Auckland is a bit of a runners paradise, with a huge variety of routes from flat runs by the sea, hilly runs through bush and forest, and even hillier runs up extinct volcanic cones. Here’s some of my favourites…
Orakei basin loop, 3.5km
Lovely little run with beautiful views of the basin and nifty boardwalk along by the railway tracks. Free parking at Orakei Train Station, cross over the road and run in either direction.
Tamaki Drive, 5km
The classic running / cycling route in Auckland, justifiably so given the views of the harbour, Rangitoto and numerous beaches from Okahu Bay to St. Heliers. Bit flat for my liking but I do particularly like the St. Heliers end, continuing up the hill (remains of a volcanic cone) to Achilles Point to take in the views while catching your breath.
Cornwall Park loop, 6km
My local route and therefore the one I’ve done the most. The loop basically follows the perimeter of the park on tracks rather than footpaths, easier on the joints. For some reason going in an anticlockwise direction seems harder than clockwise though my times are the same. If you want to add about 1.5km and more of a workout into the route throw in heading up One Tree Hill for some of the best views in town.
Waiatarua Reserve loop, 3km
Better known as a spot for dog walking but makes for a pleasant and fairly easy loop.
Panmure Basin and Mt Wellington loop, 8.5km
Little known but a rather scenic and easy basin to run around, balanced out by heading up Mt Wellington to work the thighs and enjoy the views.
Sunnyhills to Half Moon Bay, 8.5km
Flat and scenic run on dedicated coastal footpaths out to the ferry terminal and back. Little known but just over the bridge from Panmure, close to town.
Te Atatu Peninsula loop, 9.5km
Start at Harbourview People’s Park and head around the eastern side of the peninsula to the rowing club and back through town. Views toward the CBD and harbour bridge, and mostly off road.
Mt Hobson return, 10km
Mt Hobson is my favourite volcanic cone in Auckland, stunning views and no car access make this a great spot to run out to. If one volcano isn’t enough then add in Mt St. John, its close by neighbour, and perhaps One Tree Hill if you’re feeling energetic.