Our beautiful country boasts endless adventure potential, with an abundance of fresh air to be breathed in and inclines to be ascended. But you don’t have to voyage far from Auckland for a hearty flora and fauna fix. Lace your boots, chuck some bliss balls in a backpack and spend a cruisy Sunday ticking off one of these day hikes, all within an hour’s drive of Auckland CBD.
Whatipu Beach - Kura track + Omanawanui track
How far you’ll walk: 12km
This black sand West Coast gem is best known for its deep caves, surf-able sand dunes and rock pools that bustle with life, but also boasts walking tracks with impressive panoramic views of the Waitakeres. For the ideal six-hour day hike, take the Kura track from Whatipu Road up through the valley, then loop onto the Omanawanui track to traverse back down along scenic ridges. You’ll be crossing streams, so clad your feet in something cosy and waterproof.
Bethell's Beach to Murawai - Te Henga Walkway
How far you’ll walk: 8km
Also traversing the spectacular West Coast is the Te Henga walkway, which will take you from Bethell’s Beach to Murawai in four hours. Start from Bethell’s Road and feast your eyes on impressive raw foreshore coast, plunging cliffs, surging seas and the most rugged of rocks. But arachnophobiacs beware - this track houses some freaky-large eight-legged creepy crawlies.
Rangitoto - Summit track
How far you’ll walk: 3.1km
Because are you really an Aucklander if you haven’t scaled the iconic hunk of volcano sitting right in our Hauraki Gulf? Grab a morning ferry over from downtown then wend your way through stark molten-lava crafted landscapes up to the central cone. There’s also caves to probe into and spots to paddle in the water before you ferry back to land.
Hunua Falls - Cossey Gorge Track + Massey Loop Track
How far you’ll walk: 8.3km
If you want lush native forest, a dam, gorge, reservoir, sweeping views and plunging waterfalls all jam packed into one walk, Hunua is your destination. Head from the Cossey Road carpark along the Cossey Wairoa Track, then turn onto the Massey Falls track and loop via the falls for a perfect lunch location.
Photos: westauckland.net, epiclittlemissions.co.nz.