It takes a small commitment but visiting these 4 places in one day is easily achievable and enjoyable.
While we are in Lockdown Level 3-Step 1, we are allowed to travel across Auckland for recreation and exercise and happily one day hikes are allowed.
“Luckily, for those looking to avoid the masses expected to swarm hotspots like Piha or Cornwall Park, Auckland is bountiful in other, lesser frequented regional parks, reserves, and scenic walking trails” – Ref Stuff Article Covid-19: The parks and walking trails worth visiting in Auckland’s new alert level
Such a breath of fresh air!
Auckland Botanic Gardens
Start with the Botanic Gardens where you will find a magnificent display of cherry blossoms at this time of year at Spring Blossom Valley
The grounds are well laid out and there is plenty of room to spread out and find a spot to picnic. The café was open and was serving great coffee.
Location: 188 Maraetai Drive, Maraetai 2018
Our next stop was Maraetai, a sleepy little beach side town with scenery for miles. It was a lovely sunny day with a slight sea breeze as expected at this time of year… great for walking. This was a good place to stretch, breathe in the fresh sea air and walk out on the wharf before pushing on to our next destination but I could see myself visiting here for a longer stay in summer.
We had previously visited nearby Ōmana Regional Park for a family picnic and it was a great day.
Duder Regional Park
Location: 933R North Road, Clevedon 2582
This visit to Duder Regional Park was a first for us. I had heard about it, knew where it was, and had always wanted to visit for a long walk. This seemed like the perfect time. We enjoyed a long walk with beautiful views and it felt like we were a million miles away from home.
What to do here:
- Follow the Farm Loop Walk to Whakakaiwhara Pā and see the earthwork remains of this fortified Māori settlement (2.5 hours return).
- Follow the coastal walk to one of the many beaches. Take your togs, a picnic or your fishing rod, as visitors have done for over 100 years.
- Visit the pockets of original native forest and see the trees and plants Māori used for eating, weaving, dyeing and building.
- Watch the birdlife and hunt for shells at Duck Bay (Waipokaia).
- Join an Auckland Council volunteer day to help out with planting and conservation work.
- Follow the orienteering course, go horse-riding (with a permit) or mountain-biking.
We have been to Hunua Falls several times in the past. It is a great picnic spot… we are avid picnic-ers, rain or shine. On this day the falls were wild and flowing fast after heavy rains. It was slightly damp and muddy underfoot and the river appeared to be well churned up and muddy. It all suggested a wild flow of energy and you couldn’t help but be captivated.
Just a note that when walking to the falls you need to cross a narrow bridge. This poses a small problem if people are congregating on the bridge because there is not enough room to pass safely while complying with the social distancing rules under level 3. It is a matter of patiently waiting until the bridge is clear before you can cross safely.
Kia kaha and stay safe fellow Auckland people.
I would like to encourage you to get out into our regional parks within Auckland for a well deserved breath of fresh air. Meet with one other bubble here and enjoy a long walk and picnic. It is therapeutic and invigorating after such a long time in lockdown.
Thanks for reading my blog.