Get outdoors: 7 lesser-known DOC walks in the Auckland region

Department of Conservation —  22/12/2022 — Leave a comment

From Pohutukawa to Pateke (brown teal) there’s something stunning to see in Tāmaki Makaurau this summer. No need to pack up the car and drive out of the region – we encourage Aucklanders looking to get into the fresh air to check out what’s available in their own backyard.

Before you set out, remember that New Zealand’s plants and animals are unique, but in serious trouble. Habitat loss, introduced invasive animals and plants, and climate change are all having a devastating effect on their ongoing survival. You can protect nature by sticking to tracks, using all kauri cleaning stations, and giving wildlife plenty of space.

Te Henga Walkway
📷: Martin Sercombe | Creative Commons

Check out these 7 DOC walks and reserves this summer:

For the young family

Dome Forest Lookout Walk

This easy walking track, just 10km north of Warkworth, takes you through a mixed podocarp and broadleaf forest to a lookout. Enjoy views across the Mahurangi Peninsula to the Hauraki Gulf.

Dome Forest lookout
📷: Neil Ihaia | Creative Commons

Waterfall Track, Pohuehue Scenic Reserve

Read the ‘description’ section of the main Moirs Hill page for the details on Waterfall track.

Head 66km north of the city for this easy 30-minute return track that takes visitors through native forest to a small waterfall. A more advanced track, the Beverly Price Loop Track, continues on from this point.

Family fun tip: When you’re out on a walk with the little ones, keep an eye out for native species. Spot the Horoeka / Lancewood, both the juveniles and the older trees, a tree that looks starkly different depending on its life stage. Look out for tiny carnivorous sundew plants on the banks of tracks in native forests. Search for the black mamaku tree fern – not all tree ferns are the silver fern.

For the fitness guru

Te Henga Walkway

Arguably the best coastal track around! It’s a well-known walk but deserves a mention. The cliff top walk from Bethells Beach (Te Henga) to south of Muriwai Beach (or reverse) reveals stunning views of Auckland’s wild west coast. It’s 10.3km one way. DOC has recently re-opened the track section that was closed by slips between Raetahinga Point and Constable Road. Signage is in place on the track and we advise walkers to exercise caution when crossing this section.

Te Henga Walkway
📷: Martin Sercombe | Creative Commons

Mount William Walkway

Enjoy kauri, hard beech and king ferns enroute to the summit of Mount William on this 1 hour 30 min (one-way) tramping track approximately 50 km south of Auckland City.

Walking back down the south side of Mount William 
📷:  Stephen | Auckland Hiking Group 

Beverly Price Loop Track, Pohuehue Scenic Reserve

Read the ‘description’ section of the main Moirs Hill page for the details on Beverly Price Loop track.

Take the Waterfall track and continue onto the Beverley Price Loop Track for a tougher 6km tramping track through native forest.

For the history buff

Fort Takapuna Historic Reserve

This coastal reserve is located next to Narrow Neck beach in Devonport. Enjoy great views of Rangitoto while exploring historical military structures. Check online for interesting resources on its background.

The view from inside a WW2 4-inch gun emplacement, looking towards Rangitoto
📷: Brooke Jamieson | DOC

For the water lovers

Te Hāwere-a-Maki / Goat Island Walkway

Combine this as part of a day trip to the area. This 1.5-hour return walk traverses the coast part way to Cape Rodney. Cool off with a swim at the Goat Island Marine Reserve after your walk. This is New Zealand’s oldest Marine Reserve, where you can also snorkel, scuba or kayak.

View on Goat Island walkway
📷: Marisa S | Creative Commons

Tracks that remain partially or fully closed

  • Goldie Bush Walkway – This walk near Muriwai remains closed long-term to protect Kauri.
  • A section of Okura Bush Walkway – This walk near Long Bay remains closed long-term to protect Kauri. However, the Karepiro Bay to Stillwater section is open.
  • Omaha Cove Walkway – This walk in Leigh is closed due to a significant land slip.
  • Moirs Hill Walkway – This walk remains closed due to motorway construction works.

The Auckland region has a wealth of beautiful natural environments, wildlife living right on our beaches, marine reserves and 47 pest-free islands. DOC maintains a range of tracks in the Auckland region and on the islands of the Hauraki Gulf, including Aotea/Great Barrier Island.

For more places to go, jump online to the DOC website to find parks and locations in the Auckland region.

No Comments

Be the first to start the conversation!

Leave a Reply