To be honest Once Were Warriors didn’t help. South Auckland doesn’t have the best reputation. I suspect the only reason many Aucklanders venture that way is on route to the airport or toward the Coromandel. If so they’re missing out on a some treats…
Auckland Botanic Gardens
Only started in 1968, it may not have the giant trees of Christchurch or Dunedin Botanic Gardens, but on a sunny day it’s an absolutely beautiful place for a wander. Free, with a must see sculpture trail every other summer, the gardens reward visiting throughout the year as different plants come into season.
Next door to the Botanic Gardens lie rolling hills, an atmospheric stream walkway through native bush and some of the best beginners mountain biking in Auckland.
A very odd place that clearly betrays its planned nature, seemingly revolving around a huge shopping centre and varies civic buildings. Particularly with the opening of the new AUT building on top of the railway station though the place is starting to change, and there is some interesting architecture for those who like such things. As I do…
Absolute gem of a place, only discovered by wondering what the large blob of green on a map close to the airport was. The reserve is used for show jumping three days of the year but otherwise near empty. Lovely views across the Manukau harbour, cows, oddly shaped show jumping bars and plenty of bird life make this rather special.
May not sound that promising. A private island formerly used as a quarry which can only be accessed by going through the Watercare Mangere Treatment Works. It is however one of the best bird spotting places in Auckland and the perfect destination for a cycle from town over the old Mangere Bridge, along to Ambury Regional Park, and over the causeway to the island before heading back.