No trip to New Zealand North Island is complete without scuttling along the best Auckland hiking trails.
Auckland is surrounded by sea, coastal forests, and rugged volcanic mountainscapes. It’s no surprise that it’s an absolute paradise for hikers. No matter which part of New Zealand’s largest city you find yourself in, there’s 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.
Rangitoto Island is home the youngest and largest of Auckland’s almost 50 volcanoes. The island’s famous for both its mega volcanic cone and native pohutukawa forest.
There are plenty of places to catch breathtaking views on Rangitoto. But 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. They extend to Auckland city to the west and over the Hauraki Gulf.
Best of all, this hike is easily accessible. The island is a short 25-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland. It’s no wonder that Rangitoto Island sits among the best Auckland day trips. When you’ve got an extra 24 hours in Auckland, it’s a must-see destination!
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.
This long but easy walking trail stretches 23 kilometres. It extends from Long Bay in the north to Devonport in the south. On the walk, you’ll cover 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. You’ll also tramp through popular beach towns like Milford and Takapuna. (And, of course, 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
The walk through Stony Batter Historic Reserve measures in at just two kilometres. But walking the trail might end up squeezing away much of your Waiheke Island day trip.
The Stony Batter Historic Reserve is located on the eastern fringes of Waiheke Island. It’s not quite as accessible as other popular Auckland walking trails. After a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Auckland, you’ll need to scoot across the entire island to get here. It’s 48 kilometres east of Matiatia Wharf by road 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.
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 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. It’s a local favourite for celebs visiting New Zealand and one of the best wineries around Auckland.
Te Henga Walkway
The Te Henga Walkway is a subsection of the 70-kilometre-long multi-day Hillary Trail. The trail is a great way to experience the natural beauty of the Waitakere Ranges without much of a fuss.
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
The Coast to Coast Walkway traverses the entire width of Auckland’s isthmus. It’s the best walk in Auckland to experience the urban breadth of New Zealand’s largest city.
The trail extends 16 kilometres between Waitemata Harbour and Manukau Harbour. It swings past 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. There’s also several laid-back parks & recreational spots to rest your legs.
Best of all, no matter which direction you head on the trail you won’t get stuck. From any trailhead, you’ll be able to catch public transportation or a taxi back to your Auckland digs.
In name, it’s easy to confuse Rotoroa Island with the geothermal wonderland of Rotorua further south on North Island. But the two couldn’t be more different.
Rotoroa Island lies a few kilometres off the eastern coast of Waiheke Island. It’s a popular Auckland day trip destination thanks to it’s idyllic landscapes. (Sorry, no geothermal action here!)
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, Rotoroa is a testament to New Zealand’s effective nationwide conservation efforts.
Over the years, NZ reintroduced hundreds of thousands of native plants and eliminated natural pests. Now, Rotoroa Island 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. The sites include a jail house, school house, and chapel, as well as an exhibition centre.
If you venture a little further afoot, keep on the lookout for the famous sculpture by Kiwi artist Chris Booth. It’s located on the southern tip of the island.
Tamaki Drive Walk
The beauty of Auckland’s harbourfront city centre comes alive along the Tamaki Drive Walk. The path extends from Quay Street on the Auckland Waterfront to the upscale suburb of St Heliers.
The boardwalk is a favourite for walkers, joggers, and bikers. It’s a fantastic place to soak in Auckland’s urban seaside charms.
The 10-kilometre Tamaki Drive Walk runs alongside its namesake roadway. It flips past several popular Auckland points of interest including Orakei Domain, Mission Bay Beach, and St Heliers Beach.
Along the way, you can also fuel up at plenty of great food & drink stops. Grab 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
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.
This lovely 5.8-kilometre walk traipses over farmland and through pristine beaches. It’s one of the easiest coastal hikes near Auckland. The trail is well-maintained and mostly flat. 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 about two and half hours. 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 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. It negotiates 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. You’ll want to make sure that you’re prepared with proper footwear (i.e. hiking shoes, not sandals!).
Hunua Ranges Regional Park
Hunua Ranges Regional Park is located about an hour’s drive southeast of Auckland. For adventurers, it’s 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.
Unfortunately, many of the walks in the Hunua Ranges are currently closed to prevent kauri dieback. Not all hope is lost. Walkers can see one of the park’s major highlights along the popular Hunua Falls Path.
This short 0.8-kilometre track is an easy introduction to the park. It climbs from the Wairoa River to a lookout platform overlooking Hunua Falls. At 28 metres high, the falls are quite a majestic sight!
Once you reach the lookout, you can continue on towards the base of the waterfalls to explore the area further.