Alex O'Brien


Fri, 6 Nov, 2015

New Auckland Great Rides list released

New Auckland Great Rides list released

Auckland Transport has released a list of Auckland's ten most scenic bike rides.

This year there are 10 Great Rides, up from six last year. Kathryn King, Auckland Transport's walking and cycling manager, said the cycle routes were very popular.

"These great rides offer a way to get out with family or friends and discover a new part of Auckland by bike. The Auckland region has some stunning natural beauty and what better way to enjoy it than on a bike," she said.

1. Matakana Trails

The 14km Matakana Trails ride boasts fantastic views, cafes and roadside stalls selling fresh produce. It travels through bush, farmland and rural communities. The track is gravel with one steep section so it's recommended for confident riders. It should take around an hour. A highlight is eight ceramic sculptural markers by Nick Charlton and the Morris & James Pottery featuring stylised maps of the area's topography.

2. Te Ara Tahuna Pathway:  Orewa Estuary

One of Auckland's busiest off-road paths, Te Ara Tahuna Pathway at Orewa Estuary takes riders on a 40-minute circuit through beach and estuary, quiet residential and park areas, and through bush trails. At 7.5km long, it's a great ride for people new to cycling, or riding with children on bikes or scooters. The path features tributes to the estuary's past as a significant food gathering place for Maori.

3. Green Route: Devonport to Takapuna

The Devonport to Takapuna Great Ride weaves through parks, mangroves, and heritage streets. The trail is links the North Shore suburbs of Devonport and Takapuna. It is 9.5km long and takes around 40 minutes. Along the way there's a nautical-themed playground at Northboro Reserve, chances to spot eels among the mangroves, and North Shore's oldest cemetery, founded in 1891. 

4. Hobsonville Point

This easy route loops through the former Air Force community of Hobsonville Point. The mostly flat, off-road trail is 8km long and will take about 35 minutes. Highlights include a historic wharf, outdoor art and a playground.

5. Twin Streams: Henderson Creek and Opanuku Stream

This is a beautiful but brief ride that follows the paths is a beautiful ride following the Henderson and Opanuku streams. It winds through planting including the international tree collection and Tui Glen, a historic pleasure park. Its 7.8km length should take around 25 minutes. And if two streams just aren't enough, never fear; the route links up with the 3km Oratia Stream shared path. 

6. Auckland Waterfront:  Britomart to Mission Bay

A fully paved route that meanders along the edge of Waitemata Harbour, this 7km route offers views across the water to Rangitoto and a chance to indulge in the eateries and shops at Mission Bay. It should take around 25 minutes one way.

7. Pakuranga Rotary Pathway

The Pakuranga Rotary shared path stretches 9km from Prince Regent Drive in Farm Cove to the Panmure Bridge, offering great views up and down the Tamaki River. The ride is well signposted and information panels provide historical information about the area. There are lots of picnic spots along the path, which is also home to the local favourite "snake" playground.

8. The Cascades Paths:  Pakuranga, Botany and Meadowlands

This 6km scenic route travels from Meadowland Dr in Somerville (near Botany Downs) to Lloyd Elsmore Park in Pakuranga - but there are plenty of side routes to explore as well. It links up with the Rotary Centennial Bike Trail in Lloyd Elsmore park, which has a host of challenges for children to learn to ride. It should take about half an hour.

9. Waikaraka Cycleway:  Onehunga to Mangere Bridge

This  7km ride is in two parts connected by the old Mangere Bridge. On the Onehunga side, 4km of concrete path hugs the Upper Manukau Harbour and passes alongside Waikaraka Cemetery. Once over the bridge, the route goes through the Kiwi Esplanade Reserve and continues around the shoreline. It ends at a gate to Ambury Farm Park, a perfect place for a picnic and an opportunity for the kids to see the farm animals. Highlights include stunning harbour views, bird nesting sites and an opportunity to fish off the bridge.

10. Wattle Downs

Touring a picturesque part of the Manukau coastline, the Wattle Downs path runs from Frangipani Avenue to Bluewater Place. It has many seats and picnic tables, opportunities to reach the water, and two playgrounds. It also links up with Manukau Golf Course for anyone who fancies a round to end their ride. The route is 10km.

Head to the Auckland Transport website for more information about these Great Rides and to download the "passport" associated with each route.

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