With no shortage of tracks and trails just a wee drive from the city centre, an outdoor escape can always be on the cards. Here, we share a few of our favourites.
Tiri Tiri Track, Shakespear Regional Park
Distance: 5km / 2 hours
Lying right at the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, this versatile walking and mountain biking trail lies on a wildlife reserve. Leading outdoor enthusiasts across sand dunes, farmland, beaches, camping grounds and a Māori settlement area, the Tiri Tiri track makes for an entirely unique escape.
Dome Valley Summit Track
Distance: 6km / 3 hours
Luring you into a false sense of confidence with its relatively easy beginning, this trail quickly shows walkers its darker side with steep stairs, tricky-to-navigate sections and trip-inducing tree roots. Don’t be discouraged though, because for all the huffing and puffing, the view — a sprawling lookout across a lush Kauri grove — is worth it.
Distance: With trails leading across the island, it’s up to you
Though not as famed as its volcanic cousin Rangitoto, Rotoroa holds its own in the day-out department. Once a drug and rehab centre, this island wildlife sanctuary to the east of Waiheke, is now open to visitors by ferry and boasts incredible views of the Hauraki; fascinating history in its old schoolhouse, jail and museum; easy walking trails and an abundance of sandy beaches for those well-deserved dips. Just be sure to take plenty of water and food with you as there are no shops.
Anawhata Beach Track
Distance: 0.7km / 20 min each way
If you’re a Kitekite Falls veteran and looking for a new walk out west, then this bush trail could be just the thing. Starting at the end of Anawhata Road and weaving down a steep valley shrouded in dense natives, the payoff for this walk is evident as soon as you step out from the brush and onto the wild Anawhata beach and the tumbling waves that await.
Suspension Bridge Loop
Distance: 3.5km/1.5 hours
Making the most of the unruly forest that is the Hunua Ranges, this scenic stroll will take you on a loop that winds up to a stretching lookout over the Wairoa Reservoir. An ideal early-morning walk that can see you home in time for lunch, it is steep in some places, but nothing too treacherous to note.