The magnificent Domain is a jewel in central Auckland, offering vast expanses of green to run, play and picnic on, as well as duck ponds, bush walks and formal gardens. As the city’s oldest park, it was developed around the cone of an extinct volcano. Stroll through the peaceful Wintergardens or pop up to the Auckland War Memorial Museum.
A wildlife sanctuary surrounding a natural lake, Western Springs is next to the Auckland Zoo, Western Spring Stadium and Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT). Explore the network of paths and tracks, feed the ducks, and look out for the various birdlife that call the park home, including pukeko and teal. Picnic tables, toilets, barbecue facilities and an impressive playground round out its offerings.
The Pah homestead overlooks Monte Cecilia Park in Hillsborough, offering a taste of old England, with magnolias, figs, and oak amongst its veritable forest of trees. Enjoy the views across the harbour and north to One Tree Hill. The homestead also houses a cafe and a collection of contemporary New Zealand art.
With public barbecue facilities, a playground, rotunda, restaurant and toilets, Cornwall Park is well equipped for a day out. Farmland meets shady parkland, where you can stroll through the tree-lined paths, marvel at the spring lambs, or detour up One Tree Hill to be wowed by the vistas below and see the Campbell memorial up close. The park is popular with runners, newlyweds, singles, couples, and families – anyone and everyone. Parking is plentiful, though fills up throughout the day.
Feeling adventurous? Venture out to the wild west where the coast awaits you. A number of caves are there begging to be explored, between the craggy cliffs and sprawling wetlands. There’s toilets, picnic tables, a campsite and even a lodge, should an overnight stay tickle your fancy.