Tag Archives: Birkenhead Warf

Kaipatiki Coastal Walk

What I’m calling Kaipatiki Coastal Walk was called Coastal Walk 1 in the 2015 edition of the Kaipatiki Explorer.  The two coastal walks take in almost the entire coastline  of the Kaipatiki region of Auckland (Glenfield south to the Waitamata Harbor, with the Northern Motorway as its eastern border to the Waitamata Harbor as its western border).  Sadly the coastal walks don’t seem to be included in the latest version of the guide.

Coastal Walk 1 from the 2015 edition of the Kaipatiki Explorer
Coastal Walk 1 from the 2015 edition of the Kaipatiki Explorer

The walks do their best to link together the various parks and reserves, keeping street walking to a minimum.  I was able to stick pretty close to the route shown in the guide, starting at Tuff Crater Reserve.

Overlooking Tuff Crater Reserve
Overlooking Tuff Crater Reserve

I entered Tuff Crater Reserve behind the Warehouse Group corporate office off of Akoranga Drive.  On the north side of the crater you can see Highway 1 and the CBD and Sky Tower.

Tuff Crater Reserve
Tuff Crater Reserve

The path leads around a sort of wetlands in the crater.  It’s green and quiet with lots of birds.

Tuff Crater Reserve
Tuff Crater Reserve

I started a couple hours before low tide.  I considered using the pedestrian bridge over Highway 1 at Heath Reserve to see if I could walk the foreshore.  It’s good that I didn’t because I wouldn’t have gotten past the mouth of Onepoto Stream a short distance to the south.

Heath Reserve
Heath Reserve

A path that felt a bit like someone’s back yard and driveway led me to Heath Avenue.  At the end of Heath Avenue and across Sylvan Avenue is a walkway between houses to Onepoto Domain.

Onepoto Domain
Onepoto Domain

I skipped a bush loop and chose the shortest way through the domain.  There are some sports fields and a nice pond.

Onepoto Domain
Onepoto Domain

I really enjoyed the pohutukawa blooming in December.  This tree on the edge of Onepoto Domain is probably the brightest I saw this season.

Pohutukawa at the edge of Onepoto Domain
Pohutukawa at the edge of Onepoto Domain

The Onepoto Cycleway bridge is visible from Onewa Road, but seems to have been designed to be viewed from the other side.

Onepoto Cycleway Bridge
Onepoto Cycleway bridge

The Onepoto Cycleway is also for pedestrians.  It meets and follows Onewa Road. There is no light or crossing at Bruce Street, so it’s probably best to walk to Queen Street instead – Onewa Road is 4 lanes and busy (click here to see the walk on Google Maps).

After crossing Onewa Road it’s quiet neighborhood streets to the Highway 1 underpass.  The route shown on the Google Maps link above actually ends at the front of the police station; I continued on the sidewalk to the south end of the station to reach the underpass shown below.

Walkway under Highway 1
Walkway under Highway 1

I emerged right on the coast of Shoal Bay, right beside Highway 1, with views of Takapuna, Rangitoto, Bayswater, Devonport and the Sky Tower.

Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Auckland CBD over Shoal Bay
Auckland CBD over Shoal Bay
Bayswater Marina, Mount Victoria, Stanley Point from Shoal Bay
Bayswater Marina, Mount Victoria, Stanley Point over Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay
Shoal Bay

Sulphur Beach is a great place to park and look at the city.

Sulphur Beach
Sulphur Beach

The bridge is right next to Sulphur Beach; the only road to Sulphur Beach goes under it.

Sulphur Beach and Harbor Bridge
Sulphur Beach and Harbor Bridge

I had never seen the beach below at low tide, so I took this opportunity to walk under the bridge to Gold Hole Reserve.

Auckland Harbor Bridge
Auckland Harbor Bridge

The boat yard at Gold Hole Reserve is off limits.

Gold Hole Reserve
Gold Hole Reserve

So I walked under the bridge again, and up the hill to Stokes Point Reserve.

Auckland Harbour Bridge
Auckland Harbour Bridge
Stokes Point Reserve
Stokes Point Reserve

I love the lookout beneath the bridge.

Stokes Point Reserve
Stokes Point Reserve

I had a late lunch here while enjoying the views.

Beneath the Harbour Bridge
Beneath the Harbour Bridge
Beneath the Harbour Bridge
Beneath the Harbour Bridge

After leaving the point I followed Queen Street to Halls Beach Reserve, which provides attractive access to the foreshore.

Halls Beach Reserve
Halls Beach Reserve
Halls Beach Reserve
Halls Beach Reserve
Little Shoal Bay and Harbour Bridge
Little Shoal Bay and Harbour Bridge

From Halls Beach Reserve it’s a short walk on the foreshore to Little Shoal Bay Reserve.

Little Shoal Bay Reserve
Little Shoal Bay Reserve

I was hoping to stay on the foreshore, but the tide was coming in, and I didn’t feel like taking my boots off to wade across the tidal streams.

Little Shoal Bay Reserve
Little Shoal Bay Reserve

I walked Maritime Terrace and Hinemoa Street to Birkenhead Warf.  This is another favorite place to park at night and enjoy a beautiful view.

View from Birkenhead Warf
View from Birkenhead Warf

I walked up the hill through Hinemoa Park, along Palmerston Road to Rugby Road, and then to the end of Telephone Road to catch a path back to the foreshore.

A short alternate path leads through a small bamboo forest.

Small bamboo forest
Small bamboo forest
Small bamboo forest
Small bamboo forest

This path meets the foreshore Chelsea Bay Beach Area.  There are a couple of houses here with nice big back yards with no boundaries between yards and beach.  I’m always interested in how people deal with the requirement to allow public access to the foreshore.

House at Chelsea Bay Beach Area
House at Chelsea Bay Beach Area

Chelsea Bay Beach Area is very near Chelsea Sugar.

Chelsea Bay Beach, Chelsea Sugar in the distance
Chelsea Bay Beach, Chelsea Sugar in the distance

Chelsea Estate Heritage Park has some nice bridges and walkways, but it could really use at least one more sidewalk along Colonial Road.

Chelsea Estate Heritage Park
Chelsea Estate Heritage Park

I’ve been trying to get a good picture of an eastern rosella for a while.  I saw one soon after crossing the bridge above, and another soon after that.  Then as I walked along Colonial Road I saw six of these colorful birds.  I think they were eating the small white flowers in the grass.

Eastern rosella
Eastern rosella

Eastern rosella were introduced from Australia in the early 1900s.  They’re now common on the North Island, but they had mostly eluded me until this walk.

Eastern rosella
Eastern rosella

In addition to military sites, biosecurity/Places of First Arrival trump the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 which guarantees access to the foreshore.  I guess Chelsea Sugar is so big it needs supplies from overseas to pass customs on-site.

Entrance to Chelsea Port Facility
Entrance to Chelsea Port Facility

I heeded signs indicating private property, and wasn’t able to find a way back to the coast or into Kauri Point Centennial Park.  Instead I crossed the bridge on Colonial Road and took the trail to Chatswood Reserve.

Boarwalk in or near Chatswood Reserve
Boarwalk in or near Chatswood Reserve

Chatswood Reserve is a well-signposted park.  Unfortunately I needed to leave it almost immediately, via Homewood Place, in order to follow the best roads to Kauri Park.  I entered Kauri Park via Kauri Road.  At the entrance I met a very swole kererū.

Kererū
Kererū

I paused to enjoy the big kauri, and shoot a vertical panorama, before exiting onto Rangatira Road and walking home.

Kauri tree in Kauri Park
Kauri tree in Kauri Park

This is a great walk.  If I had been able to stay on the foreshore for more of this walk I would have avoided some long stretches on the roads.  One great spot I would have missed is Stokes Point Reserve.

Please enjoy the full gallery of 50 pictures below.  Note that this photo gallery plugin loads the entire gallery before displaying a slideshow, so if you’d like to view the gallery as a slideshow you’ll probably have to wait a bit.  To view on imgur, click here.

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