I have gone on some pretty amazing tramping trips since we’ve been in New Zealand, but I did something pretty amazing today: the Coast to Coast Walk here in Auckland City! Starting from the north at the Waitemata Harbor, we walked 16 kilometers across New Zealand to Manukau Harbor on the south side of Auckland.
We started the trek at Prince’s Wharf in Viaduct Harbor.
We passed the Ferry Building (operating since 1912), some crazy pigeons, and the clocktower at the University of Auckland. The walk took us down a few roads we’ve never been on before. It was a great way to see more of the city: we saw some cafes we’ll definitely hit up in the near future 🙂
We then passed through Albert Park, which we learned used to be a Maori village! Once upon a time there was a defensive pa and farmland there, but now it’s just a gorgeous park! (See a video with clips of me here!)
Next we tramped through Auckland Domain!
Here we are on some boulders. Peek-a-boo!
I love the Domain. It’s so friggin’ beautiful! In fact, I often run here!
We stopped for a snack at the duck pond. Hannah once had a rather traumatizing encounter with a goose in New Jersey, so once they got closer to us, we took that as a cue to get back on our feet.
The next leg of the walk was up Mount Eden, which we’ve hiked before.
The view was as spectacular as ever, plus there is a massive, fascinating crater (Mt Eden’s a volcano, after all). We refueled on pasta salad once we got to the top as we took in the view.
On the way down, we discovered a whimsical tree swing! Even cooler than that, we met some Kiwis who showed us what a few of the trees and birds were, including the iconic Tui bird! They are hard to snap a picture of, though. But here’s me flying on the swing!
The walk took us through a satellite campus of the University of Auckland. Along the way, we saw the native kauri trees, Pohutakawa flora, old men playing cricket in Melville Park, and an impressive fountain.
Double Rainbow – what does it mean?!?!?!
Then we entered Cornwall Park, which is actually the real Heaven, I think. There were so many Kiwis spending their afternoon picnicing, sunbathing, reading, playing rugby, flying kites, and just generally frolicking around amongst the green grass and trees. Auckland’s oldest wooden house, built in 1841, is located in the park, too. It was neat to look inside.
Here we began our climb up One Tree Hill, where a bunch of olive groves are inhabited by sheep! (Look, Julia, you were right! There are lots of sheep here!) “Cow Crossing!”
One Tree Hill (nothing to do with Chad Michael Murray) is the largest and most complex volcanic fortress in the Southern Hemisphere. Though it is in fact a hill, it has a lot more than just one tree. Beats me where the name comes from.
More marvelous views at the top, including a field with various
sacred rock formations (Mount Eden has real sacred rock formations, the ones here are made by random tourists). We had hummus and veggie sandwiches at the top!
Finally, we descended One Tree Hill and began the last leg of the walk! Passing through Jellicoe Park and the rustic town of Onehunga, we finally made it to the other side of the country.
Onehunga Lagoon marked the end of the Coast to Coast Walkway. WE DID IT!
It took us close 5 hours to walk the 16 kilometers (or 10 miles) across New Zealand. That includes ascending two volcanic cones…and taking 4 picnic stops. Our legs were quite exhausted, but we felt awesomely accomplished. It was such a memorable way to see some of Auckland, while getting a pretty substantial workout in–it was hard work! Tramping is certainly one of my favorite ways to stay active while traveling 🙂
We thought about walking back home (NOT – lol), but we decided to take the bus 😉
Done any cool hikes lately?