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It was with great excitement that we heard Auckland’s Coast to Coast Walkway had been judged number one in the top ten city walks by online travel guide BootsnAll. And so Pauline and I were charged with taking on the 16 kilometre walkway to see just why it had made the top spot.
Download the Coast to Coast Walkway map.
Most people don’t know that you can walk from one side of New Zealand to the other in one day, exploring parks, volcanic cones and historic suburbs across the Auckland isthmus. However, we’d decided to do the walk over two days, a great option if you don’t have the time to do it all in one go.
First stop on day one is Princes Wharf i-SITE to gather our information and map and then it’s off to Onehunga to start our adventure. It’s easy to get to Onehunga by bus or train and the first of the way-finding information boards (the signs that point you in the right direction as you go) is just a short walk from the station and Onehunga Mall.
On route to the start at Onehunga Bay Reserve we wander through Onehunga Cemetery, where the tombstones date back to 1853. Following the well signposted route markers, the walk takes us into Jellicoe Park and past gorgeous old homes, views of the Manukau Harbour and history along the way. As we enter Maungakiekie – One Tree Hill – a flying fox beckons and the inner child in us comes out. It’s not every day of the week we get to hop on a flying fox at the bottom of a volcano.
Now it’s heads down and into power-walking mode as we head for the summit. We reach the top after 20 minutes and wow, what a view. We only drag ourselves away as we’ve promised ourselves lunch at the lovely Cornwall Park Restaurant - it’s well worth a stop to refuel here. Then it’s just a short walk through the park’s stunning trees and gardens and we’re at the midway point and the end of our first day.
On day two we start at the Viaduct Harbour, heading along Quay Street, taking the time to appreciate the buildings and waterfront. We head up through Auckland University’s gorgeous old buildings and into Auckland Domain, Auckland’s oldest park. If you’re there in September, you’ll see the stunning cherry blossoms bright against the sky.
Next up is Maungawhau – Mount Eden, Auckland’s highest natural point. So it’s no wonder that from the top of this volcanic cone the views are simply breathtaking. We take a few moments to marvel at the gorgeous city that we’re lucky enough to live in. Finally, we make our way down the mountain towards Epsom before catching the Outer Link bus back to city.
So would we recommend the walk? Absolutely. It was a fabulous way to see the city, for visitors and locals alike. The highlights for us were the historic homes and buildings and the incredible views. What do you need? Time, walking shoes and a moderate level of fitness. You don’t need to bring food and drink as there are plenty of refreshment stops along the way. Though we did the Coast to Coast Walkway over two days, you can easily do it in one day if time and weather permit – allow about six hours. So pick up a map, watch for the way-finding signs and enjoy!
By Lynne, Regional Liaison Officer, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development.