Walk from the Tasman Sea to the Pacific Ocean in less than a day! No matter if you’ve been living in Auckland for years, you just moved here or are on holidays and want to see more of the city then Queen Street and the waterfront, the 16km Coast to Coast Walk Auckland is for you!
The Coast to Coast walk starts either in Onehunga, Manukau Harbour and leads to Princess Wharf in Auckland Central on the Waitemata Harbour, or you can walk it the other way around. Walk through Auckland’s suburbs and explore some of the most popular parks and pass five of the approximately 50 volcanoes in the area, such as Mt. Eden and One Tree Hill.
On the Coast to Coast Walk Auckland
Our walking group met at the train station in Onehunga as we are all living South or East of the city centre and it’s a lot easier and cheaper (speak: free) to park the car next to the train station and the city.
From the station, it’s still about 1km to the official starting point of the Coast to Coast Walkway. We made our way up towards park number one, as we walked past lovely Victorian houses. Jellicoe Park is not very big but pretty and has an interesting history. Did you know it used to be a defence point against the Maori? The suburb of Royal Oak neard Jellicoe Park also used to house the very first Zoo of Auckland, back in 1911. The neighbours complained about the smell and the crouds, so after about a decade, the animals were transferred to Western Springs after the new Auckland Zoo was built.
After another few kilometres through Royal Oak on the Auckland Coast to Coast, the first of the two distinctive natural landmarks of Auckland lay in front of us: One Tree Hill.
One Tree Hill used to be famous for its Totara tree on the top of the hill. It has been chopped down by someone and was replaced with a range of pine trees, planted by Sir John Logan Campbell. However, only one survived. The tree on the top was attacked by people with chainsaws a couple of times. It had to be taken down in the year 2000 because it was becoming a danger to the public. Since then, locals also sarcastically call it (N)one Tree Hill.
The hill is a volcano and has three craters, one of them is still intact. Since it’s overgrown with grass, you wouldn’t really think it’s a volcano and the fact it’s dormant and hasn’t erupted in the past 20’000 years helps forgetting, too.
The view at the top is amazing. The mountain is 187 meters above sea level and gives a great 360° view from South Auckland via Rangitoto Island and all the way north.
At the feet of One Tree Hill we stopped for a coffee at Cornwall Park Café, a lovely café in a pretty, very English looking house. The park itself seems to be quite popular for photoshoots and to just hang out, as there were a lot of people! But the vast grass, the huge trees, the café and the BBQ stations are goods reason why the park is so popular.
About half an hour further down the Coast to Coast walk Auckland, we stood at the bottom of yet another famous volcanic mountain: Mount Eden. Years back, you used to be able to drive to the top by car, but now driving is only allowed for city tours with special permits. Everyone else only has to walk up on foot. It’s another grassy hill that makes it difficult to imagine it actually is a volcano, even though the crater is very visible here. Since Mt. Eden is closer to the Auckland city centre, you get a great view of the Skytower and the Harbour Bridge, which makes it a popular spot for both tourists and locals.
A little later, we walked through Auckland Domain, which technically also is volcanic but it erupted such a long time ago it doesn’t even have a proper crater or a hill anymore. Auckland Domain the home of Auckland War Memorial Museum, the Domain Wintergardens and a huge park. We only walked through a small piece of it on our Auckland Coast to Coast walk, albeit a very picturesque one, complete with ponds and a lot of big, shady trees.
The last of the parks was supposed to be Albert Park right in the Auckland central, but somewhere we took a wrong turn and ended up walking along Beach Street to get into the city centre. We also cheated a little and cut a few hundret metres off the walk. We didn’t go all the way to the end of the Auckland Coast to Coast on Princes Wharf but stopped at Mexico restaurant, where we had a reservation for lunch and were a little late already.
I wouldn’t say we cheated, since we started our Coast to Coast walk from the train station instead of the official start and thus added a kilometre which we “lost” again at the end.
About the Coast to Coast Walk Auckland
If you haven’t been in Auckland for long and want to get to know the city properly, or you have, but don’t really know your hood all that well (happens to all of us), I would really recommend you do the Coast to Coast Walkway. It’s not one of those walks where you see Auckland’s wild and rough natural wonders as in the Waitakere Ranges. It’s an actual city walk through Suburbia. I find this is nice for a change, too. Especially for the ones who like a little bit of nature, but not too much nature at once. And don’t like muddy shoes. 😉
The Coast to Coast walk is part of the Te Araroa trail that spans all the way from the tip of the North Island to Bluff in the south of the South Island.
How long does the Auckland Coast to Coast walk take?
The walk from the Tasman Sea (Onehunga) to the South Pacific Ocan (near Viaduct Harbour) is 16km long. It took us 4.5 hours in total, including the break at Cornwall Park and lots of photo ops along the way. The walk is almost completely on sealed roads and paths and apart from the 2 Maungas very easy and mostly flat. Coast to Coast walk Auckland is one of the easier Auckland Walks but should not be underestimated due to its length.
How do I know I’m still on the Coast to Coast Walkway?
There are signs along the Coast to Coast walk. If you start from Auckland central, the signs will be yellow you have to follow will be yellow. Coming from Onehunga, the same signs are blue. That way you know you don’t accidentally walk in circles when following the signs. That said, the signs are rather small and can easily be overlooked. You might have to get used looking out for them.
I would recommend starting in Onehunga, no matter where in Auckland you live. You can park your car for free at Onehunga train station. On top, you will be hungry at the end of the walk and can treat yourself to a nice meal after the walk a lot easier city-side. You earned it!
To get to Onehunga it’s the easiest to take the train from Britomart. They are leaving often, but to be on the safe side, please check their timetable.
Are you located towards East Auckland? Duder Regional Park is a seaside park just waiting for you to go exploring!
What to bring for the Coast to Coast Walk Auckland?
Being a suburbian walk, there’s no special gear needed. Just wear comfortable sneakers, pants and shirt and you’ll be fine. Being New Zealand, where the weather changes without much notice, don’t forget to pack a wind or rain jacket, a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. And water! Always bring enough water!
By the way: There is also a cycle version of the coast to coast that is slightly different. Make sure you give this one a try, too!
Have you hiked the Auckland Coast to Coast walk? Which direction did you walk it? Or got questions? Fire away in the comments below or send me a message!
New Zealand is a tramping paradise. There are so many amazing hiking trails on the North Island and South Island, I’m sure there’s one that tickles your fancy.