Auckland is a sprawling city, spread out over many suburbs. To really appreciate its natural beauty, you should get out of the centre with a Hertz Auckland car rental and head for one of the far-flung yet easily accessible walking tracks listed below.
Located out west amidst the rugged beauty of Piha, Kitekite Track is a short, family-friendly walk that can be completed in under an hour. You’ll enjoy magnificent views from the Kitekite Falls (popular for a cooling-off swim during summer) and might even spot some long fin eels around the rocks. Pools and streams abound among the native bush, where plant life includes silver ferns, kauri, and nikau palms. Keep your ears out for the call of the tui.
Another easy walk, this one is less than a kilometre long. It’s your chance to see the spectacular Hunua Falls from all angles. Climb through the forest, including ponga, totara, and cabbage trees, from the Wairoa River to the lookout platform, then wind your way back down at leisure. This walk can be done alone or combined with one or more of the many other trails in the Hunua Ranges.
Shakespear Regional Park is a wildlife sanctuary that occupies the tip of Whangaparaoa Peninsula, and is rich with birdlife from pukeko to peacocks. In the spring, you might spot newboan lambs, and year round you’ll enjoy unparalleled views of the Hauraki gulf and islands. Tiritiri Track runs for 5km and can be done in just a couple of hours.
Shakespear Regional Park is less than an hour from Auckland’s CBD and you can even camp there with advance bookings, giving you time to swim, fish, kayak, or dive as you please.
The North Shore Coastal Walk begins at Long Bay Regional Park and continues through the numerous white sandy beaches on the coast, finishing down in Devonport. Wear sturdy walking shoes as the terrain is variable, from cliff tops to footpaths. You can opt to walk parts of the trail as there are plenty of entry and exit points (a popular section runs between Milford and Takapuna Beaches, which takes in plenty of local heritage) or complete the whole stretch, which takes about 7 hours.