Best Walks in Auckland

The 14 Best Instagrammable Auckland Walks for Your Feed

I was never an “outdoorsy” person. Hiking boots? More like torture devices. Fresh air? Meh, give me central air conditioning any day.

But then one simple walk sparked a love affair with Auckland’s walking trails that I never saw coming. From the rugged coastlines to the lush rainforests, I traded in my heels for hiking boots.

So, even if you’re like me—someone who wouldn’t be caught dead in anything resembling activewear—I urge you to give Auckland’s walks a chance. And lucky for you, I know all the top walks that will make you fall in love with Auckland, one step at a time.

1. Massey-Cossey Loop Track

Length: 8.0 km

Time: 2 hrs & 41 min

Forget fancy filters and staged selfies—if you want Instagram-worthy snaps that’ll make your friends gasp, conquer the Massey-Cossey Loop Track. Every turn on this walk explodes with trees, and the air hums with birdsong (tui serenades and cheeky fantails).

You’ll stumble upon Hunua Falls, a cascade gushing down moss-covered rocks like a curtain, before passing by the serene Cossey Dam. 

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling adventurous, climb over the swing bridge and pretend you’re Indiana Jones—minus the snakes, of course.

2. Puhoi Lookout Track

Length: 5.3 km

Time: 1 hr & 31 min

This walk is like a choose-your-own-adventure book for your feet with Panoramic views that’ll make your jaw drop faster than a Puhoi pie. It’s like nature putting on a show just for you.

And the climb? Well it’s not too challenging. Besides, the payoff is worth every bead of sweat. 

At the top, you’ll be greeted by a 360-degree feast for the eyes: the winding Puhoi River snaking through the valley, and maybe even a glimpse of the Hauraki Gulf shimmering in the distance. 

Pro Tip: On this trek, you’ll spy Kauri giants and there’s always the chance of spotting fantails, or maybe even a shy kiwi peeking out (keep your eyes peeled!)

3. Wenderholm Perimeter Path

Length: 4.2 km

Time: 1 hr & 22 min

The Wenderholm Perimeter Path packs a punch when it comes to stunning scenery, sweat-inducing climbs, and enough birdlife to make Hitchcock jealous. 

Think forest trails dappled with sunlight, dramatic cliffs overlooking the sparkling Hauraki Gulf, and pockets of regenerating bush buzzing with native birds. 

We’re talking tui serenading you, cheeky fantails flitting through the trees, and maybe even a glimpse of the majestic kakapo if you’re super lucky (and quiet!).

But this ain’t no walk in the park (literally). This moderate track will get your heart rate up as you conquer some decent inclines, especially the climb up Maungatauhoro, an ancient volcanic cone with views that’ll have you whipping out your phone. 

And on a clear day, you might even spot the Coromandel Ranges in the distance.

Pro Tip: Mind the advice about protecting the local trees from Kauri dieback disease while you’re on track. Stick to the paths formed and don’t forget to clean your shoes before and after your walk to help protect these magnificent trees.

4. Suspension Bridge Loop

Length: 4.2 km

Time: 1 hr & 18 min

Stroll through lush, mossy forests, birdsong chirping in the air, sunlight dappling through the leaves. Until you come face-to-face with a swinging suspension bridge swaying gently over a sparkling stream. 

Adrenaline kicks in as you cross, taking in the breathtaking views of the Wairoa Reservoir below. The loop keeps twisting and turning, leading you past waterfalls, hidden lookouts with panoramic vistas,and even a chance to spy on some cheeky native birds. 

And let’s not forget the steep climbs and winding stairs that’ll get your heart pumping. (And maybe it’ll get your legs burning, but hey, that’s what the view at the top is for!).

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for cheeky fantails flitting through the trees. They’re the local rockstars of the forest!

5. Takapuna Beach to Milford Reserve

Length: 8.4 km

Time: 1 hr & 44 min

This walk is totally doable for everyone. Whether you’re a fitness fiend or a casual stroller, this path is your oyster. 

Take it slow and soak in the scenery, or crank up the pace and pretend you’re on a mini-coastal marathon (sunglasses and windswept hair are optional but highly encouraged).

And then, when you come across Milford Reserve, it unfolds like a picture-perfect picnic paradise.

Pro Tip: There’s a sneaky little cafe tucked away in the reserve, perfect for refuelling with a post-walk latte (or ice cream, no judgement).

6. Tiritiri Matangi: Wattle Track

Length: 2.6 km

Time: 42 min

Craving a walk that’s both totally doable and bursting with the wow factor? Look no further than the Tiritiri Matangi Wattle Track in Auckland.

This short-and-sweet trail takes you on a winding journey through native bush and restored forest. Think of it as a nature documentary you get to walk through, minus David Attenborough narrating (although you can totally channel your inner wildlife enthusiast if you want!).

You’ll be surrounded by pohutukawa trees, ferns, and the calls of cheeky birds like tui, bellbirds, and saddlebacks. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might even spot a rare kokako, a native bird that was once on the brink of extinction but is now making a comeback.

The track’s got a gravel and boardwalk path that makes it easy to navigate, even if you’re sporting flip-flops (although sneakers are always a good idea, just in case).

Pro Tip: The track leads you up to a lookout point with epic views of the Hauraki Gulf.

7. Dome Valley Summit Track

Length: 1.6 km

Time: 2 hours

The climb’s a heart-pumper, with steps that wind through lush native bush. But hey, that just makes the epic lookout at the top even sweeter.

Picture-perfect vistas of Warkworth, the Mahurangi Peninsula stretching out like a green blanket, and the Hauraki Gulf sparkling in the distance. It’s a guaranteed Instagram-worthy moment.

And if you’re a real die-hard explorer, the track keeps winding all the way to Govan Wilson Road. But hey, no pressure to conquer the whole thing in one go—even a short burst to the lookout is totally worth it. 

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check the Department of Conservation for track closures and updates before you head out.

8. Waikowhai Walkway

Length: 7.2 km

Time: 1 hr & 47 min

Craving a walk that’s got it all? Sun-kissed beaches, hidden coves, and enough harbour views to fill an Instagram album? Then lace up your shoes and get ready to conquer the Waikowhai Walkway.

Time your walk at low tide and strut your stuff on the sandy stretch. During high tide, simply hop onto the well-maintained tracks that weave through reserves and parks, with secret coves and waterfalls (yes, waterfalls!).

Pro Tip: You’ll stumble upon relics of the area’s rich history, from Maori pā sites to World War II bunkers.

9. Omanawanui Track

Length: 4 km

Time: 2 hrs & 15 min

The Omanawanui Track is a walk that’ll have you grinning like a possum munching on guavas. Dramatic cliffs hugging the rugged coastline, waves crashing like cymbals, and endless ocean views that stretch further than your worries.

But this track’s got some pep in its step. You’ll have to wind your way through the forest, clamber up wooden stairways, and conquer those knobby hilltops that reward you with beautiful panoramic views.

Pro Tip: Whatipu Beach, a golden gem at the track’s end, is the ultimate chill zone. Build sandcastles worthy of King Neptune, take a dip in the water (if you’re brave!), or just sprawl out on the sand and soak up the vitamin sea.

10. Mercer Bay Loop Track

Give credit to:

Length: 2.1 km

Time: 54 min

The Mercer Bay Loop Track in Auckland is basically a nature walk with all the trimmings. Windswept cliffs overlooking the wild Tasman Sea, secret coves tucked away like pirate treasure, and a Maori marker sculpture keeping watch over it all.

Plus, the track’s nice and easy—totally doable in under an hour (or stretch it out and soak in the views—no judgement).

Pro Tip: History buffs, this one’s for you: the trail winds past the remains of an old radio station,once a key link in New Zealand’s communication chain. And then there’s Te Ahua Point, a secret lookout used by Maori warriors centuries ago.

11. Karamatura to Mt Donald Maclean Track

Length: 11.6 km

Time: 4 hrs & 9 min

If you’re itching for a leg workout that’ll leave you feeling like a superhero, then the Karamatura to Mt. Donald McLean track needs to be at the top of your list.

Forests carpet the Waitakere Ranges, with ferns as tall as you and trees that stretch towards the sky like green giants. Peek through the leaves, and you’ll catch glimpses of the sparkling Manukau Harbour and the rugged coastline beyond.

And the stairs will have your calves singing soprano by the time you reach the top. There are just so many of them, winding and turning like a never-ending staircase to Narnia. It makes reaching the top of Mt. Donald McLean feel like conquering your own mini-Everest. 

But the views are worth every bead of sweat. Panoramic vistas stretch all the way to Auckland City—it’s like taking a selfie with the whole of Auckland as your backdrop—seriously, Instagram won’t know what hit it.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for cheeky native birds along the way. You might even spot a kakapo if you’re lucky!

12. Long Bay Coastal Track

Length: 3.4 km

Time: 50 mins

If you’re tired of sand between your toes and crave a coastal walk that kicks things up a notch, the Long Bay Coastal Track is your new bestie.

Start by winding through wetlands full of squawking birds, then climb up, up, up through lush bush until you’re practically high-fiving the clouds. From the top, prepare to take tonnes of photos.

Pro Tip: The track leads you past hidden bays where cheeky rock pools beg to be splashed in, and if you’re feeling brave (and the tide’s low), you can even scramble down for a closer look at the marine life in the Long Bay Okura Marine Reserve. 

13. Duder Regional Park Loop

Length: 6.3 km

Time: 1 hr & 43 min

This circular trail is like a nature smoothie for your soul, blending stunning coastal views and rolling farmland. Lush bush tracks, farm paths dotted with baa-ing sheep, and even a sneaky little beach detour.

This walk is the perfect blend of challenge and chill, guaranteed to leave you feeling invigorated and sun-kissed.

Pro Tip: Keep an eye out for kiwi birds! These feathered fluffballs are masters of camouflage, but with a bit of luck (and maybe a dash of kiwi-whispering magic), you might just catch a glimpse of their fuzzy little behinds.

14. Rangitoto Island Summit Track

Length: 5.6 km

Time: 1 hr & 50 min

The Rangitoto Island Summit Track takes you to the heart of a dormant volcano with epic views. The track winds through fields of ancient lava flows, some still jagged and dramatic, others softened by time and now covered in a lush cloak of green—the world’s biggest pohutukawa forest, no less!

As you huff and puff your way up (okay, maybe it’s not that hard), the view keeps getting better and better. It’ll make you gasp for air (and not just from the climb)—it’s that good.

Pro Tip: If you’re feeling extra adventurous, take a side trip to the spooky lava caves along the way.