The rock shelf is wet in this area, at low tide, but not muddy. That changed as I proceeded northeast.
I stopped often to look back over Shoal Bay and Waitemata Harbor toward the Harbor Bridge and Sky Tower.
The skyline of Takapuna is visible over Shoal Bay in the opposite direction.
I’ve seen a lot of kite boarders out on the sandbar at Lansdowne Reserve, but the group in the picture below was up to something different.
This coast has the nicest boat houses I’ve seen along the New Zealand coast. Some appear to be situated on a kind of extra back yard, but right on the bay. The buildings probably serve as more than just a place to store boats and related equipment.
I got the sense that few people walk the foreshore here. A group of people sitting in their yard asked me where I was going, and there was a “why are you here” vibe. They weren’t otherwise unfriendly though.
I headed out toward the sandbar a bit early, and found the going very soft and muddy.
The pic below looks back toward the Bayswater coast, and shows the net some people had just finished setting up. Low tide had passed, and the water would soon be coming back in, eventually flowing like a river. I think they probably left with a lot of fish.
I walked back on the sandbar proper, on much former ground.
Below is a parting look along the sandbar.
Approaching Sandy Bay Reserve it becomes very muddy near the shore.
Fortunately there are a couple of sandbars just off of the Bayswater Coast that let me make it to Sandy Bay Reserve.
I walked to the end of Sandy Bay Reserve, but found no way forward that wasn’t all deep mud and overgrown mangroves. I retreated to Sandy Bay Road and took that and Bayswater Avenue to the First World War Heritage Trail next to O’Neill’s Point Cemetery.
The bridge was built to last, and gets a lot of use.
We’re moving into late fall here in New Zealand, and the sun sets by 6:00.
The path from O’Neill’s Point Cemetery is part of the Green Route from Devonport to Takapuna.
At Northboro Reserve I called it a day, and caught a bus back to my car at Bayswater Marina.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
The path leads around a sort of wetlands in the crater. It’s green and quiet with lots of birds.
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.
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.
I skipped a bush loop and chose the shortest way through the domain. There are some sports fields and a nice pond.
I really enjoyed the pohutukawa blooming in December. This tree on the edge of Onepoto Domain is probably the brightest I saw this season.
The Onepoto Cycleway bridge is visible from Onewa Road, but seems to have been designed to be viewed from the other side.
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.
I emerged right on the coast of Shoal Bay, right beside Highway 1, with views of Takapuna, Rangitoto, Bayswater, Devonport and the Sky Tower.
The bridge is right next to Sulphur Beach; the only road to Sulphur Beach goes under it.
I had never seen the beach below at low tide, so I took this opportunity to walk under the bridge to Gold Hole Reserve.
The boat yard at Gold Hole Reserve is off limits.
So I walked under the bridge again, and up the hill to Stokes Point Reserve.
I love the lookout beneath the bridge.
I had a late lunch here while enjoying the views.
After leaving the point I followed Queen Street to Halls Beach Reserve, which provides attractive access to the foreshore.
From Halls Beach Reserve it’s a short walk on the foreshore to 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.
I walked Maritime Terrace and Hinemoa Street to Birkenhead Warf. This is another favorite place to park at night and enjoy a beautiful view.
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.
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.
Chelsea Bay Beach Area is very near Chelsea Sugar.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
I paused to enjoy the big kauri, and shoot a vertical panorama, before exiting onto Rangatira Road and walking home.
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.
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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.
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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.
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Steppin' the miles, enjoying the view, bringing it all to you.