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13 Nov 2019 10:11:17
When in Auckland, you’re in must-go nature-walk territory! Choose one of these incredible walking tracks to take in the famous coastlines of the City of Sails.
Watercare’s 7km Coastal Walkway is rich in cultural history. Here you’re in the presence of ancient volcanoes, Mangere Mountain and Puketutu Island. Start at Ambury Farm Park and walk along the amazingly restored beaches. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the beautiful birds that come to the harbour to escape the northern winter. Here, nature’s always got a surprise up its sleeve.
Just 40 minutes from the Auckland CBD, the area of Whatipu Caves is a short bush adventure, made up of big and small cliff-face caves. Fun fact: it was a dancehall in the early 20th century! Make sure you slide on proper shoes; parts of the track can get muddy. Along the way is the unusual, but magical black sands of Whatiupu.
This ones for the thrill-seekers. The rugged clifftop Te Henga Walkway is part of the bucket-list-worthy Hillary Trail. Along with sweeping ocean views that will take your breath away, there are also some steep climbs and muddy sections. But your reward is lagoons, dunes, farm valleys and so much more.
For smiles, sun and sea, check out the 7km Westhaven Promenade Loop. The wooden boardwalk is a journey of luxury yachts, peaceful waters and city skyline views. In Auckland during summer? There’ll be beautiful blossoms of red pohutukawa trees decorating your coastal walk. Don’t forget your togs to take a refreshing dip in Point Erin Pools at the end.
For something unique, venture out on the North Head Historic Walk. The series of loops explore fascinating military history where tunnels, guns and other defences were placed to fight Russian invasions. Beyond the rich history, it’s a beautiful less-trodden path worth including in your coastal walking itinerary.
One of the best walks in Auckland is the harbourside Tamaki Drive walk. You’ll be sharing this coastal trail with cyclists, rollerbladers and pedestrians, as you pass luxurious homes and city beaches, St Heliers and Mission Bay. Grab a couple of coffees and people-watch – it’s the perfect place to feel the vibrancy of this laidback city. Along the way you’ll come across turtle rehabilitation centre, SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s – the only one in the whole country.
It’s an exceptional underwater experience for all ages. At SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton’s, dive with sharks, venture out on the ice with mischievous penguins or go behind-the-scenes the better understand marine conservation. There are thousands of colourful native species to see, from ancient tuataras to majestic seahorses.
Biodiversity is of enormous importance to New Zealand and its people. At Turtle Bay, you can become a turtle rescue expert and rehabilitate a turtle yourself using state-of-the-art interactive technology. It’s a great way to see all the hard work that goes into looking after these magnificent sea creatures who call New Zealand’s coasts home.