The Best Short Walks and Day Hikes in Auckland
Stretch your legs and enjoy the great outdoors of Auckland! Whether you’re in the city centre or looking to escape to nature in the outer region, we’ve listed the best walks in Auckland to inspire your next outing. Choose from a range of short walks to day hikes in Auckland using this list with something to suit all fitness levels.
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1. Coast to Coast Walkway (4 Hours One Way) – The Best Day Walk in Auckland City
See the highlights of Auckland City on the Coast to Coast Walkway. Walk 16km (9.9 miles) between Waitemata to Manukau passing some of the city’s iconic heritage buildings, as well as through the Auckland Domain and the volcanic cones of Mt Eden and One Tree Hill. It’s the ultimate day out for those staying in the city centre. Once you’ve finished the walk, you can always take one of the city buses back to the city centre. This walk also features in The Top 50 North Island Walks.
Location: A popular place to start is from Viaduct Basin, 99 Customs Street West, Auckland Central.
2. Te Henga Walkway (3h20mins One Way) – The Best Day Hike in Auckland
Another long one that can be split into smaller sections, the Te Henga Walkway takes hikers along the rugged west coast from Te Henga (Bethells Beach) to Muriwai Beach. Either walk a 1h20mins section from Bethells Road to O’Neill Bay and back along Bethells Beach or continue all the way to Muriwai for the full 3h20mins walk. Opposite the start of the Te Henga Walkway from Bethells Beach is the car park for the Lake Wainamu Walk (1h30mins loop) which is another worthwhile walk in Auckland.
Location: Signposted by a bridge about 1km (0.6 miles) from the end of Bethells Road, approximately 37km (23 miles) from Auckland Central.
3. Maungauika/North Head Historic Walk (1 Hour Loop) – The Best Short Walk in North Shore
Either drive or take the ferry from Downtown Auckland to reach this historic site with walking trails in Auckland. North Head (Maungauika) was established with a series of tunnels, gun batteries, barracks and more to protect the area from feared Russian invasions from the 1870s and through to World War II. There are several short loop tracks around North Head, on top of the hill, as well as along the beaches at the base.
Location: Takarunga Road, Devonport, approximately 16km (9.9 miles) from Auckland Central.
4. Rangitoto Island Summit Track (1 Hour One Way) – The Best Short Walk in Auckland
A must-do walk to one of Auckland’s outer islands, the Rangitoto Island Summit Track takes hikers through New Zealand’s largest pohutukawa forest alive with birdsong. Another highlight is the lava fields from this volcano that’s more than 600 years old. Take a 15-minute one-way side trip to the lava caves to walk and climb through. The top of the summit track has a lookout over the crater, as well as out to the Hauraki Gulf and Auckland skyline. Learn more about visiting Rangitoto in The Guide to Rangitoto Island and Motutapu Island.
Location: Rangitoto Wharf, either a 25-minute ferry ride from Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street or a 2-hour paddle by kayak from Devonport or Takapuna Beach.
5. Hunua Falls Path (15 Minutes Loop) – The Best Waterfall Walk in Auckland
A popular short walk in the Hunua Ranges, the Hunua Falls Path takes you from the Wairoa River through native forest to a lookout of the waterfall. You can then ramble down to the base of the falls for more angles to enjoy. Along the Hunua Falls Path is the start of the Hunua Cossey Dam Path (1h30mins one way) should you feel like a longer journey through the forest.
Location: 233 Falls Road, Hunua, approximately 49km (30.4 miles) from Auckland Central.
6. Farm Loop Walk – Duder Regional Park (2h30mins Return) – The Most Scenic Walk in Auckland
Get the perfect mix of coastline, beaches, Kiwi farmland and Maori historical sites on the Farm Loop Walk. The main walk of the Duder Regional Park, the track offers excellent vantage points, as well as a side track to Whakakaiwhara Pa, the site of an old Maori fortified village. See more parks with their own set of walks in the 20 Auckland Parks You Can’t Miss.
Location: Corner of North Road and Maraetai Coast Road, approximately 50km (31 miles) from Auckland Central.
7. Wenderholm Perimeter Track – Wenderholm Regional Park (1-1h30mins Return) – The Best Bush Walk in Auckland
There are lots of landscape features to take in on the Wenderholm Perimeter Track (previously the Maungatauhoro Te Hīkoi walk) in the Wenderholm Regional Park. Walk over land between the mouths of two rivers where tracts of forest, beautiful gardens at Coudrey House, Te Akeake sand spit and more can be admired. The easy-going trails are suitable for most fitness levels.
Location: Schischka Road, Waiwera, approximately 46km (28.5 miles) from Auckland Central.
8. Tiritiri Track – Shakespear Regional Park (2 Hours Loop) – The Best Coastal Walk in Auckland
Another regional park highlight, the Tiritiri Path is a loop walk with forest, clifftops and three different lookouts. Follow the red markers through farmland and up a steep hill with rewarding views across Te Haruhi Bay. You’ll continue along the coast before reaching your next lookout of the Auckland skyline, Rangitoto Island and more. The walk finishes at Te Haruhi Bay which is safe for swimming.
Location: Bruce Harvey Drive, Army Bay, Whangaparaoa, approximately 51km (31.7 miles) from Auckland Central.
9. Auckland Domain Walks (20 Minutes+) – The Most Kid-Friendly Walk in Auckland
Even in the heart of the city, you can find some fantastic bush walks, like the Lovers’ Walk with native bush and attractive streams and cascades. The 500m (547-yard) path runs parallel to the Centennial Walkway; another walk from Grafton Mews to the Domain’s central duck pond. You can also take the Domain Walk from the Parnell entrance or Lower Domain Drive through native bush. More information about the Auckland Domain walks can be found on the Auckland Council website.
Location: There are several entrances to the Auckland Domain but 20 Park Road, Grafton, is the most popular.
10. Kitekite Falls Track (1 Hour Return) – The Best Walk in West Auckland
Behind the surf beaches and village of Piha, Kitekite Falls is a stunning natural feature along the Kitekite Falls Track. Enjoy a forest walk along the gravel path and boardwalks. The walk has a bit of a gradual climb and features two shallow stream crossings near the waterfall. Be sure to use the kauri dieback cleaning stations to protect the forest.
Location: 105 Glen Esk Road, Piha, approximately 38km (23.6 miles) from Auckland Central.
More About the Best Walks in Auckland
Need more reasons to stretch your legs? Now that you know the best walks in Auckland, how about checking out our lists of the top attractions in Auckland where many you will have to walk to?
- 20 Free & Cheap Things to Do in Auckland
- One Day in Auckland: City Walking Tour Itinerary
- The 10 Golden Picture Frames in Auckland
- Waitakere Ranges – Guide for Backpackers
- 12 Best Hikes on Great Barrier Island