The beautiful east coat of Auckland offers many amazing regional parks, hiking tracks, camping sites and beaches. With some of the best views only within 1 hour drive from Auckland downtown it is definitely a well worth area to explore. In this blog post we are going to overview Estralians favorite weekend getaway places around south-east Auckland.
Our absolute favourite, Waitawa Regional Park lies in the south-east coast of Auckland. It’s a well-developed park with various parking areas, camping options, picnic and BBQ areas as well as disc golf courses, horse back riding, mountain biking tracks and coastal walks. The amazing peninsula offers hikes with breathtaking views through a variety of landscape – from beach, bush and farm land. If you are not into hiking then the spectacular views over Karamuramu, Pakihi and Ponui Islands, with the Coromandel Peninsula and Waiheke Island in the distance, are also viewable from the higher lever car park.
As mentioned before, this beautiful park also features great coastal bays – Wairoa Bay, Waitawa Bay and a beautiful beach with calm water for water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, swimming etc.
Further up from the beach, at the very end of the peninsula is a boat ramp to get your vessel in and a large, beautiful wharf for fishing.
Waitawa Regional Park is located about 50km, ~1h drive from Auckland downtown. Show on map
Not far from Waitawa is Whitford Point Reserve. This place has beautiful scenery, a playground for children as well as public toilets and a car park, making it a great spot for a short picnic or all day BBQ.
On top of the scenery, this little reserve sits in the Kawakawa Bay and has a long, rocky beach on the right hand side and boat ramp to launch ones vessel. When we visited the beach it was quite busy with families, fishermen and water sport lovers. That said as the beach is long you can easily find a spot with no one within 10 meter distance…hence the picture below 😉
Whitford Point Reserve is located about 55km, ~1h drive from Auckland downtown. Show on map
Next one in our list is Duder Regional Park. This awesome park is located on a thin peninsula overlooking to the Hauraki Gulf. It has, various short and long tracks, park benches to rest your feet or enjoy the panoramic ocean views as well as picnic tables. It’s also a good place for camping, mountain biking, horse riding and fishing. While in the park you will be sharing the land with sheep and cattle so be calm and respectful when interacting with the animals.
When we visited the park at first it seemed as if the local cattle wasn’t very friendly. They would stare at us like we are a piece of meat 😀 And when we tried to cross the paddocks they stood firmly in front of the gate like “Guardians of the Galaxy”.
Duder Regional Park is located about 45 km, 50 m drive from Auckland downtown. Show on map
Pine Harbour is an amazing place to have your #SundayFunday brunch with friends while admiring a wide mix of world-class yachts and sailing boats on the background. Although the walking options in the harbour are limited, it is close to (4,5km) the beautiful Omana Regional Park and Maraetai Walkway.
The main reason why Pine Harbour is on this list is because we think that beside the beautiful vessels, this is a perfect spot to enjoy beautiful sunsets on your way back from east Auckland regional parks.
Another great marina with over 500 boats is the Half Moon Bay Marina. This marina has beautiful views over Rangitoto Island and it’s is situated right in the heart of Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf. While we found it to be a beautiful marina the real reason it has made our list is because of the 5,2 km long path that links Half Moon Bay Marina with Little and Big Bucklands Beach and Music Point.
Bucklands Beach Peninsular
A short walk from Half Moon Bay Marina is Bucklands Beach Peninsular. This is by far on of our favorite getaway destinations in Auckland. It has this “great beach holiday vibe” while still close to the CBD. On the west side of the peninsular there are two picturesque beaches with the most amazing sunsets pretty much every night.
Near Big Bucklands Beach, at the end of the peninsular, is Music Point. This little gem hosts great walks, outstanding golf course and spectacular panoramic views over Rangitoto, Browns, Motuihe and Waiheke islands.
Music Point is 15 minutes walk from Big Buckland Beach beach and about 25km, 30 m drive from Auckland downtown. Show on map
Eastern Beach in East Auckland
East from Music Point, on the opposite side of Little Buckland Beach is Eastern Beach. This beach tends to be more popular as it has a much longer sandy beach with sheltered waters and great picnic area on the southern end. At the southern end of the beach there is also a boat ramp providing access to different water sport activities.
Eastern Beach is 15 minutes walk from Litle Buckland Beach and about 22 km, 25 m drive from Auckland downtown. Show on map
GO FOR A HIKE. #Hiking days are always #gooddays