10 Parks To Visit in Auckland
If there’s anything that’s true about New Zealand, it is the natural beauty that stands out to both tourists and locals.
This is abundantly obvious if you’ve watched the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy – the rich landscapes of New Zealand were captured with finesse.
It’s these natural sights that leave us in awe of the country and speaks volumes of how its locals have taken great care to maintain it.
Whether it is in the less populated regions or Wellington, Canterbury or even Auckland, it is that feeling of being one with Mother Nature that makes New Zealand special.
So, if you’ve been planning to visit New Zealand, then it’s a good idea to begin with the parks that you will find in Auckland.
10 Parks That Are a Must-Visit in Auckland
Because there are a number of parks in Auckland and throughout New Zealand itself, making this list was a difficult task.
That said, here are 10 parks that one can easily get to in Auckland:
1: Wenderholm Regional Park
Widely considered to be the very first (and still most beautiful) regional park in Auckland, this park gives visitors a first-hand view of the mouth of Puhoi River and the surrounding forested headlands. One can find Wenderholm Regional Park quite easily, since it is a few minutes past Orewa. Views of the Hauraki Gulf and Couldrey House and Gardens will not disappoint you.
2: Albert Park
The Albert Park was laid out as far back as the 1880s, where most of the site is part of the Albert Barracks. Along with a fountain replete with cherubs and dolphins spouting water, visitors can find a bronze statue of Queen Victoria, and the Boer War Memorial. To say the least, it is a quiet spot that is frequented at lunchtime. One can also visit the Auckland Art Gallery in the vicinity.
3: Cornwall Park
Commissioned as far back as 1901, this park offers more than just a pleasant view, thanks to a number of activities such as birdwatching, picnicking, walking, jogging, bicycling, as well as watching the lambs and their ewes. One can also find the Auckland Stardome Observatory, Acacia Cottage, as well as a playground. One can visit the One Tree Hill domain that is run by the Auckland Council and is known for offering scenic views.
4: Auckland Domain
Spanning almost 75 hectares and just 5 minutes away from downtown Auckland, this park is considered to be the oldest in the city. It is also one of the largest parks in the city. Located nearby is the Pukekawa volcano, and one of the city’s most popular attractions – the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Other attractions include the Wintergardens, Duck Ponds and the Formal Gardens.
5: Chelsea Estate Heritage Park
Spanning 39 hectares, this park is located on the North Shore and has the Birkenhead War Memorial Park and Library very close by too. It is the largest coastal park in the city. The Chelsea Sugar Refinery, the views of the Waitemata harbour, as well as the Auckland skyline. Home to a variety of plant and bird life, one can use the walking trails that are a prominent feature of this park.
6: Long Bay Regional Park
Being a seaside regional park, it is located right next to the Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve, and is only about 30 minutes from Auckland. Its main attraction is almost one kilometer of sandy beach, along with green hills in the background. Swimming, taking a dip, as well as the walking trails are activities that can be enjoyed when visiting this park. One can also enjoy a BBQ on the beach or even check out the Vaughan Homestead that will remind you of early New Zealand Life.
7: Shakespear Regional Park
Located at the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, this regional park is located 50 kilometers from Auckland. It also has the distinction of being the most-visited park in New Zealand while being an open sanctuary for farming, conservation and recreation. In particular, it is a regional park that is known for protecting threatened wildlife. When visiting Shakespear Park, one can also get to Army Bay – a spot that is considered excellent for picnics. It’s a good idea to try the Lookout Track, which will give you an excellent view of the Hauraki Gulf Islands, apart from taking you past Gully Waterfalls.
8: Waitakere Ranges National Park
Spanning almost 16,000 hectares of forest, waterfall and beaches, it’s no wonder this park clearly identifies with the ‘great outdoor’. Most visitors are advised to find the Visitor Center before they set out to enjoy almost 250 km of tracks, beaches, waterfalls and cliffs. In other words, there is an abundance of opportunities when it comes to observing wildlife in their element. Don’t forget to check the panoramic views that one can obtain of the Hauraki Gulf and Manukau Harbor.
9: Selwyn Domain
In order to visit this scenic park, that is about 1 kilometre in length, you’d have to take the East Tamaki Drive to the Mission Bay beach suburb. Probably the most important sight is that of the water feature known as the Trevor Moss Davis Memorial Fountain at Rangitoto Island. Get some fish and chips and relax in the park while you take in the view. Of course, there’s a children’s playground as well.
10: Tawharanui Regional Park
It takes a while to get to this park since it is almost 80 minutes from downtown Auckland. Almost 588 hectares in size, this park is also home to Anchor Bay, widely considered to be one of New Zealand’s finest beaches. In particular, these are white-sand beaches that are known to attract the surfing crowd, but the wetlands, native coastal forests and shingled bays hold just as much charm for other visitors as well.
As mentioned earlier, while these 10 parks are but a few in the city of Auckland, they are still worth visiting, especially if you love nature.
Take some time from the daily grind to visit these parks – it will be worth every moment when you visit Auckland.
Are there any other parks in Auckland that you have visited? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments section below!