I knew that my expedition to walk the coast from Devonport to Bayswater would be my last walk in Auckland for a long while. The weather was forecast to clear, and before I left I had a look from the deck over the Waitemata Harbor. Heavy fog over the harbor produced the brightest rainbow I’ve seen in New Zealand, and possibly the first full double rainbow. It was a bright start to a somewhat melancholy occasion.
The coastal walks are some of my favorite walks in Auckland. I intended at various points to further explore the coasts of Ngataringa and Shoal Bays, but close looks at Google maps, and previous experience, indicated that it was all mud and mangroves and little access to the coast.
A closer look revealed that there are some paths along the coast of Ngataringa Bay that I hadn’t noticed before, so I went to have a look. I borrowed the map of the Devonport to Takapuna Green Route and added my own path in red (see below).
I parked at the end of Victoria Road. The entrance to Dacre Park was plain to see. The day had cleared up beautifully.
There’s a good track along the edge of the park.
Soon enough a nice view opened up over dense mangroves at the edges of Ngataringa Bay.
Ngataringa Park has a large open grassy space.
Near Lake Road there’s a wooded area with spiraling paths and a definite druid vibe.
Leaving Ngataringa Park you have to walk a short distance along Lake Road.
The mangroves and mud come right up to Lake Road for this stretch. Right on the other side is a path into the bush along the bay. A short distance in is Mary Barrett Glade.
Mary Barrett Glade
This path follows the coast along the edge of Polly’s Park. You don’t actually see the park from the bush.
I had a good look at the possibility of continuing along the coast, and saw no possibility. The path leaves the coast and emerges from the bush along the west end of Polly’s Park. Looking southeast you can see over Polly’s Park, Ngataringa Park, Mount Victoria, and in the distance North Head.
I was able to ask someone passing by about the possibility of following the coast around Duder Point. She offered no hope, so I continued along Wesley Road.
I went and had a look at Hill Park, and found a path back along the coast toward Duder point. I stopped when it seemed too obvious that I would be walking into someone’s back yard.
I retreated to Merwood Lane and took the bridge to Plymouth Reserve.
There’s a nice view from the bridge.
Plymounth Reserve is a strip of grass separated from the Plymouth Crescent houses by a narrow band of trees.
Here again I found no way to continue along the coast. The path ends at Plymouth Crescent, which leads to Bayswater Park. On the other side of the park is O’Neill’s Point Cemetery.
I love a good coastal walk. This walk from Devonport to Bayswater is a good continuation of the North Shore Coastal Walk (click for parts 1, 2 and 3 of that great walk).
Please enjoy the full gallery of 24 pictures below. To view on imgur, click here.
Bayswater Marina is is enclosed on three sides by a 900 meter floating breakwater that is open to the public for walking and enjoying the views and sea breezes at sea level. It also provides deepwater access and is popular for fishing.
Bayswater breakwater is easy to accessby parking across from the big old white building at the north end of the marina, just south of Marine Parade Reserve. It’s a short walk to the ramp to the breakwater itself.
A gate at the top of the ramp is locked at sunset, and whenever marina management considers weather conditions unsafe.
Early views include Shoal Bay and the Harbour Bridge.
The south side looks right across Waitemata Harbor at central Auckland.
The last section was closed on my last visit. I assume marina management has deemed it unsafe for some reason.
If you could reach the end of hte breakwater you’d have an even better view over Ngataringa Bay to Stanley Point.
These larger walled platforms seem to have been built for fishing.
On the way back you’re looking over Shoal Bay toward Takapuna.
Everything looked great in the light of the approaching sunset, and I wasn’t done walking.
The tide was low, and the coast beckoned.
I didn’t have time to go far. But I did confirm that i wanted to come back and walk this coast another time.
Bayswater is a favorite north shore location with some great coast access and unique views of Auckland.
Please enjoy the full gallery of 18 pictures below. To view on imgur click here.
I haven’t found anything in Auckland that I’ve enjoyed as much as walking the coast, especially the part of the east coast that makes up the North Shore Coastal Walk.
In a recent exciting episode I spent a second day walking the North Shore Coastal Walk starting at Castor Bay and continuing to Narrow Neck Beach, and almost to Cheltenham Beach, before finding that the tide was too high to continue along the coast.
I had another look at the map, and realized that there was a fair bit of coast yet to walk from Narrow Neck around the point to Cheltenham Beach, and around North Head, so I decided to try it again at low tide.
You can view the full gallery of 45 pictures below. To view on imgur, click here.
It was a beautiful day, and the cliffs south of Narrow Neck offered lots of photo opportunities.
At the point where I had turned back last time the water was still a bit too high to walk through without getting my shoes completely wet. I had started about an hour before low tide, so I decide to wait. A woman and her son came by, and she told me that the tide was high, and wouldn’t be low for another 6 hours. She was exactly wrong, but the boy continued and she followed, inspiring me to do the same. The water had receded significantly in the 10-20 minutes that I had waited.
I really love the rock formations like this that are found all along the coast of the north shore.
Cheltenham Beach is beautiful, as is Northhead.
I had explored Northhead previously, but I had started near the top, and it is so steep that I avoided walking too far downhill. I didn’t realize that gun emplacements and access extend all the way to the coast.
I like these stairs up.
This cool walkway hugs the cliffs taking you right around the point.
After central Auckland comes into view the walkway appears to go underground, although closer inspection shows that you can unlatch a gate and go “offroad” for a short distance.
Tunnels connect a couple of gun emplacements and various storage areas for ammo and such, and a set of stairs that emerge higher on Northhead. I explored a bit, then went back to follow the coast.
A short walk on the rock shelf brings you to Torpedo Bay, with Torpedo Bay Navy Museum and a small cafe with a great view. Then you’re back on Kind Edward Parade walking toward the Devonport Ferry enjoying views of Central Auckland.
It was far too nice a day to stop. I had been told that it was possible to walk around Stanley Point, so I kept going.
New Zealand’s Navy is a very small one, but I decided to go around the navy base rather than fight my way through. Steps near the main gate take you a block up the hill, and several blocks take you past the whole base to Stanley Bay.
It was about 40 minutes after low tide. The water was a long way out at Stanley Bay, as you can see above, but as I walked around the point and the Harbor Bridge came into view the shore became rocky and narrow.
Climbing began to be necessary. I almost turned back at one point, but after a closer look decided to walk along a narrow shelf with a low overhang. The waves lapped at the rock shelf below, and in a short time would put it underwater. My backpack scraped the rock above me, but I made it through. The picture below looks back at what is probably the most treacherous part of any of my coastal walks – although falling may have only meant a wet camera and a cold swim.
The coast changes here. At high tide it maybe not be possible to walk the coast here, but shortly after low tide there was lots of space to walk, although the rock shelf turns to mud as you continue into Ngataringa Bay. There are docks along the coast here with walkways up to to homes atop the cliffs.
It was somewhat tempting to head out across the bay, but I wasn’t at all interested in getting even ankle deep into mud, and a mud-flat walk did not sound nearly as appealing as a coastal walk.
There was a rock shelf for a short distance.
And then there was mud.
I reached Ngataringa Bay Sports Fields to discover that they are Navy property, and have the same signs warning civilians to keep out. With no option for continuing along the coast except the mud, I decided to call it a day, and cut back across the peninsula via Stanley Bay Park.
This is another great walk along the coast of Auckland’s North Shore. From here however, the Ngataringa Bay coast seems to be the muddy domain of mangrove trees, and Shoal Bay seems the same. And yet there are beautiful spots like Marine Parade Reserve and Lansdown Reserve, so I’ll just have to continue to explore this coast to see what it has to offer.
You can view the full gallery of 45 pictures below. To view on imgur, click here.
Steppin' the miles, enjoying the view, bringing it all to you.