Auckland is the perfect stomping ground for intrepid explorers! Clamber up ancient volcanoes, squelch through tidal mudflats or picnic in spooky sea caves. Here are three free fun adventures to explore in Auckland.
Te Naupata/Musick Point | Bucklands Beach
Visit at low tide and clamber down the steep steps that end on a dramatic headland with exposed rocks reaching out into the Hauraki Gulf. Follow to path to the end of the headland then clamber down the very steep stairs leading to the rocky outcrop. Low tide will give you more options to explore at the bottom of the stairs. If you are queasy with heights, perhaps loiter at the upper lookouts which still have excellent views. In the 1930s, the impressive white building was one of the country’s five strategic locations for a communications network. Today, it houses an important archive of traditional radio equipment and is operated and maintained by amateur radio operators Musick Point Radio Group.
Accessibility: Dirt paths and steep stairs.
Time: Allow one hour for a casual explore. More at low tide to clamber around the rocks.
Location: Drive through Howick Golf Club to the car park near the headland.
Important: Dogs on leads and watch kids around the steep stairs and cliffs. Gates are locked at 6pm.
Maungarei Springs Wetland | Stonefields
The sound of crushing rock was once deafening here but today this former quarry is a peaceful oasis with just the mellow chirps of native birds.
Stroll through the wetland and soak up the views of Maungarei and the dramatic bluestone rock faces beneath Lunn Avenue. Can the kids spot any rock climbers? This is a short adventure which makes it perfect for little ones finding their feet.
Accessibility: Dirt paths and boardwalks suitable for buggies and bikes.
Time: Allow 30 minutes for a casual explore.
Location: Parking available on Tephra Boulevard at Stonefields.
Dogs: On leads.
Te Auaunga Oakley Creek Waterfall | Waterview
Take a stroll along the city’s longest urban stream surrounded by greenery teeming with native critters to a picturesque waterfall.
The 50 hectares of green space beside the creek are home to plenty of native and exotic flora and fauna, even fresh water mussels. Peer off the numerous bridges and see if you can spot the threatened native longfin eel. The picturesque six metre high falls looks super impressive after a downpour. Highly recommend starting at Waterview Reserve which has an amazing playground and easy parking. Follow the signs to the cross the motorway overpass and the walkway entrance is on the left. Well signposted. The playground has a splashpad, pump track, BBQs and covered picnic shelters.
Accessibility: Outdoorsy buggies will cope fine on the uneven concrete paths. Not suitable for wheelchairs.
Time: Allow one hour. More for playground and picnics.
Location: Waterview Reserve corner of Herdman Street and Waterbank Crescent.
Important: Dogs on leads.