploring Auckland by train and bike including riding the Waterview shared path

Exploring Maungarei ( Mt Wellington )

Urban adventures: We have had lots of fun navigating an adventure around Auckland by bus or train with a healthy dose of walking thrown in. Of course it depends where you live but we have caught the train in to town, walked up Queen St, across to Mt Eden, up Mt Eden, down the other side and then home again by bus. Encourage your child’s love of adventure and public transport by getting them involved in organising an urban adventure for your family.

Another great destination is North Head, great views of the harbour and some interesting history along with some great tunnels to explore.

Rangitoto Island.

Rangitoto Island, Auckland, New Zealand
Rangitoto Island, Auckland, New Zealand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great ferry ride across our stunning harbour and then a hike up a volcano (dormant, don’t worry ) with stunning 3600 views from the top. Ferry leaves from central Auckland.

 

Close to Auckland

Goat Island Marine Reserve, Walk and Discovery Centre ( 1 and ½ hours North if Auckland on a good traffic day )

Tawharanui Regional Park
Tawharanui Regional Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tawharanui Open Sanctuary ( 1 and ½ hours North if Auckland on a good traffic day ) The open sanctuary includes mature and regenerating native bush, wonderful beaches, spectacular coastal cliffs, wetlands, heritage sites, a marine reserve and extensive areas of rich pasture.

Tiri tiri matangi scientific reserve – visit this open sanctuary, and see some of New Zealand’s most endangered birds in the wild including takahē, kōkako, saddleback/tīeke and hihi/stitchbird.

Further afield

Karangahake Gorge (approx. 1 and ½ south of Auckland )

Walks through historic gold mine area

Cycle all or part of the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Wairere Falls walk  (approx 2 hours from Auckland )

IMG_3100

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk to the base of a waterfall and then right to the top for some spectacular views.

Coromandel (approx. 2 1/2 hours from Auckland )

Driving Creek Railway
Driving Creek Railway

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stunning beaches, walksWaterworks & Driving Creek Railway

Rotorua ( approx 3 hours drive from Auckland )

Te PuiaLuge and GondolaRainbow SpringsRedwood forest, Tarawera Trail