If there’s one thing we’re spoiled for choice for in Aotearoa, it’s spots to stretch the legs and get outside for a good walk. And it’s not just the well-known and (rightfully) renowned mountainous areas of the country that provide in this way; opportunities for exploring on foot can be found just about everywhere. South Auckland might not the first location that comes to mind when evaluating the nation’s most famous walking spots, yet the areas boasts a surprising number of excellent areas to go for a wander. Here are three places well worth chucking on the trainers for.
Auckland Botanic Gardens
One of Auckland’s most unique and frankly, underrated, attractions, Auckland Botanic Gardens offers a wonderful, tranquil walk through over 64 hectares of land. A free to the public park, the area plays home to over 10,000 plants, creating a distinctly vibrant visual backdrop to your walk. If you’re looking for a walk that doesn’t involve too much uphill trekking but still drops you right in the middle of New Zealand’s beautiful natural environment, the Botanic Gardens is probably the city’s finest option.
If you like your walks with a bit of history attached, the Ōtuataua Stonefields offer a fascinating piece of New Zealand history while at the same time, presenting a fine areas to get some fresh air and soak in some sun. The Stonefields represents just two of the remaining volcanic stonefields in Auckland, and encompasses an area that was once used by Maori and Pakeha for farming purposes. The 100ha land is now a protected area, one that overlooks the beautiful Manukau Harbour and makes for both a great walk and provides an interesting and important history lesson along the way.
Pāhurehure Esplanade Path
Another relatively flat walk that provides a unique visual experience, the Pāhurehure Esplanade Path offers a peaceful and scenery waterfront stroll around the edge of the Pāhurehure Inlet. The 3km paved boardwalk is a narrow, snaking path which provides a terrific vantage point to admire the Karaka waterfront while getting a sweat on, either in the morning sun or in the evening haze.
Images courtesy of Auckland Council