Best Auckland tracks that aren't in the Waitākere Ranges

With 42 tracks off limits due to kauri dieback, here are some alternatives.
With 42 tracks off limits due to kauri dieback, here are some alternatives. Photo credit: Getty

With the Waitākere Ranges off limits due to the rāhui, many are looking for alternative tracks to take a scenic nature walk around Auckland during these last few weeks of the summer.

Thankfully, Auckland is filled with gorgeous tracks for tourists and locals to hike without the risk of spreading kauri dieback.

Onetangi Reserve

The Onetangi Reserve on Waiheke Island is great for a leisurely nature walk, and takes around two hours to complete. Some sections of the trail are steep, but it's worth it for the beautiful native birds that live in the track's trees. Take the ferry from downtown Auckland to make a day of it.

Auckland Domain

Auckland Domain is a light, central city walk perfect for packing a lot of nature into a short amount of time. The 75 hectare park has it all - native bush, duck ponds, playing fields, and the Wintergardens. To make a day of it, head to Auckland War Memorial Museum at the top of the hill. 


The main Rangitoto trail is a four-hour walk to the top of the dormant volcano, worth it for the gorgeous views of Auckland. However, most of the walk is over rocky roads and tracks, so strong shoes are recommended.

Milford to Takapuna

Milford to Takapuna is a scenic seaside route beginning at the Takapuna boat ramp. Following along the shore line, this track traverses sand, rocks, and narrow paths, and takes just over an hour to complete. Just remember to check the tides before heading out.

Te Atatu Peninsula

Te Atatu Peninsula is a perfect family walk suitable for cyclists, pushchairs, and dogs on leashes. The loop track comes in at just over 6km, complete with a children's playground and picnic tables along the way.

Waikōwhai Manukau Harbour Coastal Walk

The 10km Waikōwhai walkway follows the northern shore of Manukau Harbour, between Lynfield Cove and Taumanu Reserve. The whole walk takes around five hours, but there are four shorter loops for those after a lighter stroll.

Duder Regional Park

Duder Regional Park is a short, light grassland track accessible to mobility-impaired visitors. While it's a decent hour's drive from the central city, it makes up for the distance with stunning coastal views.

Why is there a rāhui?

The rāhui was placed by mana whenua in November to stop foot traffic in hopes of minimising the spread of kauri dieback and to allow the forest to heal.

Forty-two tracks in the Waitākere Ranges are now closed to help prevent the spread of the disease, which kills one in five kauri.

A rāhui can be lifted after an agreed lapse of time - but not before the spread of kauri dieback stops, or a cure is found.

If visiting open areas of the ranges, or any kauri forest:

  • Clean all soil off your footwear and other gear every time you enter or leave a forest area with native trees and at every cleaning station
  • Use disinfectant after you have removed all the soil
  • Stay on track and off kauri roots

The permanently closed tracks are La Trobe, Robinsons Ridge, Summit, Nugget, Taumata, Walker Kauri, Bob Gordon, Lucy Cranwell, and Nihotupu Ridge.

The tracks temporarily closed, for at least the next two years, are Andersons, Christies, Clark Bush, Farley, Home, Kura, Lower Kauri, Maungaroa Ridge, McKenzie, Pukematekeo, Quarry, Twin Peaks, Upper Huia Dam, Wainamu Bush, Zion Ridge, Pole Line, RGB, Waitakere Tramline, Chateau Mosquito, East Tunnel Mouth, Ferndown, Filter, Forbes, Goodfellow, Hettig, Sharp Bush, Tom Thumb, West Tunnel Mouth, Arthur Mead, Peripatus, Tom Thumb Bypass, Waitoru Reserve, and Browne.