Auckland’s regional parks are the perfect way to discover the diversity and beauty of our landscapes.

Stroll across rolling grasslands or trek through dense native rainforest. Take in the views from a rugged clifftop or settle in for a picnic on a golden-sand beach. Get active or just sit back and relax. Auckland has 26 beautiful regional parks – here are 10 to get you started.

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Ambury Regional Park

Ambury is a working farm, so it’s popular with families keen to get up close to the animals – kids can even feed the lambs in spring. Afterwards, take the short Lost Gardens Walk to see remnants of early Māori stone mounds once used for gardening. 

Auckland Botanic Gardens

With more than 10,000 plants from around the world, you’ll see something different every season, from spring’s magnificent magnolia blossoms to autumn’s golden leaves. Explore different themed spaces, discover the modern sculptures, have a picnic by the lake, or lunch at the onsite café.

Awhitu Regional Park

An hour’s drive from the city centre, Awhitu makes a great day trip, with two tranquil white-sand beaches, sheltered picnic and barbecue spots, and a number of walking, mountain biking and horse riding tracks. You can even take a swing at the 9-hole Awhitu Golf Club.

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Hunua Ranges Regional Park

The largest native forest in the Auckland region, Hunua is home to thriving native wildlife, beautiful waterfalls and more than 450 species of plants. Choose one of the many walks, ranging from easy to challenging, and don’t miss the Hunua Falls.

Long Bay Regional Park

Get out on the water for snorkelling, kayaking or swimming, then chill out in the shade with a picnic, throw a ball around, or book a barbecue site if you’ve got a big group (book in early in summer). The playground’s an added bonus, complete with flying fox.

Shakespear Regional Park

As well as Shakespear’s sheltered family-friendly beaches, it’s a great spot for fishing, kayaking and boating, and the walking tracks reward you with some amazing views. The park is an open sanctuary for threatened native wildlife, so it’s also one of the region’s best spots for bird watching.

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Tapapakanga Regional Park

Tapapakanga is a working coastal farm as well as a regional park, particularly popular with walkers, birdwatchers and kayakers. Kayakers: stay at the campground and explore the coastline at leisure; walkers: take the Historic Loop Track past the Māori pä site and historic stone fields.

Tāwharanui Regional Park

Tāwharanui is one of the best places to see New Zealand’s famed natural beauty. Do as much or as little as you like – swimming, surfing, snorkelling and diving at Anchor Bay, a stroll on the soft white sand, mountain biking or walking. Maybe a holiday at the campground?  

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Waitakere Ranges Regional Park

Explore more than 16,000 hectares of native rainforest and coastline, the gorgeous Kitekite Falls and Fairy Falls, 250 kilometres of walking tracks, and the west coast’s best black-sand surf beaches, including Piha, Muriwai and Bethells/Te Henga. 

Wenderholm Regional Park

With its golden sands, calm blue waters and grassy surrounds, this is the ultimate family-friendly regional park. If you’ve got time, hire a kayak and paddle up the river to the historical Bohemian village of Puhoi, or drive to nearby Orewa Beach

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