Today’s post will be a little different. Rather than recounting an adventure, I’d like to introduce you to three different parks around the Auckland area.
Monte Cecilia Park
Monte Cecilia is to the South of Auckland in Three Kings, between Mount Roskill and Onehunga. It’s a small park with lots of hills, trees, and open fields.
It’s a suburban park, and in addition to walking / jogging tracks it does command some nice Southward views toward Mangere. It’s a pretty neat spot for walking your dog, running around with the kids, or just hanging out.
There’s no disc golf baskets here, but you can play an obstacle course or use some of the more level fields for driving practice. Some folks associated with New Zealand disc golfing are trying to get a proper course installed here though!
I haven’t encountered any particularly interesting birds, but the more common ones can be seen flying around. There are some large shade trees and copious benches. I’ve spent quite a while here just sitting and reading.
If you need a small, calm place in South Auckland to hang out, have a picnic, or take the family, Monte Cecilia Park is a good bet.
A kowhai is a native tree, and wai is the Maori word for water. Unsurprisingly, Waikowhai Park is a park with kowhai trees by the water.
This park is also South of the city, not too far from Monte Cecilia. You can park in the main carpark off Waikowhai Rd or the auxiliary one off Cape Horn Rd. I chose the latter.
The Cape Horn Rd carpark is more peaceful and secluded, but it also involves climbing down (and, subsequently, back up) quite a few stairs.
And more stairs.
And even more stairs. This building appears to be an old changing room. As you continue to climb down the stairs you are invited to reflect on the impermanence of human endeavor.
Finally, dozens of meters of elevation and one existential crisis later, you arrive at the shoreline. Somewhat less picturesque with the tide out; to give you an indication for how long the climb took, it was high tide when I started (that’s a falsehood; it really only takes about 10 minutes. It’s just all stairs).
There’s actually much more park than this little bit here, and the park also abuts Wattle Reserve, which is reachable by a walking track. For once, I had no intention of going exploring, as I was here to read and hang out.
The bench is not the comfiest in the world, but the view is great. If you need a quiet spot to read or meditate and Monte Cecilia isn’t doing it for you, Waikowhai could be just the ticket.
Waitawa Regional Park
If both these parks seem too near, too small, or too…civilized for your tastes, Waitawa is there for you. Located north of Hunua and not too far from the infamous Duder Regional Park, Waitawa is just a bit less than an hour’s drive from the city. I take the Hill Rd exit toward the Botanic Gardens, take West Rd. out toward Clevedon, then head out of Clevedon toward Kawakawa until I hit the park.
The park itself is rolling pastureland, featuring some fairly tolerant sheep and nice views of the gulf to the North.
This cute little dog is named Tui; she belongs to Taylor’s neighbor. When we bring her to Waitawa she experiences the Call of the Wild. Unlike Buck in Alaska, when New Zealand dogs experience the Call they turn into sheep dogs :)
There’s a quite challenging disc golf course at Waitawa, though be warned: both Brendon and I have lost discs here (the disc I lost actually belonged to Taylor, making it even worse). The course is not very forgiving to errant throws.
The views make it worth it, though. Even if I end the day 20 strokes over par for the course, I’m glad I came out just because it’s so beautiful!
On paper the park isn’t too much bigger than Waikowhai and Wattle Reserve, but since it’s open pastureland it feels absolutely massive. Even the forested bits are quite sparse, which is again quite handy for disc golf players.
Even if you’re not a disc golfer, I reckon if you came out here for a nice stroll you wouldn’t feel like you wasted the trip.
And I leave you with Tyson, Tui, and my backpack demonstrating how to chill.
I hope you enjoyed this nice stroll through some nice parks! Next time, please join me and my friends for a fun road trip to a really cool place (and mom, also please note my proper use of the subjective case)! See you then!