East Auckland. Probably doesn’t make you think of much unless you’ve lived there. The North Shore, West Auckland, South Auckland and the central city all easily bring to mind images of new houses and East Coast Bays, the Waitakeres and black sand beaches, Polynesian communities and endless warehouses, and the Sky Town and waterfront. Out East though? Here’s some ideas for inspiration…
At the end of Bucklands Beach lies probably the most scenic golf course in Auckland, which ends in stunning views of the Hauraki Gulf and a iconic 1940s Art Deco radio station. Beautiful spot and great destination for a good 50km return cycle from the city, particularly if you follow the coastal pedestrian path hugging Sunnyhills.
Howick Historical Village
About as good as you’re going to get in terms of New Zealand history, the village is a collection of restored and relocated buildings dating from the 1840s to 1880s. Ex soldiers were granted Fencible cottages in exchange for incepting any warring Maori parties heading toward Auckland. Definitely worth a few hours of your time to visit.
Beachlands and Maraetai
Beautiful stretch of coastline, well connected with cycle ways through Omana Regional Park. Beachlands is an idyllic place, had some great times at Sunny Bay and wandering around the coast from it. Maraetai round to Duder is one of the great drives in Auckland, as the road hugs the coast, though little narrow for me to risk on a bike.
Duder Regional Park
Auckland is spoilt with parks but Duder is rather nice, offering easy walking and views of Brookby/Maraetai hills, the Hunua Ranges and Hauraki Gulf islands.
Far less popular than the Waitakeres despite being very similar example of native NZ bush, there are some good walks and mountain biking tracks to be found, along with some pretty large reservoirs providing Auckland with most of its water.
Also if you want to learn to fly Admore Airdrome is the place to do. Took an introductory flying lesson there (deals often come up on GrabOne). Didn’t give me the flying bug but was fun to basically drive in 3D over the Hunuas.