Explore rocky coastlines and sheltered bays, lush native forest and wide-open countryside, pounding surf and trickling streams, remote wildlife sanctuaries or bustling city streets. 

Ah, the great outdoors! Getting out and about in Auckland is easy as almost all landscapes you could dream of are within an hours drive or so of the city. Whether you’re keen for an urban walk followed by some people watching at a local beach, or sweating it out hiking up and down rugged terrain with the reward of an epic view or two, then this article is the one for you!

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Gibbons, Muir and Pararaha Valley tracks in the Waitākere Ranges

These three paths, which are all a part of the Te ara Tūhura / Hillary Trail, are now open again. The tracks provide breathtaking coastal views of the Tasman Sea, Whātipu Scientific Reserve and Conservation Reserve. Begin your walk at Gibbon's Track. The black sand hills and the vistas at Gibbons Lookout, as well as the breathtaking views down the coastline, make the short climb uphill well worth it. Then continue walking along the Muir Track to reach the Pararaha Valley. Once more, you will be greeted by some stunning scenery. To round off an incredible day of hiking, do a loop back to Whatipū via the beach. It will take you around five hours to complete.

Ōmanawanui Track

Conquer one of Auckland’s great walks, the Ōmanawanui Track along with Puriri Ridge Track. This epic coastal walk reopened in 2021 with multiple upgrades, including thousands of box steps, a new boardwalk, and a new lookout on the highest point where you can take in incredible 360-degree views of Manukau Heads, Manukau Harbour and Whatipu Beach. A lot of stairs but it is well worth the sweat! 

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North Shore Coastal Walk

The coastline of Auckland’s North Shore is a popular walking spot, with its string of sheltered bays and white sandy beaches. The entire walk takes around seven hours, but you can choose to start and finish anywhere if you’re short on time – try Milford to Takapuna and stop for a swim. ​

Aotea Track – Great Barrier Island

Experience the island’s wild beauty on this two-to-three-day walk. Looping the island’s central mountainous area, you’ll walk through pristine native forest, with top spots including Kaitoke Hot Springs, Windy Canyon lookout and historical sites. And the views are simply incredible.

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Rangitoto Island Summit Walk

Some of Auckland’s best views await at the summit of Rangitoto Island, at 260 metres above sea level. Walk up the volcanic cone, through lava crops and pohutukawa forest – once you’re at the summit, take a short side trip and peer into the vast crater. 

Hunua Falls Path

The beautiful Hunua Falls is one of the most popular spots for walkers in the bush-clad Hunua Ranges in Auckland’s east. An easy 15-minute walk, it climbs from the Wairoa River below the falls through beautiful lush forest, along a shady stream to an excellent lookout platform.

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Stony Batter Historic Reserve – Waiheke Island

Stony Batter Historic Reserve, at the eastern end of Waiheke Island, is named for its unusual rocky outcrops and is the site of extensive tunnels and gun emplacements dating back to WWII. An easy one and a half hour walk suitable for the whole family.

Shakespear Tiritiri Path

Explore Shakespear Regional Park’s native bush, beaches, birdlife and amazing views of the Hauraki Gulf, including Rangitoto Island and Tiritiri Matangi Island. The track takes just under two hours so there’s plenty of time for a picnic or a swim afterwards.

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Tāmaki Drive Coastal Path

Walking along Tāmaki Drive is one of the best ways to appreciate the beauty of Auckland’s amazing harbour setting. This walk curves along the waterfront from downtown Auckland, taking in a number of gorgeous eastern beaches, finishing at St Heliers.

Te Araroa Trail

Te Araroa Trail runs the length of New Zealand, from Cape Reinga in the North Island to Bluff in the South Island. The Auckland sections cover diverse landscapes – rural countryside, rocky coastline, sandy suburban beaches and even the city centre’s main street. Do part of it, or challenge yourself to the full five-month trail!

Coast to Coast Walkway

There are few places in the world where you can walk from one ocean to another in just four or five hours. Walk through city and suburban streets, parks and volcanic cones for great 360-degree views, and discover some of our Māori and colonial history.

Discover more walks, hikes and trails in the Auckland region

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