Tag Archives: Puketutu Island

Mangere Lagoon offers a nice and scenic short walk

The Watercare Coastal Walkway is a bit long to walk, at 7km one way, especially considering that no buses run to Otuataua Stonefields, one end of the walk.  One day I’d like to do it on a bicycle.  In the meantime I decided to go check out one of the side trips along the walkway – the Mangere Lagoon loop.  To see the lagoon on Google Maps, click here.

Mangere Lagoon
Mangere Lagoon

Mangere Lagoon is a maar, a broad, low-relief volcanic crater caused by a phreatomagmatic eruption, an explosion which occurs when groundwater comes into contact with hot lava or magma.  It has a small scoria island in the center.  Mangere Mountain is right next to it.

Mangere Lagoon, scoria island, and Mangere Mountain
Mangere Lagoon, scoria island, and Mangere Mountain

Mangere Lagoon is a tidal lagoon.  The tide was low during my visit.  Below is a picture from Wikimedia Commons, taken from Mangere Mountain, showing more water in the lagoon.  You can see the narrow causeway that separates the lagoon from the Manukau Harbor.  In the distance is the causeway that leads to Puketutu Island.

Mangere Lagoon from Mangere Mountain
Mangere Lagoon from Mangere Mountain

We parked in the carpark just off of Creamery Road, and walked in a clockwise direction.  This leads quickly to the causeway that separates the lagoon from Manukau Harbor.

Manukau Harbor, Puketutu Island
Manukau Harbor, Puketutu Island
Manukau Harbor, Puketutu Island
Manukau Harbor, Puketutu Island

Black swans decorated the land and seascapes.

Black swans at Mangere Lagoon
Black swans at Mangere Lagoon

In the 30s they tried to convert the Mangere Lagoon to pasture land.  In the late 50s the scoria cone was removed and the lagoon converted into sludge ponds for sewage treatment.

Mangere Lagoon
Mangere Lagoon

Later they created an improved sewage treatment facility next to the lagoon.  You can see it on the left edge of the first pic in this post.  The lagoon and scoria cone were restored, with extra flat space for birds to roost.

One Tree Hill
One Tree Hill from the Mangere Lagoon loop

It was a fairly short walk, so we went to check out Puketutu Island.  We parked in the carpark where you arrive on the island, and walked the path to the north.  It’s a nice walk along the coast with views over the harbor, but it ends after maybe a 20 minute walk.  Beyond that path and one to the south of the carpark, access to the island seems to be restricted.

Puketutu Island
Puketutu Island

Please enjoy the full gallery of 12 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Mangere Mountain

Mangere Mountain is one of the largest volcanic cones in the Auckland volcanic field, with a peak 106 meters above sea level. It was the site of a major (Māori fortified village), and you can still see a lot of the earthworks there today.

Mangere Mountain from Ambury Regional Park
Mangere Mountain from Ambury Regional Park

It is a prominent landmark in south Auckland, and I had been visiting places in that area recently, so I decided to check out Mangere Mountain up close.

Mangere Mountain from near the Onehunga Mangere Soccer & Softball Club
Mangere Mountain from near the Onehunga Mangere Soccer & Softball Club

This is one of those places that panoramas are made for.  We parked at the Onehunga Mangere Soccer & Softball Club and walked up the cone in a clockwise direction.

Mangere Mountain
Mangere Mountain

A view of Puketutu Island opens up as you reach the western rim.

Puketutu Island
Puketutu Island

In the saddle between the two highest points you get a wider view of the Manukau Harbour that takes in Otuataua Stonefields, Puketutu Island, Awhitu Peninsula, Manukau Heads, the Waitakere Ranges, and Ambury Regional Park.

Manukau harbor from Mangere mountain
Manukau harbor from Mangere mountain
Details on the view above - Mangere Mountain
Details on the view above

The top also offers a good view of the cone, and what I assume is the plug.  Correction – that’s a lava dome, something that no other Auckland volcanoes have.

The large crater from the north rim
The large crater from the north rim

In the other direction you have great views over Manukau Harbor to the Mangere Bridge and central Auckland.

Mangere Bridge and central Auckland
Mangere Bridge and central Auckland

That view includes Mount Eden, the Sky Tower and One Tree Hill.

Mount Eden, Sky Tower and One Tree Hill
Mount Eden, Sky Tower and One Tree Hill

The perspective on the cone itself changed as we continued walking in a clockwise direction around the rim.

Crater of Mangere Mountain
Crater of Mangere Mountain

We continued clockwise around the smaller crater.

The smaller crater on Mangere Mountain
The smaller crater on Mangere Mountain

Soon after that we completed the circle, and returned to the carpark.

Mangere Mountain, in Mangere Domain, is a small park with the terrain for good short walk with a bit of climbing and some great views of Auckland.

Please enjoy the full gallery of 12 pictures below.  To view on imgur, click here.

Ambury, the petting zoo Regional Park

Ambury Regional Park is one of the more farm-focused parks in Auckland, and definitely the most kid-focused – part of it is a petting zoo!  It also offers plenty of space for family gatherings and BBQs.  The 45 minute Foreshore Walk is pleasant enough, and offers some nice perspectives on the Manukau Harbor and surrounding areas.  Opportunities for hiking in the park are limited, but the 7km Watercare Coastal Walkway connects Ambury Park with Puketutu Island and Otuataua Stonefields, and connects with the Mangere Lagoon Loop, and offers various diversions through other green spaces in the area.

Manukau Harbor from the Foreshore Walk
Manukau Harbor from the Foreshore Walk

I’ve been busy lately, and my posts have been far too infrequent.  But I have continued to explore, and more is coming.  I’ve been working on providing additional options for navigating the site, starting the Auckland and its Regional Parks.  I’ve enjoyed a post I’ve been working on about Auckland and its status as the most underrated region in New Zealand.  I’ll be bringing that and more to you soon!

Sheep near the start of the Foreshore Walk ignoring the view of One Tree Hill over the Manukau Harbor
Sheep near the start of the Foreshore Walk ignoring the view of One Tree Hill over the Manukau Harbor

Mangere Mountain is an extinct volcano near Ambury Park and a very visible landmark in South Auckland, responsible for the geology of the surrounding area.

Mangere Mountain
Mangere Mountain

Black volcanic rock is a feature of the landscape of Ambury Park.

Foreshore Walk
Foreshore Walk

Another feature is small lava caves.

Lava cave
Lava cave

The bottom portion of the shelter below would appear to be ancient stonework, but I haven’t been able to learn anything about it.  All of the stone walls in Ambury reminded me of the stonework found at nearby Otuataua Stonefields.  I visited Otuataua Stonefields in 2014, but haven’t yet posted about it.

Shelter on Foreshore Walk
Shelter on Foreshore Walk

I didn’t see many insects in the insect garden, but I enjoyed this family of chickens, although they would seem to be unwelcome in an insect garden.

Chicken family
Chicken family

This beautiful cat is another creature that I guess is probably not really welcome in Ambury Park.  Cats are a threat to native wildlife in New Zealand, and some call for their elimination from the country.  I had never seen one before, but this looks to me like a bengal cat.

Bengal cat?
Bengal cat?

It being spring, there are many babies among the animals at Ambury Park at the moment.  The kids below frolicked in a way that put the spring lambs to shame.

Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park
Animal residents of Ambury Park

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