With over 140 tracks and only 40 mins drive from Auckland CBD the Waitakere’s are a perfect place for tramping through bush and along the west coast beaches. However there’s plenty of other great tracks within 40 mins drive of the CBD. These half day walks reward with stunning views, some decent exercise, and generally very few other people on the tracks.
Waikowhai Park to Lynfield Cove
The largest patch of native bush in central Auckland, only 20 minutes from the CBD. Beautiful views across the Manukau Harbour, lovely spots such as Wattle Bay, plenty of hills for a good workout, and hardly anyone around.
Chelsea Estate Heritage Park to Kauri Point Centennial Park
Starting just up the road from the fetchingly pink Chelsea Sugar Factory, there are some great tracks through the bush, with stunning views over the Waitemata Harbour back toward the city.
Okura Bush Walkway
I’ve written about this previously as probably the best day walk close to Auckland, only half an hour from the city. It has it all – estuary and sea views, coastal and beach track, and historic buildings.
Mt William Walkway
Just off the turnoff onto State Highway 2 toward Tauranga this track takes you up Mt William and Puketutu. At 369m and 376m respectively, these are some of the highest points in the region. This becomes obvious when you see the views and the rather large radio and satellite masts at Puketutu.
Arguably the best island tramping in the Hauraki Gulf (other than Great Barrier Island, and easier to get to). Doesn’t quite have the height of its neighbour Rangitoto but has more tracks, far fewer people, and some great views.