Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Auckland. Show all posts

July 23, 2015

Auckland Cycling Destination - Muriwai

Muriwai is located on the west coast and, if you are cycling out from the city, you can use the North Western cycleway. This cycleway will become the Auckland super highway for bikes when it is completed in the next couple of years. In the meantime it is difficult for riders to follow because the cycleway keeps changing as the new road works proceed.However it will be well worth the disruption to get the new cycleway which hopefully will be the forerunner of a network that will stretch right across the city.

In order to cycle to Muriwai you need to head to Kumeu and to do this after the end of the cycleway head up Triangle Road and then turn left into Don Buck Road and then along Red Hills Road and you then link up with the main highway just out of Kumeu.

From Kumeu you have a choice of routes to get to Muriwai. The main road to Murawai goes from Waimauku which is 6.5 ks on the main highway heading west out of Kumeu but this is a busy road.

An alternative is to head out of Kumeu and then turn left at Trigg Road and then use the back roads to ride to Muriwai. You will need to consult your map but there is a network of quiet back country roads that includes some shingle surfaces.

Muriwai is a brilliant place to visit to enjoy the wild west coast with the gannet colony and a steep downhill. It has a cafe where you can have a coffee and refuel for the ride up the hill on the way home.

The hill down into Murawai

The wild west coast

Country Roads

July 14, 2015

Cycling around Auckland

Having cycled around Auckland over the past twenty odd years there are not many places in the region where have I have not been to on my bike. 
If you cycle around the city that you live in it is highly likely that you will have seen more than the majority of the citizens who usually drive to where they want to go to and who are often only familiar with the motorway system.

If you are one of these people why not give cycling a try. You need not be dressed in lycra or record your average speed or even your distance but you should take the time to see and experience your city.

These photos were taken on a recent ride on a cold but brilliant fine winters morning on Tamaki Drive.

One of my favourite rides takes me to Mangere Bridge which is a village that is close to the centre of Auckland and has a harbour and a bridge and a great cafes where you can buy a coffee and sit and enjoy the sights and the people of our great cosmopolitan pacific city.

Then you can ride through Cornwall Park after a ride up the hill through the village of Onehunga. Here you can admire the views of the harbour and the magnificent park trees. It has always been a mystery to me why people travel great distances to see the sights but often do not visit the equally scenic views and places that are close to hand.
If you take the time out to visit the many city highlights on your bike you will be well rewarded.
As you can see from this blog there are an increasing number of dedicated bikeways that you can use.

There is a subtle difference in this approach to a cycle ride - it is not the best route that you are looking for but rather the best places to visit. For this reason it does not matter that you may take your bike on the train or ferry to get to your destination. It could be better described as a bike ramble rather than a bike ride.

There are lots of places and highlights in Auckland to see and I will compile a list of my favourite places to visit on my bike in a future posts.

Cornwell Park

April 26, 2015

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New Zealand Cycle Touring - Routes in and out of Auckland.

Tamaki Drive
Auckland is the usual starting point for cycle tourists arriving from overseas.
The route from the Auckland International Airport into the city can be difficult because of the lack of dedicated bikeways but the recommended route avoids the busy main roads where possible.

Route from the Auckland Airport to the City

There are three routes out of Auckland depending on which direction you are going to head. If heading south there is generally the choice of the east or west coasts in order to ride south to Wellington. Getting in and out of Auckland on a bike is problematical because most of the roads have high traffic volumes with inadequate road shoulders for cyclists. The following routes are quieter and although usually longer will provide a more comfortable cycling experience.

Route One – Heading South on the East Coast of the North Island
This route starts by taking the ferry from downtown Auckland to Pine Harbour.

Route heading south on the East Coast of the North Island

Alternative Routes – Heading South on the East Coast of the North Island These are alternative routes to head south on the east coast.
Alternative routes heading south on the east coast

Route Two – Heading South on the West Coast of the North Island
This route heads out of Auckland South on the western side of the North Island.

Routes out of Auckland heading south on the West Coast

Route 3 – Heading North on the West Coast of the North Island
This route takes you through Helensville and avoids the busy and narrow main roads to Northland.

Route out of Auckland north on the West Coast

March 27, 2015

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Cycle Touring Route North out of Auckland

As already outlined getting out of Auckland either south or north can be problematical. This is because the busy roads have difficulty in coping with the traffic cars and trucks let alone cyclists and the roads mostly have minimal shoulders.

There is a way around this if you head north out to Helensville rather than going on the main road north through Albany.  Use the north western cycleway to get to Helensville although at the moment the cycleway is very difficult to follow because of  the motorway reconstruction. Having reached Kumeu use the state highway to ride to Helensville. There are some back roads from Kumeu to Helensville to use to miss the traffic on this stretch if you have a map. 

From Helensville the ride up the coast to Wellsford includes some demanding hills and is a distance of 57km. From Wellsford unfortunately you need to ride on the main highway for a period and then turn left onto State Highway 12 on your way to Dargaville which is 98ks away.
The next step is to ride to Rawene which is 106ks where you catch the ferry north. 

September 26, 2014

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Cycle Touring Route in Auckland - Pine Harbour to Clevedon

One of the main attractions of Auckland is its harbour and as a visitor to the city one of the best things you can do is to get out into the Hauraki Gulf which is a marine park that covers more than 1.2 million hectares and is made up of more than 50 islands.

One way of getting an idea of the extent of the Hauraki Gulf is to catch the fast ferry to Pine Harbour from downtown Auckland a journey of around 30 minutes. 

Once in Pine Harbour you can get back on your bike and ride to Maraeti a small seaside town which is 5.3 kilometres away. This is an attractive coastline on a narrow country road. One word of warning is that you should avoid weekend days in the middle of summer as the road then becomes very busy and there are no shoulders. Then ride 15.9 kilometres inland to Clevedon which is a small rural town where there are good cafes.

You can then return to Pine Harbour to catch the ferry the way you came or go in a round trip to Whitford which is 10.9 kilometres from Clevedon and it is a further 10.4 kilometres back to Pine Harbour. 

This ride like the Waiheke ride allows you to get to see a bit of the gulf and its beaches and both rides are well worth doing while you are in Auckland. There is also the advantage that you escape the traffic of the city.
The ferry to Pine Harbour can also be used as a good way of getting out of Auckland when travelling south to the Corromandel and Tauranga. 

Half an hour on the ferry

Pine Harbour


August 21, 2014


Money for Cycleways

The New Zealand Prime Minister announced recently before the 2014 elections, that an additional $100 million is to be made available for cycleways over the next four years.
The Prime Minister in his announcement commented "that everyone knows the health and traffic benefits cycleways can deliver" It is great news that he and his Government think this way. It was my impression that the Government and the vast majority of the community are not aware of the benefits of cycleways to local communities.

In Auckland hopefully some of this money will be spent on the cycleway across the harbour bridge.
You only have to go to San Francisco to see the number of people out on their bikes crossing the Golden Gate bridge every day. This attraction boasts tourism and helps create a healthy and vibrant community which San Francisco is famous for.

In Auckland many citizens of Auckland see a cycleway across the harbour bridge as a project that would only benefit a few non tax paying pedestrians and cyclists. For this majority view to change will rely on the project being completed properly and not just as a cheap add on.

The new Oakland Bridge in San Francisco includes a integrated cycleway which is already very popular even though it only goes half way across the Bay until the second bridge is completed.

June 29, 2014

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New Zealand Cycle Touring Route from Auckland Airport to Downtown

In common with many international airports assembling your bike and riding into the city is not easy as there is no dedicated bikeway into the city. It is 21.4 kilometres into the city from the International Air Terminal and you need to allow yourself plenty of time as the cycling route while interesting is fairly circuitous.
When you ride on the road out of the airport terminal there is an adequate shoulder to ride on but you must then take a secondary route because bikes are not allowed on the motorways. The route out to the airport is very popular with local cyclists as you can get out into the countryside alongside the Manukau Harbour. If this is your first experience of cycling in New Zealand traffic be aware that you need to take great care as motorists are not that aware or tolerant of cyclists on the roads.

One option if you do not want to stay in the city is to camp at Ambury park which is 8.1 kilometers from the airport. The facilities here are only for camping and the park is on the route into town.

Route to Ambury Park

As a cyclist you must abide by the rules of the road which are included in the road code:
New Zealand Road Code for Cyclists

The route into Auckland:

Cycling Route into Auckland

May 08, 2014

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Cycle Touring Routes Out of Auckland

Route South to Coromandel and Tauranga

Cycling out of Auckland it is not straightforward because of the topography and the motorway system. 

Option A - Through Clevedon and the Firth of Thames Coast

This is one option of riding out of Auckland if you intend to travel down the East coast of the North Island south towards Coromandel and Tauranga. It is recommended because it is mainly on quiet rural although hilly roads. It includes an attractive stretch down the Firth of Thames coastline.
You could also take the ferry to Pine Harbour which would avoid the city traffic and you would also get a look at the Hauraki Gulf which is well worth seeing. Refer my separate post on this option.
You start by heading west from the city centre along Tamaki Drive to St Heliers. This is a busy road so you need to take care on this section.
From St Heliers you ride to Ormiston Road taking the following route:

St Heliers to Sandstone Road

From Ormiston Road you then ride up a steep hill which goes then straight into Sandstone Road. At the foot of the hill in Sandstone turn right into Whitford Park Road and then travel along this road until you reach Brookby Road where you turn right. You then turn left at Twilight Road which is a bush clad hill on a windy road and at the end you turn right and you are in Clevedon.

The ride from Clevedon is again reasonably hilly on the way to Kawakawa Bay. From Kawakawa you go up a steep climb before making your way over to the Firth of Thames coastline. There is then an enjoyable ride down the mostly deserted coastline road. The Firth of Thames is an important feeding ground for shorebirds and waders some of whom travel from far away as Siberia and Alaska.

Clevedon to Thames

Option B - By Train to Papakura

Another option is to the train from Auckland to Papakura and to commence your ride from there. This has the advantage that get out of Auckland quickly and miss the city traffic and traffic lights.

Alternative Route out of Auckland

April 15, 2014


New Zealand Cycle Touring Route - Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island is a good destination for a cycle touring because it includes fantastic beaches and wineries and there is a camping ground where you can enjoy the beach right at your doorstep.

Waiheke Island is in the Hauraki Gulf in New Zealand and is about 17.7km from Auckland City by ferry and is hilly but has many scenic beaches that are well worth visiting.My favourite seen above and you should head here to start with.