Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM (Winter)
10:00 AM - 6:30 PM (Summer)

Time Required : 6 hours

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Western Springs, Auckland Overview

Western Springs is a wildlife reserve surrounded by a lake, in Auckland. The park adjoins the Auckland Zoo, Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT), Chamberlain Golf Course and Western Springs Stadium, other major attractions in the area. The Western Springs Park Walk is a popular walking trail of 1.8 km that most people cover within half an hour or so. Owing to its periphery, the Western Springs Park hosts the annual Pasifika Festival that draws a large number of tourists globally.

The Western Springs Park is rich with marine life and it supports eels (Orea) and a variety of fish like inanga, banded Kokopu, amongst others. Eels (shortfin and longfin) are an important part of the cultural and ecological makeup of Western Springs. The Maori name for Western Springs, “Te Wai Orea”, loosely translates to “waters of the eel.”

On the shores and the wetlands, one can find native varieties of Pukeko, Teal, Australian Coot and Shovelers in areas that encourage regenerating different types of flora. You will also find eucalyptus, willows and cabbage trees growing in the park.

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Things to Do

  • Not only a beautiful place to enjoy the serene environment, but Western Springs Park is also a hotspot for fun-filled activities. One can enjoy barbeque while on a picnic here with family and friends (picnic tables are provided).
  • The Fukuoka Garden is a traditional Japanese garden that boasts a waterfall, a pond, and a tea place that was inaugurated in the year 2017. It is situated at the entrance of the park.
  • The garden is open to the public.
  • There is no entry fee.
  • The garden is open from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM in winter and from 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM in summer.

History

Before the European settlers arrived, Western Springs was inhabited by the indigenous Maori community. William Motion, a Scottish settler took a piece of the land after colonialisation for development. The main source of water was rainfall on slopes of volcanoes Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta, Mount Albert and Maungawhau. As Auckland developed, this water was not sufficient anymore.

A brick pump house was constructed which was attached to a steam engine. Soon the authorities realised that this high on maintenance structure is just a temporary fix to the water supply issue. 

After considerable effort, the Auckland City Council Zoological Gardens were formed to the North of the lake, camping ground to the West, the Golf Club (Chamberlain Park) to the South which forms the Western Springs. 

Tips

  • The entry to the Western Springs Park is free of cost.
  • Do not miss out on the free tram ride here.
  • There is adequate wheelchair access for specially-abled people.
  • Proper sanitation amenities are available.
  • Dogs are strictly not allowed on the premises.
  • Do not feed the birds and eels.
  • Carry your own water as there is no facility for drinking water.
  • Plan your visit on a sunny day.
  • Do not try to catch fish or eels as it is strictly prohibited. Fine of NZD 500 is imposed if someone is caught doing so as it is illegal.
  • Best time to visit is during the weekend or during public holiday.

How To Reach Western Springs

  • Located at 23 km away from Auckland Airport, the most convenient way to get to Western Springs is by driving your self up there.
  • Public buses ply the route from Auckland to Western Springs and the journey takes a little over an hour. 
  • Taxis also drive the route and the journey takes under half an hour. 

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