Weather :

Timings : 7 days a week (7:00 AM to 6:00 PM)

Time Required : All year round

Entry Fee : Free of Cost

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Coast to Coast Walk, Auckland Overview

Ranging from Waitemata Harbour to Manukau, the Coast to Coast Walk is a 16 km hike through Auckland. The walk gives one a glimpse of Maori culture and the breath-taking natural beauty of Auckland. The Coast to Coast walk gives you glimpses of hills, gardens, spectacular architecture and rich heritage enveloped in a mind-boggling topography. This walkway shows you the best that Auckland has to offer from museums to colleges, sports clubs, volcanic sites, the iconic Cornwall Park and the One Tree Hill. New Zealand’s narrowest stretch of land is the isthmus of Auckland. The isthmus is 9 km from north to south and a little less than 2 km east to west. This small terrain that connects Waitemata Harbour and the Pacific Ocean to Manukau Harbour and the Tasman Sea was used by the Maoris for porting canoes. It offers the greatest inland waterway in New Zealand, the Waikato River. The Coast to Coast Walk also passes through Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain.

3000 acres of isthmus land was acquired by New Zealand’s first governor, Captain William Hobson from the Ngati Whatua chiefs in the year 1840. The land has a triangular base stretching 12 km approximately along Waitemata southern shore with Maungawhau or the Mount Eden at the apex. However, the Maoris continuously fought for land and converted volcanic cones into pa sites (their indigenous residential area).

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Route of the Walk

The Coast to Coast Walkway in Auckland extends from the Waitemata Harbour to Manukau Harbour.

The Coast to Coast Walk begins from the Viaduct Harbour. While on your way, bask in the beauty of the Waitemata Harbour before continuing on to Albert Park and Auckland Museum located in the Auckland Domain.

When you leave the Domain, make sure to visit Outhwaite Park. From there, make way to the Eden Park adjacent to Maungawhau.

Through the Melville Park that is home to Auckland’s women hockey, cricket and croquet club, reach Cornwall Park and One Tree Hill Domain, marking the end of the walkway.

Sightseeing

Auckland’s Coast to Coast walk is enveloped by landmarks in practically all directions. Major ones are as follows -
  • Walking north you will find an old volcanic chain called the Coromandel Range.
  • Towards the east, look for the lifted Greywacke Bulk of the Hunua Ranges.
  • Towards the south, spot another volcanic chain known as Bombay Hills.
  • Making your way through the South West direction of the walk, look for the Manukau Harbour.
  • Towards the West of the Coast to Coast Walk lies the Waitakere Ranges that are worth seeing. Also, you can find the remains of a now-dormant volcano range.

Bird Spotting

Say hello to the birds en route. Native birds like blue kingfishers (kotare), fantail (piwakawaka), and tui - known for a white throat tuft and a melodious call, and the large wood pigeon (kereru) can be found free-flying in the area. Other birds include sparrow, blackbird, rock pigeon, black and white magpie, bright red and green rosella.
Kotare
(Source)

Landscapes and Climate

The landscapes have a touch of modernity and urbanisation yet stays true to its Maori roots. With climate on the warmer side, appropriate rainfall, this area is blessed with a good forest cover, and exotic and native foliage dating back to the 19th century is a feature of the walk. The Coast to Coast Walk gives you a taste of the colonial past which is reflected in its street styles and plantations. For example, oaks growing from English acorns, trees imported from London, to name a few. The colonial heritage is further underscored by the grandeur of Princes Street villas, known for their palatial verandahs.

The Maoris have vowed to not only protect but also use the natural products for their day-to-day use in the most sustainable manner.

Volcanoes and Topography

Volcanic Sites

The volcanoes of the range are still active and young. The earliest eruptions took place under the isthmus nearly 50000 years ago. The Coast to Coast Walk has volcanic sites which are -

  • Albert Park - The park is now a green patch, a part of Central Business District. It is a small almost non-existent volcano.
  • Auckland Domain - Auckland Domain has central scoria cone, called Pukekaroa, and the surrounding mound from its initial eruption: the tuff ring. The Coast to Coast Walk crosses the scoria cone and exits over the tuff ring to pass an adjacent scoria cone at Outhwaite Park.
  • Maungawhau - Maungawhau or Mount Eden witnesses rock walls made from extracts from old lava. The walkway crosses Maungawhau summit, the highest summit of the isthmus at a height of approximately 196 metres.
  • Maungakiekie - Maungakiekie or the One Tree Hill through which the Coast To Coast Walk passes over the summit as high as 183 metres.
Mount Eden crater
Source

Additional Information

  • It normally takes 4-5 hours to complete this trail -  from one end of New Zealand to the other.
  • The Coast to Coast Walk is family friendly and quite safe for group tours too.
  • However, a general level of fitness is a prerequisite for undertaking this trail as there is plenty of climbing. There is normal level difficulty otherwise.
  • The walk spans from Waitemata Harbour to Manukau Harbour i.e two ends of New Zealand covering two parks, two summits and two coasts.

Facilities

  • There is an adequate facility of restrooms and drinking fountains all along the walkway.
  • Make sure to fill your bottles as the next one could be a few kilometres away.
  • There are a plethora of eateries, cafes and creameries that offer practically everything under the sun from a proper sit-down meal to grab a quick bite. Take your pick!
  • Majority of the walk is suitable for the differently-abled and is wheel-chair friendly. However, there could be some stairs around Melville Park and Auckland Teachers’ College. So, it is advisable to take the Mount Eden route and staying on the road and coming out on the Mountain Road.

How To Reach Coast to Coast Walkway

To begin the Coast to Coast Walk, you need to reach Auckland’s ferry terminal (or Downtown Ferry Terminal). The terminal connects the city of Auckland to the suburbs and islands of the Waitemata Harbour and Hauraki Gulf. Waitemata Harbour is the starting point of the Coast to Coast Walk.

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