Tag Archives: Google Maps

Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa

Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Regional Park is an island of green in the middle of the urban and industrial sprawl of central Auckland.  The views are fantastic all the same, and the green pastures and bush are a great escape from the city.  Don’t be discouraged by the scenery where you park, it gets better.

Check out the park and its surroundings on Google Maps.

Parking for Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Regional Park
Parking for Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa Regional Park

First you’ve got to clear the businesses fronting on Great South Road.

Entering Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
Entering Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa

Once I gained some altitude and got a look around it started to become clear what Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa has to offer.

First look at the pastures and bush of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
First look at the pastures and bush of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa

It was looking like nearly all pasture, so when I saw a path through the bush I took it.

Gate to Hill Track and Farm Track
Gate to Hill Track and Farm Track

This path ascends through the bush but emerges near the top of the highest hill in the park offering views in all directions.

360° from the top of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
360° from the top of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
North toward Mount Maunganui and Rangitoto
North toward Mount Maungarei and Rangitoto
West southwest toward Mount Mangere
West southwest toward Mount Mangere
Northwest toward the Sky Tower from Hamlins Hill
Northwest toward the Sky Tower from Hamlins Hill
Northwest toward One Tree Hill
Northwest toward One Tree Hill

I think I was heading for the exit when I passed this little picnic area.  Another bush walk starts here, so I did that instead.

Don't ignore the tiny picnic area
Don’t ignore the tiny picnic area

It’s a nice break from the sun, with a little stream and a few clearings along the way.

Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa bush walk
Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa bush walk
In the Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa bush
In the Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa bush

One branch of the path emerges into a sidewalk running alongside of Highway 10.  Behind that is Highway 1, which runs from the northern tip of the North Island to the southern tip of the South Island of New Zealand.

Highway 10 and Highway 1
Highway 10 and Highway 1

I left the bush to explore other pastures, with dry stone walls and more city views.

Dry stone wall at Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
Dry stone wall at Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa

The residents of this park are the friendliest cows I’ve met.

Residents of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa
Residents of Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa

There are a lot of hills in Auckland, and therefore a lot of places to enjoy views of the city, but Hamlins Hill Mutukaroa holds its own, and is worth a visit for other reasons as well.

You can view the full gallery of 20 pictures below.  To view on imgur click here.

Point to Point Walkway

The Point to Point Walkway follows Auckland‘s coast from St. Heliers Bay to Point England.

Click here to see the area on Google Maps (note that this is not the exact walk, although it’s reasonably close).

You can view the full gallery of 17 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

I drove to St. Heliers on a beautiful Sunday morning, and it was so busy that I drove right on through and up the coast a short distance to Achilles Point. I walked along St. Heliers Beach later that evening, after taking a bus from the end of my walk.

St. Heliers Beach
St. Heliers Beach, Achilles Point in the background

St. Heliers has a nice beach, but Achilles Point is situated atop coastal cliffs, and has a viewing platform with nice views of central Auckland and Tamaki Straight, including Browns Island, which was looking especially photogenic that day.

Browns Island
Browns Island

Browns Island is a recreation reserve accessible only by kayak or small boat.  It is also one of the best preserved volcanoes in the Auckland volcanic field.

Auckland CBD from Achilles Point
Auckland CBD from Achilles Point
Pouwhenua at Achilles Point
Pouwhenua at Achilles Point

Glover Park is a nice enough little local park, but following the path shown below leads back to the cliffs and more great views of Tamaki Strait (the picture of Browns Island, above, was actually shot from Glover Park).

Glover Park
Glover Park

Churchill Park is mostly pastures, cows and tree stumps, but I’m sure it’s great for locals looking for a break from the roads and sidewalks.  It serves that same purpose for the Point to Point Walk as well.

Churchill Park
Churchill Park

After Churchill Park a short walk takes you back to the coast, and just a bit further the Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve begins.  Tahuna Torea is beaches much of the way, with great views, surrounded by green, and extends a great distance along the coast.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

I followed the beach to a sand spit that extends out into Half Moon Bay.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

I found that sand spit interesting enough that I had to walk to the very end.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

The picture below looks back along the sand spit toward Tahuna Torea.  The body of water to the left is called Wai O Taiki Bay.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

I had made it this far along the low tide route, but the tide was not low.  I was quickly stymied when I tried to continue along the coast, and had to backtrack a fair distance in order to make use of a boardwalk across a stretch of mud and mangroves and continue south.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

It looks like Tahuna Torea transitions into Wai O Taiki Nature Reserve, then into Point England Reserve. I followed another boardwalk for a short Tahuna Torea walk, but when it reached a carpark I decided to call it a day, and catch a bus back to my car.

Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve
Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve

The walk from St. Heliers back up to Achilles Point offered a dramatic early evening view of the Auckland CBD.

Tamaki Strait and Auckland's CBD
Tamaki Strait and Auckland’s CBD

I plan to go back and finish this walk, but next time I’ll do it at low tide.  I think that I can do the whole thing along the coast, below the cliffs and along the beaches, avoiding the roads entirely.

You can view the full gallery of 17 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.