There were "heaps" of walking trails around Auckland when we move in. We spent most of the weekends heading to the West or North - for a day or for half a day. Now most are closed. So a new challenge - to find some places to walk that can be done from Auckland. In a day. 

We give these a simple 3-category grading of 1-5:

   Views: what views, if any, does the walk offer?

   Technical difficulty: technical challenges including any scrambling, slippery track, stream crossings etc. 

   Excitement: does it have a WOW factor after you finished? 

No  descriptions of the walks or how to get there - plenty of these online already. You might also want to get the Walking in Waitakere Ranges - a handy reference book. 

Omanawanui -- CLOSED :-(

Although relatively short - between 2 and 3 hours - this is one of our most favourite: exposed walk with fantastic views, little bit of scrambling, varied terrain. Great in both winter and summer. Gets a little slippery after rain - but not unbearable as some bush walks. 

For more of a Kiwi experience combine with Kura to sprinkle with some bush walk and a few (easy) river crossings. Alternatively, head back the same route after reaching the top. Do not miss the little diversion to a viewing point. 

__ Views: 4.5/5
__ Technical difficulty: 2.5/5
__ Excitement factor: 4/5

Te Aroha

With just under 2h drive this is a good 1-day option - or you can combine with another walk in the area and add a night in Tauranga, Rotorua or even Te Aroha (think of the hot springs in winter...). 

The track up Te Aroha is intense but relatively short and takes just over 2h on a good day: will be much harder when wet. A couple of spots offer a view down to the flat county of Waikato. Though, most of the time you will be in the forest. The views from the top are fantastic - except for the telecomm tower maybe. Still, well worth the hike. 

To make it a nice half day adventure go down via the Tui Mine Loop Track. The track offers nicer views than the Summit track and, in spring, is filled with forest scents. There is also a small waterfall and a pool to dip your feet in on a hot day.

The forest is more varied than most bush walks around Auckland - a nice change after too many bush walks.

Both tracks are boggy and more challenging when wet.

__ Views: 4/5
__ Technical difficulty: 2/5
__ Excitement factor: 3/5

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