Part of Te Araroa, the 3,000km way to walk the length of New Zealand, the 23km coastal section from Devonport to Long Bay is possibly the best thing about the Shore. It’s easily accessible, with footpaths much of the way, either over the cliffs, or along by the water. The beaches are uniformly lovely, sandy and with views of Rangitoto, and amazingly quiet given that 200,000 people live within 15 mins drive.
Devonport to Cheltenham
North Head makes for the perfect start, with stunning views over the Waitemata Harbour back toward the city, and lots of history well documented in one of the old naval buildings. Cheltenham Beach is one of the best on the walk, beautiful spot. Also handy for the excellent Vauxhall Cafe at 64 Vauxhall Road which does some of the best date scones around.
Cheltenham to Narrow Neck Beach
Unless it’s very low tide or you fancy a swim you’ll need to go along some roads to reach Narrow Neck Beach.
Narrow Neck Beach to Takapuna
Bit of a roady section, thus no photos.
Takapuna to Milford
You can walk all the way along the beach and rocks from the southern end of Takapuna Beach to the northern end of Milford Beach, which is possibly the best known (and most popular) section of the coastal walk. It’s also one which I’ve yet to take any photos of, despite having walked it a couple of times. I’ll leave it to your imagination 😉
Milford to Castor Bay
Nice spot, looking back toward Takapuna.
Castor Bay to Campbells Bay
Takes you through JF Kennedy Memorial Park and Rahopara Historic Reserve which sound nice. I probably ought to walk this section sometime…
Campbells Bay to Mairangi Bay
Campbells Bay is home to the flashiest bridge on the walk, and another nice beach.
Mairangi Bay to Murrays Bay
Mairangi Bay has a great section of the path formed out of the rock, and the Crows Nest Rise Walk that connects the two bays. Murrays Bay has a handy pier, generally home to at least one fisherman.
Murrays Bay to Rothesay Bay
Home to my favourite section on the beach, at least until I got within 20m of Rothesay Bay, was cut off by high tide and had to turn back and take the coastal path instead. Some very cool rock formations to be found close to the Rothesay Bay end.
Rothesay Bay to Browns Bay
Another good cliff top section, towards back toward Rangitoto, and a stunning first glimpse of Browns Bay, home to a war memorial.
Browns Bay to Torbay
Torbay itself is a bit of a town, but home to the Waiake beachfront, with it’s distinctive rock outcropping, and some pretty amazing trees at the northern end.
Torbay to Long Bay
Final stretch, up the hill along the road through Torbay, ending at Long Bay Regional Park, which is justifiably popular. It’s also well connected with half hourly buses back down the Shore, so makes for a good point to switch from walking to public transport back to the start…