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Auckland 3 must-go short walks & hikes

  • 3 minutes

North Island, New Zealand

Family fun in Cornwall Park or hiking across a country at NZ’s narrowest point

Auckland walks for all seasons and fitness levels from heritage Devonport and Cornwall Park, a glorious open space complete with cafes and ice cream stops. Relish the chance to soak up panoramic views as you hike across Auckland from coast to coast.


Cornwall Park

Why choose this walk?

Cornwall Park has plenty of space to set up an impromptu game of cricket, leisurely explore the heritage sites of the park including nearby One Tree Hill with its vantage point over the city. There are cafes to relax while watching dogs getting their exercise. The working farm gives urban dwellers a glimpse of rural life with spring a hot favourite with baby lambs competing in the cuteness stakes.

Cornwall Park, Aucland, New Zealand
Cornwall Park, Auckland, NZ
  • Heritage site with Acacia cottage, Auckland’s oldest surviving cottage, built in 1841 and the Huia Lodge Discovery Hub. This is a great place to take kids with its explanations of the history of the area from pre-European Maori occupation to Dr John Logan Campbell who gifted his farm to the city in 1901.
  • Cornwall Park flows seamlessly into Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill, an extinct volcano, Māori archaeology site with its visible terracing and kumera pits
  • The highest point in Auckland for sweeping views of the city, harbour and Hauraki Gulf makes for an ideal photo location

Cornwall Park has wide open spaces galore for families and individuals to relax, refresh and revive in Cornwall Park. A half day in the park is an antidote after the long haul flight to New Zealand or perhaps you are isolated in your home. Visit Cornwall Park and enjoy the vistas and space.

Getting to Cornwall Park from Auckland CBD

The park distance from Auckland centre is 8.5km. If you are using a taxi / uber get your ride to drop you at the  visitor centre. You can  walk either further up the hill to ‘one tree hill,’ the highest point for the view or make your way slowly through the park.

The visitor centre specialises in Auckland based activities with a wealth of brochures, pamphlets, and information sheets to guide visitors.

Auckland, New Zealand. Spring time at local Cornwall Park
Spring time at Cornwall Park, Auckland, NZ
Max in Cornwall Park, Auckland autumn among the leaves, Auckland, New Zealand
Cornwall Park, Auckland, NZ

What to see and do in Cornwall Park

  • Brisk hill climb up One Tree Hill to observe panoramic views of Auckland
  • Stroll through mature trees and parkland to observe New Zealanders walking the dog, jogging or indulging in a BBQ perhaps you will see a bride & groom
  • Observe farm animals in an urban setting
  • Savour a coffee in the park cafes
  • Check out the visitor information centre
  • Take a peek at the historic Acacia cottage situated opposite the visitor centre
  • Simply collapse and rest on the many seats or on the mowed lawn

Within the park is a working farm. City dwellers have an opportunity to see the backbone of the New Zealand economy on its four legs. The cow and sheep are iconic New Zealand symbols. New Zealand does not have large wild animals rather it is inhabited by large domesticated cows and sheep. Millions of them in the last count. And both animals are often part of the visitor experience.

Tourists and locals alike flock to the park to observe, stare, take selfies and watch sheep and cows do their continual munching on the grass. In spring the calves and lambs provide a cuteness factor to the pastoral scene.

Cornwall Park children sheep interaction, Auckland, New Zealand
Cornwall Park children sheep interaction, Auckland, NZ

Climbing to the peak of Old Tree Hill

Maungakiekie / One Tree Hill is a 182-metre (597 ft) volcanic peak in Auckland, New Zealand. Volcanic activity traces are still evident with the classic craters and scoria rocks which are scattered throughout the park hillsides. The obelisk was erected for the city’s centenary celebrations in 1940. It is a well known Auckland landmark.

Jogging and fitness exercises

Paths through trees or jogging across mowed lawn is encouraged. There are also cyclists in the park. Public toilets do not have shower facilities.

Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill, New Zealand
Maungakiekie, One Tree Hill, Auckland, NZ

Food and feast

Cornwall Park has a casual cafe, roadside stalls and a fine dining restaurant. As well there are numerous BBQ designated areas where fires can be lit.

Public parks and people

Parks are people watching sites and Cornwall Park is no different. It is a popular area for the Asian tourist wedding backdrop. A honeymoon in New Zealand with photo opportunities in the park against a background of munching cows makes Cornwall Park a favourite Instagram spot.

Devonport heritage walking trails

Why choose Devonport?

Devonport is a gem of historic buildings with cafes, second hand bookshops, galleries and a quiet local beach. The quaint main street, with its Victorian facades is a photo moment. Then it has a brisk walk along its coast to the summit with its panoramic views of the harbour with Torpedo Naval Museum as an option or continuing to North Head historic military site.


Devonport’s quaint main street, with its Victorian facades, is a photo moment. Then it has a brisk walk along its coast to the summit with its panoramic views of the harbour.

Getting to Devonport

From Auckland CBD board the Devonport Ferry for either a half day or full day exploring Devonport.

Your walk starts as a period promenade from the Windsor Reserve on the sea side of the King Edward Parade.

Devonport historic northhead gun emplacements, New Zealand
Devonport historic northhead gun emplacements, Auckland, NZ

Buildings and places of note:

  • Elizabeth Apartments originally built for naval women, now private luxury apartments
  • Devonport Yacht Club, one of the oldest in the country and includes notable New Zealander Sir Peter Blake, winner of the Americas Cup
  • Memorial commemorating Tainui canoes arriving in Waitemata Harbour
  • Gothic style Holy Trinity Church
  • Old Power Station has been converted into apartments. At this point you could climb Flagstaff Lane to the top of Mount Victoria.
  • Mt Cambrai Reserve is a good place to rest, picnic and take in the scenery. Across the reserve, paths take down to Devonport Museum.
Devonport Naval Museum children's exploration, New Zealand
Devonport Naval Museum, Auckland, NZ

Devonport Museum 31 Vauxhall Rd

The museum is a goldmine of information with local stories, objects supporting the narrative. The Museum is only open in the weekends. Remember to check opening hours if it is a must do activity. The Museum is staffed by volunteers.

Torpedo National Naval Museum

64 King Edward Parade

Devonport is a navy town and this is reflected in the history and strong naval influences in the area. The Museum describes its role as, “The National Museum of the Royal New Zealand Navy is the guardian of the Royal New Zealand Navy’s memory. Preserving the Navy’s physical, social and cultural heritage, telling its story and educating New Zealanders both young and old about the role the Navy has played in the development of New Zealand is a crucial responsibility and one that the Navy Museum takes great pride in.”

The Museum is open seven days a week and has guided tours which can be booked upon arrival. Admission is free however donations are encouraged.

Coast to coast walk across Auckland

Why choose to walk coast to coast across Auckland?

Because you can walk across an entire country in a day. It’s fun to think about this fact and enjoy the challenge of coast to coast Auckland. Where else could you walk across an entire country. Auckland is the place to be. This is a classic walk from Waitematā to Manukau.

Walking coast to coast across an entire country is a path tracking New Zealand’s narrowest neck of land. Start in Viaduct Harbour on Auckland’s east coast and travel west through urban landscapes, beautiful parklands and over dormant volcanoes to finish 16km later at Manukau Harbour.

There are plenty of opportunities to enjoy walking in Auckland from regional parks (over 80 parks and gardens) to beaches and reserves. Check the Auckland Regional guide for further holiday inspiration.

Memorial commemorating Tainui canoes arriving in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand
Memorial commemorating Tainui canoes arriving in Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, NZ

Related Articles

TOP-10 Auckland places for kids, travel guide, activities: Best Bits has great ideas in the hidden corners of Auckland for family walks. Find out what is written under the Auckland Harbour bridge by the workers who constructed the harbour crossing. Kids will love time spending in the Chelsea Sugar Heritage park with a promise of a tour and treats on the pink people mover.

From a 1950’s heritage farm nestled in the picturesque Scandrett Regional Park to Chelsea (Sugar) Heritage Park there is plenty of variety to ensure kids do not utter the word, ‘bored’, check 5 Heritage Regional Parks near Auckland, day trip: guide by Best Bits.


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