Walks from Devonport

Our 2007 explorations

For further information, what it's all about, minimal explanations, more walks, etc., go to the main Walks page.

Auckland North Shore Chatswood Reserve End of Mappin Place to northern end of path. 2007 January 1 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Point leaflet 2006 N42:231647 ( sort of - map predates roads )
  ( Too ? ) Highly engineered boardwalks. Very pretty; streams, large kauri trees, steep slopes ( not the path ).
    Chatswood Reserve, Chelsea Sugar. Northern end of path to Colonial Road, north of Duck Creek. 2007 January 1 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Point leaflet; Kauri Point leaflet 2006  
  Well made path through the reserve; less formal but clear continuation through the Chelsea Sugar works land. Still pretty.

The maps are iffy at best, particularly outside the reserve ( but see below ). The path we took seems best represented on the 2006 leaflet, but Duck Creek ( named on the other two maps ) is shown as a thin line throughout with no indication of a significant pond with a dam or the widening estuary in the lower reaches.

    Chelsea Sugar. Colonial Road to Chatswood Reserve. 2007 January 1 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Point leaflet; Kauri Point leaflet 2006  
  We intended to return by the path marked on the 2006 leaflet, but couldn't find it even after several tries. We settled ( perforce ) for the track from Colonial Road towards Kauri Point park ( incomprehensibly completely missing from the 2006 leaflet, though at least hinted at in the two earlier publications ), re-entering Chatswood Reserve through David Beattie Place.
    Chatswood Reserve. David Beattie Place northwards. 2007 January 1 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Point leaflet; Kauri Point leaflet 2006  
  The intention was to return to the Mappin Place entrance, but it didn't work. Somewhere past the end of Ravenstone Place, the paths - which seem to have been very much neglected in comparison with those at the northern end of the reserve - simply become confused. The jokey sketch "maps" don't have enough detail to make sense of what's on the ground. What we thought was the track led us to Duck Creek at a point just below the dam in the pond ( not shown in any of the "maps" ) at a point where a tree trunk was lying across a deepish ravine with the stream at the bottom. An attempt to sort ourselves out led back to the same point. We gave up, and retired to Ravenstone Place.
    Roads. Ravenstone Place to Fitzpatrick Place. 2007 January 1    
    Chatswood Reserve. Fitzpatrick Place to Mappin Place. 2007 January 1 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Point leaflet; Kauri Point leaflet 2006  
  Well, this bit can't go wrong, can it ? In fact, it was easy enough. It's back to the highly engineered boardwalks.

So it's rather a pity that the 2006 map has the junctions of the Fitzpatrick Place and Mappin Place entrances in the wrong order.

Auckland Mount Albert Oakley Creek Springleigh Road to northern end ( and back ) 2007 January 27 Auckland city's walkways leaflet, but it gives practically no information at all. N42:224561
  Follows Oakley Creek throughout. Scruffy in places, but evidence of replanting etc. There's a lot of English-looking vegetation, and rough grassy areas presumably awaiting more plants. Buildings are visible much of the time, but not very obtrusive. Concrete path almost all the way.

Waterfall and pool are pleasant, but obviously much used.

      Springleigh Road towards southern end ( and back ) 2007 January 27   N42:224561
  Follows Oakley Creek. The path starts concrete but changes to gravel then grass, well kept throughout. Houses still there, but perhaps less obtrusive; very pleasant.

We turned round at an arbitrary point. Our Auckland street map suggests that the path continues to a railway.

Auckland North Shore Kauri Glen various 2007 January 29 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Kauri Glen and Cecil Eady Bush leaflet N42:250659
  In from Tui Glen Road - better parking.

Intention : go roughly east across three bridges, then south, round, and back. Couldn't; second bridge was blocked with rails, but we went anyway; third bridge wasn't there at all.

Back to first bridge ( unmarked old(?) track, added to leaflet ), south to Kauri Glen Road ( nearly ), north-eastish across two bridges, found "no entry" notice at the other end of the original track. Then back.

All very pretty. Paths well made to dreadful.

Auckland North Shore Le Roy's Bush Maritime Terrace to Onewa Road, and back. 2007 February 4 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Le Roy's Bush leaflet N42:258646
  Good walk. The lower part picks its way along the edge of a fairly wet and swampy area; once past that, there are surprisingly precipitous narrow valleys in the upper regions.
    Le Roy's Bush Path ( above ) to Hinemoa Street, and back. 2007 February 4 Harbourside Bush Walk Trail; Le Roy's Bush leaflet N42:258646
  Good path, steep and interesting in the higher parts. The Puriri arch is still there.
Waitakere Piha Road Huia Ridge Track Lone Kauri Road to around HWR:466681, and back. 2007 February 5 Waitakere map ( 2002 ) #17; Hema Waitakere Ranges map HWR:451691
  Pleasant walk, uneventful. Starts with a fairly steep climb by an ancient ( but still effective ) barbed-wire fence, but that ends at the sharp corner. From there it's an undulating walk, roughly along the ridge, with occasional Waitakere views towards the sea.

There are some fairly steep bits, and when we were there it was fairly muddy.

We have identified our turning point from the Hema map, which shows an extra peak in the path as compared with the ARC map. It's clear enough on the ground, and confusing to be unable to find it on the map.

Auckland North Shore Kauri Park Paths 2007 February 6 Northcote and Birkenhead harbourside booklet, Kauri Park leaflet N42:224644
  We started from Rangatira Road ( where there's a small car park ) following the east-most path on the Kauri Park leaflet. Our intention was to make our way to Balmain Road and thence to Kauri Point Domain, but we didn't. We followed the map reasonably well, but the path we took to the left past the Hebe Road bridge turned out to be informal. It crossed the stream by a ford, and appeared to continue; arguing that we'd eventually get to the bridge, we followed it downstream, but the path eventually petered out.

We tried to retrace our steps, and found the ford, but after that continued along another informal track for a long time. Eventually we found ourselves on the north part of the southern loop.

By that time we'd had enough, and made our way back to the car park.

The bush is lovely, the paths are good, but there are apparently absolutely no signposts and a number of informal paths. Be careful !

Greater Auckland Kaipara Mount Auckland Walkway West end ( Glorit ) to summit. 2007 February 7 Forest and Bird book of nature walks, AA Guide to Walkways, North Island N33:954085
  1 : Finding the start.
Drive along the road from Auckland looking backwards. The entrance is through a gate at about the reference given, but the signage is not visible if you don't look backwards. ( We didn't; we eventually came to the Hoteo River, which is obviously too far, and turned round. ) Through the gate is a rough track going half way up the field to a scruffy wooden building ( the "toilet block" ), and a small notice board is nearby. That's the car park.

2 :The walk.
Well marked, once you know you're there. Follow red-topped posts ( visible, but needed repainting ) to the forest boundary. There are a couple of electric fences to negotiate, which are easy enough but take care. The path through the forest is well marked.
It's a good walk. There are good views of the farmland below the forest, the forest is quite dense ( so few views ) but with good variety. ( - and fairly slippery underfoot when wet; take care ! ). At the top is an observation tower with a view over the Kaipara Harbour.

North Tawharanui regional park Ecology trail Anchor Bay car park to North Coast track. 2007 February 8 Tawharanui regional park N34:191345
  Very enjoyable walk. Seashore, then grassy tracks up a steady climb to the metalled North Coast track.

( There is a leaflet about the Ecology Trail. We took a copy, and found it fairly useless, but it does give a fair bit of information about fauna and flora. Perhaps geology is irrelevant to ecology. It seems to be written for children; it has been put together with such care that seven conventional symbols included in the map's "key" appear nowhere else in the publication. )

    North Coast track Ecology trail to Tokatu Point Lookout track. 2007 February 8    
  Metalled track then grass; along the top of the peninsula with excellent views.
    Tokatu Point Lookout track North Coast track to lookout. 2007 February 8    
  Wide cleared track, mostly through bush. There's another short side track at the end labelled "Marine Park" ( or something like that ); it leads to another headland looking approximately towards Little Barrier. It is above the markers for the eastern edge of the protected marine park, but otherwise undistinguished.
    Tokatu Loop track Lookout to Tokatu Point Lookout track. 2007 February 8    
  Mostly bush, but magnificent views of some coastal features : a steep rocky bay almost surrounded by conical rock stacks.
    Tokatu Point Lookout track Tokatu Loop track to South Coast Track. 2007 February 8    
  ( Return along track described above. )
    South Coast Track Tokatu Point Lookout track to Fisherman's Track. 2007 February 8    
  Pleasant enough, but not much in the way of special features.
    Fisherman's Track South Coast Track to Anchor Bay car park. 2007 February 8    
  Starts as a footpath through bush by a stream. A pleasant walk; some interesting trees. Changes to a metalled track, perhaps not so interesting.
Auckland North Shore Kauri Point Domain Road end to beach 2007 March 3 Northcote and Birkenhead harbourside booklet N42:220649
  Pretty. Cleared up a bit since last time ( 2005 ) ? "Small side tracks" ( see booklet ) seem to be more visible than before, but not obviously reliable.

Booklet identifies the beach as "Fitzpatrick Bay".

      On beach, south to the next bay, and back 2007 March 3 Exploration  
  A bit muddy in places, with jagged oyster shells; a pleasant walk, pretty views. Only low tide ? - still don't remember it from previous visit, but we went there in 2005.
Waitakere Bethells Te Henga - Goldie Bush walkway Bethells Road car park to O'Neill Bay 2007 March 10 Waitakere map ( 2002 ) #142; Hema Waitakere Ranges map; North Island Walkways HWR:398788
  Cross Waitakere River by footbridge; negotiate excessively friendly horse ( might not be permanent ); follow worn track ( not the line of orange posts - that leads through a bog ); over a stile to a well-marked path through bush.

Good path, though might be harder in wet weather; excellent views.

    Walkway to beach   2007 March 10 Hema Waitakere Ranges map HWR:387789
  There are several ways down to the beach; this is ( we think ) the last before the path climbs out of the valley.

It reaches the beach just south of Tangihau Point, where there are a couple of interesting caves.

    O'Neill Bay to car park   2007 March 10 Exploration  
  South down the beach;
Cross Erangi Point by an obvious informal path;
Cross Waitakere River ( unavoidable - it flows right at the foot of the cliff );
Follow the river inland until it moves away from the cliff, and there's a suggestion of a possible ford leading to a possible track;
Cross the river ( knee-deep ), follow hints of a path upstream and vaguely towards the hill;
Cross the fence onto a fairly clear path leading up the hill;
Follow that path until it joins the walkway;
Return to car park.
Auckland North Shore Onepoto Domain Carpark to Sylvan Avenue exit 2007 April 9 Memory : a failure. We'd intended to go to the Exmouth Road exit. N42:266655
  Yes, we did exactly the same thing before in 2003.
    Road Down Heath Road, and back again. 2007 April 9 To get to Heath Reserve - but we couldn't find a path. ( One is marked on Wises compact Auckland map, 2005 Edition, but it isn't obvious. )  
    Road Sylvan Avenue to Bailey Reserve on Exmouth Road 2007 April 9 Necessity  
    Tuff Crater Reserve Round, anticlockwise ( from above ), to Heath Reserve. 2007 April 9 memory  
  Far more engineered than it used to be; much less fun.
    Tuff Crater Reserve Round, clockwise ( from above ), to the grass by the motorway, and back. 2007 April 9 memory  
  Much boardwalk now; rather little mud.

Perhaps of interest -

From North Shore City in 2004 :
"Walking conditions for people who wish to take a close look at Tuff Crater in Northcote have also been improved. An all-weather track has been built around the edge of the crater from St Peters St to Heath Reserve in Exmouth St. There is walking access all around the crater but the portion between Warehouse Way and St Peters St is an unformed track."

( We didn't try; you have to walk rather close to the motorway for quite some distance, and we didn't fancy it. )

    Road Across Exmouth Road back into Onepoto Domain. 2007 April 9    
    Onepoto Domain Back to the car park. 2007 April 9    
Auckland North Shore Coast walk Mairangi Bay to Murrays Bay 2007 April 21 2 Foot Tour  
  Along concrete path at foot of cliffs ( over an old drain ) OR Walk along the rocks. We did both ( one each ); as the tide comes in, the rocks will be covered before the path.
      Murrays Bay to ( about ) Churchill Reserve, and back. 2007 April 21 2 Foot Tour  
  Along the cliff path. We stopped at what we thought was the summit.

Not very exciting; fence and/or houses on the left, rather too much tree on the right to see the sea. Nice view from the top, though.

      Murrays Bay to Mairangi Bay 2007 April 21 2 Foot Tour  
  Along the cliff path. Not too bad; more variety, and space, than the previous bit.
Auckland Pakuranga Rotary Walkway Galloway Crescent to Oleander Place ( ? ), and back. 2007 April 25 Hints from web search; this was the most helpful. N42:411552
  A short walk; our excuse is that we were on the way to somewhere else.
Pleasant, but not thrilling. It's mostly concrete ( the exception is a short stretch of boardwalk across a dampish patch ), but there's enough grass to get off the path in most places. Once past the mangroves you can occasionally walk on the sand, but we went at high to mid tide and were stuck with the grass for most of the time.
Auckland North Shore Centennial Park Car Park to road - Zigzag track ? 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet N38:275723
  ( We forgot to take the map with us, so many of the track names are missing from the descriptions of today's walk. It becomes clear that there are many more paths, some quite official-looking, which aren't on our map. )
      Across road, along path over grass to seat. 2007 May 5 Exploration  
  Uphill; the path is not marked except as a mown strip. There's a reasonable view from the seat, mostly Hauraki Gulf and suburban Campbell's Bay.
      Continue on path to road. 2007 May 5 Exploration  
      Cross road near gate, turn right down path to stream. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet  
      Cross stream by bridge to Nature Trail. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet  
  Here there was a notice saying we couldn't follow the path upstream because the path was "under construction".
      Nature Trail to Mamaku Track. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet  
      Mamaku Track - Nature trail to Kohekohe Track. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet  
  Up the hill ( Northish ) and bear left at the top.
      Kohekohe Track - Mamaku Track to "No entry" notice. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet  
  A surprise. We'd seen the other end of the "No entry" section when we crossed the bridge onto the Nature trail, so it wasn't an enormous surprise, but we weren't expecting it ( - because we'd forgotten the map ).
      Side track - Kohekohe Track to trackless grassy bit behind houses. 2007 May 5 Exploration  
  At this point, we were essentially lost ( - because we'd forgotten the map ). We cast around a bit, to no avail, then turned left from logic. The map shows a path along here, but we didn't find one.
      Grassy bit, Northeastish to Rae Road park entrance. 2007 May 5 Exploration  
  Behind houses; not much fun. The road was a relief.
      Roadside track down to NEmost bridge, then back to car park. 2007 May 5 Centennial Park leaflet, Exploration  
  The "Exploration" bit is because there's more roadside track than appears on the map. ( - and because we didn't have the map, but that's a detail. )
North Shakespear Regional Park Shakespear Track Te Haruhi Bay carpark, round clockwise. 2007 June 16 Shakespear Regional Park leaflet N38:342892
  Very good. It was a cold day, but sunny, with very clear sky and perfect visibility. Unfortunately, that means that you can see Auckland with its stupid tower, but you can't win them all.

It isn't called "Shakespear Track" any more - see, for example, the Northern parks leaflet. It's partly Tiritiri Track ( carpark to lookout ) and partly Lookout Track ( lookout to carpark ).

Auckland Tamaki Wai o Taiki nature reserve North to south 2007 August 25 Auckland city's walkways leaflet N42:397578
  Good. ( Better than we expected, but it's hard to say why. ) We went as far as the first bridge along the shore rather than the path; slightly muddy, but pleasant. We carried on along the path as the tide was coming in.

Just before the second bridge ( over the Omaru Creek ) there's a seat, and a way down to the shore. Just off the shore there's a crescent-shaped island, which we could walk round. The seaward side is very secluded, and would be a good place to rest.

    Point England reserve South down the coast 2007 August 25 Auckland city's walkways leaflet  
  Pleasant walk along a lowish cliff. There are certainly ways down to the sea, but we didn't try any. Inland is the reserve itself, grassy fields with cattle grazing, but with many gates for access.

The map shows the return route as partly along roads. To avoid that we cut straight across the reserve where the fence stops and the sports fields start. The return path goes right down the far side of the park, so you can't miss it.

    Point England reserve North along the Inland side 2007 August 25 Auckland city's walkways leaflet  
  ... but we did miss it. We aimed too far north, and ended up on the wrong side of Omaru Creek. The right thing to do then is to turn left and walk round the top of the creek. We thought we'd be clever, and turned right, then found ourselves trapped between the creek and a tributary coming in from the reserve. It was muddy. We persisted, and eventually got back to the bridge, but the path looks a lot nicer.
    Wai o Taiki nature reserve South to north 2007 August 25 Auckland city's walkways leaflet  
  This time we stuck to the path all the way, as the tide was higher. The shore is much more fun.
Waitakere Piha Road Ian Wells Track ( "Upper Nihotopu track" in older sources ) Piha Road to around HWR:474734, and back. 2007 September 15 Waitakere map ( 2002 ) #81; Hema Waitakere Ranges map; HWR:451691
  Begins as an old metalled road; the road turns sharp right and the path goes goes on.

Climbs up and down again. Waitakere views, but it's a very pretty path.

When we went ( after a fairly wet spell ), it was muddy though mostly passable. We found a way round the first flooded bit, but didn't at the second, where we turned back. More determined people were getting through - a few passed us.

On the way back, we inspected -

      Side track to old reservoir 2007 September 15 Exploration  
  Easy walk down to a grassy area with developing bush at the bottom. ( The old reservoir bed. ) There's a non-trivial stream. The dam is visible, with a large hole cut out of it. Several notices warn you to keep away.

We didn't explore extensively, but it looks like a nice place to relax after a walk.

Waitakere Lone Kauri Road Odlin's Timber Track to around HWR:452662, and back. 2007 November 10 Waitakere map ( 2002 ) #80; Hema Waitakere Ranges map; HWR:437662
  Down a LOT of steps to a stream, which might have stepping stones if you're brave, but which we forded; then up a ridge on the other side, which is fairly steep clay. We stopped at the top. There are some quite good views of the valleys on both sides of the ridge.

No, it wasn't very far. It was rather wet, and the track was a bit slippery, and very rutted in places ( I managed to slip and graze my leg significantly on the way back ) - which is presumably why there are so many steps. The real reason was that we started late, and were a bit out of practice.

North Shore Albany Albany scenic reserve Track about half way, and back. 2007 December 1 Auckland Day Walks; N38:215773
  We started at the Lonely Track Road end, where there is a small car park. Down a steep descent to a stream, over the bridge, up again and down a bit, then back. Fairly steep in places, and a lot of clay, so might be iffy in wet weather. There are good steps in the clay, but they'll go off in time ( just as the previous lot of steps, still often visible, did ).

Enjoyable. Pretty bush and good exercise.

( We've been before, but it was probably during the lost period in 2005. On that occasion we completed the whole walk, and returned by the road. The road is not much fun, but the gradients are less demanding. )

Alan Creak,
2007 December.