No trip to New Zealand North Island is complete without scuttlin’ along some of the best Auckland hiking trails. Surrounded by sea, coastal forests, and rugged volcanic mountainscapes, Auckland is a paradise for hikers. And no matter which part of New Zealand’s largest city you find yourself in, there’ll be a relaxing walk or a spectacular hike nearby.
Ready to experience the ultimate in Auckland outdoor adventure? Get your fill of fresh air on one of these top-rated walks in Auckland, New Zealand…
Best walking & hiking trails in Auckland
Rangitoto Island Summit Track
If you’ve got an extra few days in Auckland, a day trip to Rangitoto Island is a must. Home the youngest and largest of Auckland’s almost 50 volcanoes, Rangitoto Island is famous for both its mega volcanic cone and native pohutukawa forest.
While there’s plenty of places to catch breathtaking views on Rangitoto, one of the best ways to experience the island is on the Rangitoto Summit Walk.
This popular trek stretches 4.6 kilometres from Rangitoto Wharf through native bush to the peak of the island’s namesake volcano. Reaching the 259-metre-high summit, you’ll be treated to spectacular vistas over Auckland and the Hauraki Gulf.
Best of all, this easily accessible hike is at your fingertips with a short 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It’s no wonder that Rangitoto Island is considered among the best Auckland day trips and a must-see destination when you’ve got an extra 24 hours in Auckland.
North Shore Coastal Walk
Famous for its coastal white-sand beaches, Auckland’s North Shore region is a favourite getaway for Aucklanders looking to escape the bustle of the city. And there’s no better way to experience the area than by spending a day enjoying one of the best hikes in Auckland: the North Shore Coastal Walk.
Stretching 23 kilometres from Long Bay in the north to Devonport in the south, this long but easy walking trail covers nearly the entire gamut of Auckland sightseeing opportunities.
Along the way, you’ll scoot past some of Auckland’s most popular beaches like Long Bay Beach and Murrays Bay, and through beach towns like Milford and Takapuna alongside towering cliffs and beautiful coastal forests.
In normal conditions, the North Shore Coastal Walk should take about seven hours from start to finish.
Stony Batter Historic Reserve
Although the walk itself measures in at just two kilometres, the Stony Batter Historic Reserve on Waiheke Island might end up squeezing away much of your day.
Located on the far eastern fringes of Waiheke Island, the Stony Batter Historic Reserve isn’t quite as accessible as other Auckland walking trails. Aside from the 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, you’ll need to scoot 48 kilometres east of Matiatia Wharf by road on your Waiheke Island day trip to get in on the action.
WWII history buffs, in particular, will have their patience and perseverance rewarded. Along the trail, you’ll weave between rocky outcrops interrupted by gun emplacements once used to defend the island. On your visit, also be sure to check out the reserve’s famous WWII-era underground tunnels.
If you’ve still got time left after your hike, grab a relaxing glass of wine and a meal at one of Waiheke Island’s best wineries. Located just south of the reserve on the eastern shores, The Man O’ War Winery is a fine choice. Otherwise, travel back to Oneroa and pull up a seat at the Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant, a local favourite for celebs visiting New Zealand.
Te Henga Walkway
A subsection of the 70-kilometre-long multi-day Hillary Trail, the Te Henga Walkway is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Waitakere Ranges without much of a fuss.
This popular hiking trail stretches 8 kilometres from Bethells Beach in the south to Muriwai Beach in the north, following the rugged coastline’s jagged turns along towering clifftops.
The point-to-point Te Henga Walkway will take around 3 to 4 hours to complete. To avoid backtracking, it’s a good idea to arrange for return transportation at the trail’s end.
Coast to Coast Walkway
Traversing the entire width of Auckland’s isthmus, the Coast to Coast Walkway is the best walk in Auckland for experiencing the urban breadth of New Zealand’s largest city.
Extending 16 kilometres between Waitemata Harbour and Manukau Harbour, the trail swings by some of the most popular places to see in Auckland including Viaduct Harbour, Mount Eden, Auckland Domain, and One Tree Hill.
The trail is a particularly good fit for urban travellers who are keen on walking in Auckland without much planning. On the 4- to 5-hour journey, there are plenty of places to eat & drink along with several laid-back parks & recreational spots to rest your legs.
Best of all, no matter which direction you head on the trail, you’ll be able to easily catch public transportation or a taxi back to your Auckland digs.
Not to be confused with the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua further south on New Zealand’s North Island, Rotoroa Island lies a few kilometres off the eastern coast of Waiheke Island.
For over 100 years, this small Hauraki Gulf island was a rehabilitation centre for alcohol & drug abuse and off-limits to the public. These days, it’s a testament to New Zealand’s effective nationwide conservation efforts. After reintroducing hundreds of thousands of native plants and eliminating natural pests, Rotoroa Island now thrives with flora & fauna unique to the region.
The best place to start exploring Rotoroa Island is along the 45-minute-long North Tower Loop Track. Along the way, you’ll run into several historical buildings including a jail house, school house, and chapel, as well as an exhibition centre.
If you venture a little further afoot, make sure to keep on the lookout for the famous sculpture by Kiwi artist Chris Booth, located on the southern tip of the island.
Tamaki Drive Walk
The beauty of Auckland’s harbourfront city centre comes alive as you trot along the Tamaki Drive Walk. Extending from Quay Street along the Auckland Waterfront to the upscale suburb of St Heliers, this boardwalk is a favourite for walkers, joggers, and bikers wanting to soak in Auckland’s more urban seaside charms.
The 10-kilometre path, running alongside its namesake roadway, flips past several popular Auckland points of interest including Orakei Domain, Mission Bay Beach, and St Heliers Beach. Along the way, there are also plenty of great food & drink stops to fuel up whether it’s a quick coffee, beer or glass of wine by the bay or a taste of delicious local & international cuisine.
Long Bay Regional Park Coastal Walk
If you want to get a taste of the North Shore without walking its full 24-kilometre coastal route, the shorter Long Bay Regional Park Coastal Walk should be more than enough to satisfy your cravings.
Traipsing over farmland and through pristine beaches, this lovely 5.8-kilometre walk is one of the easiest coastal hikes near Auckland. The trail is well-maintained, and, on your visit to Long Bay Regional Park, you’ll get to enjoy fantastic views over the shoreline and the gulf.
The full walk should take only about two and half hours, but stretch it out with a leisurely stop at beautiful Long Bay Beach to indulge in some of Auckland’s finest seaside pleasures.
Mercer Bay Loop
Intrigued by all of the hiking opportunities in the Waitakere Ranges? Add the Mercer Bay Loop Path to your Auckland walks wishlist.
This looped walking path starts at the end of Log Race Road between Piha and Karakare, negotiating steep cliff edges alongside dramatic sweeping views of the rugged coastline.
Although the path is only one kilometre long, it’s not one of the easiest walks around Auckland. The descent to Mercer Bay at the loop’s apex is quite difficult, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared with proper footwear (i.e. hiking shoes, not sandals!).
Hunua Ranges Regional Park
Located about an hour’s drive southeast of Auckland, Hunua Ranges Regional Park is undeniably among the top destinations for hiking in Auckland. There’s more than a handful of great walking trails here that traverse the park’s lush forests.
Although many of the walks are currently closed to prevent kauri dieback, walkers can easily see one of the park’s major highlights by taking the popular Hunua Falls Path.
Climbing from the Wairoa River to a lookout platform overlooking the 28-metre-high Hunua Falls, this short 0.8-kilometre track is an easy introduction to the park. Once you reach the lookout, you can continue on towards the base of the waterfalls to explore the area further.