Pack a picnic and head for a waterfront park just 20 kilometres from the city centre. Relax on the long sandy beach or hike along the headland.
Long Bay certainly lives up to its name. This seaside reserve includes a kilometre-long sandy beach that gentle slopes down to the waters of a coastal marine reserve. Green hillsides provide a buffer from the neighbouring suburbs and a broad, flat grassed area with large shady trees flanks the beach along the length of the bay. There's plenty of room to throw a ball, fly a kite or simply relax in the sun. And it's a safe beach for swimming, so a refreshing dip is on the agenda during summer and autumn.The parkland continues north of the beach for about two kilometres before turning inland along a broad river. A walking track passes along the sandstone cliff tops offering panoramic views across the Hauraki Gulf. The trail leads through patches of native forest and side tracks reveal remnants of World War II gun emplacements. The original farm homestead has been restored and is open for visitors.Facilities at the park include toilets, changing rooms, showers and barbecue sites. Long Bay Regional Park is on the eastern coast about 30 minutes drive north of Auckland's city centre. There is a regular public bus service.