Best Island Walks
Great adventure trails
- Last updated: 10/01/2012
As a city surrounded by islands, there are more than enough great walking trails and scenic spots near Auckland to keep any day tripper happy as a pig in mud. They all require a ferry journey in the Hauraki Gulf, but once you hit your destination the possibilities are endless.
One of the most popular - and educational - walking days out for both visitors to Auckland as well as the whole family is to the beautiful Tiritiri Matangi Island. A Department of Conservation open nature reserve designated for the well-being of our endangered birds, it has a truly magical feeling about it. A complete circuit of the island will take around five hours of easy walking with no hills of note and well marked paths.
Rangitoto Island is also popular with tourists due to its otherworldly feel - walking on lava takes some getting used to - and truly spectacular views. It will take around an hour to get to the summit depending on how well you handle unsealed paths, and decent footwear is a must if you really want to enjoy yourself without twisting an ankle. We also advise taking a picnic (or at the very least snacks) if you're planning a few hours at the crater as there is no food or drink for sale on the island, and in the summer months a water bottle is essential.
Waiheke Island is quite another story, with a plethora of activities, accommodations and places to be wined and dined that grows by the year. It is home to numerous walks from the difficult to the downright easy, many of which can be reached easily by bus or hire car. We love the two well-marked walks that explore the area around Stony Batter, another DOC controlled reserve that makes a great spot for a picnic followed by an after-lunch hike.
How to get there:
Fullers run ferries to Rangitoto and Waiheke every day of the week, whilst the Kawau Kat ferry service travels to Tiritiri Matangi several times a week. Always check timetables before travelling.
Editorial by Katherine Robinson
Updated by Editor 10th January 2012