Auckland is a lush city by the sea with plenty of greenery to soothe the eyes. When you’re looking for a bucolic escape, get behind the wheel of your Auckland Airport car rental and head for one of these peaceful parks.
Also commonly referred to as The Domain and the Wintergardens, this is a vast green area surrounding the Auckland War Memorial Museum, which sits high up on a hill. The Auckland Domain is the city’s oldest park, developed around an extinct volcano. It comprises a number of sports fields, as well as duck ponds, gardens, and band rotunda. Whether you’re keen for a picnic, stroll or space to kick a ball around, the Auckland Domain has you covered. It is just a few minutes’ drive from the city, on Park Rd in Grafton.
Western Springs is a wildlife sanctuary perfect for picnicking and bird watching. It centres around a natural lake, and is in turn surrounded by several other attractions, including the Auckland Zoo, Museum of Transport and Technology and Western Springs stadium. Footpaths, boardwalks and walking tracks make it easy to wander around, getting up close with nature. In the water you’ll see eels and fish as well as ducks, geese and swans. It’s common to bring along some bread to feed the birds with. On land you’ll likely encounter native pukeko and and Australian coot among the plants and wetlands. There is a playground for children and a small area for rock exploration.
Cornwall Park and its central attraction, One Tree Hill, is a favourite spot with locals. The farmland houses frolicking spring lambs while the mature trees provide shade for picnics on the grass. A playground and multiple barbecues are the perfect backdrop for hours of family fun. Gardens and groves and a big rotunda are other features of Cornwall Park. There’s also a classy restaurant and function centre. It is a 15 minute drive from central Auckland in Greenlane.
A lesser known park, Sir Barry Curtis Park is even larger than the Auckland Domain. Its grounds encompass wetlands, a playground and skate park, and a number of interesting sculptures. The park is still under development, with final completion set for 2022, to include an amphitheatre and sports complex. It is locatedin Flatbush, a 30-minute drive from Auckland city or Auckland Airport by car rental.