Western Springs is a wildlife sanctuary surrounding a natural spring-fed lake, one of Auckland's early water supplies.
The park is surrounded by a cluster of major nearby attractions including the Auckland Zoo, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), the Chamberlain Park Golf Course and the Western Springs stadium.
Amenities and activities
Fishing for eels is strictly prohibited. The long-finned eel, which is found only in New Zealand, has recently been classified by the Department of Conservation as 'in gradual decline', which means it is likely to be extinct within 50 years.
Eel populations are particularly vulnerable because eels take a long time to grow to their potential two metres (usually only between 1cm and 2cm per year) and female eels only spawn once before they die and it can be up to 80 years old before they do so.
Anyone illegally fishing in the lake may put native eels at risk. According to Part 20 of the Auckland City Consolidated Bylaw (1998), it is illegal to kill or injure any animal in a public place, including lakes. Offenders can be fined up to $500. Other species that could be affected by the illegal fishing include tench, perch, catfish, goldfish, koi and grasscarp. Contact us if you see anyone fishing in the lake.
The Fukuoka Garden
This traditional Japanese garden with a waterfall, pond and tea pavilion was opened in July 2017. It is located near the entrance to the park from the Auckland Zoo car park off Motions Road. The garden is free to the public and is open from 10am to 5.30pm in winter and 10am to 6.30pm in summer (during daylight saving).
You can explore the park by means of a well-developed network of footpaths that includes boardwalks through the wetlands and a walking track.
The lake is a refuge for the native orea (eel), who can be seen trailing the swans and ducks. Along with the birds, the orea are tame and can be coaxed to take food. The eels are an original part of the cultural and ecological heritage of Western Springs Lake - a fact that is reflected in the lake's Māori name 'Te Wai Orea', which means 'waters of the eel'.
Around the shores and wetlands, wild fowl including native Pukeko, Teal, Australian Coot and Shovelers can be freely viewed amongst regenerating native plants, wide-open lawns, gardens, water gardens and water lilies.