Manukau Coastal Cycleway

Manukau Harbour, Auckland, New Zealand

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If this doesn't become part of the New Zealand Cycleway we'll want to know why.  This is a good blend of easy flat riding whilst staying nice and off road.  See the sun sparkle over the massive Manukau Harbour and belt along this 14km+ of trail that is getting better every year as the native bush planted at the beginning of the 21st Century grow.

Manukau Coastal Cycleway offers an easy yet rewarding ride around an area that is becoming a great example of an effort to return the land to times of old after spending decades as Auckland's sewerage treatment.  It features the Southern Hemisphere's largest ever native planting project and is now host to lots of bird species, many of whom have flown around the planet to get there.

Check out this video of junior member Offroad George taking on his fully armoured Dad around the Manukau Coastal Cycleway

Since opening as the Watercare Coastal Walkway 2005, cyclists and walkers have been enjoying the 7km path. But now with the little excursions noted in our Google Map. along with dropping across the old Mangere Bridge and riding the Pikes Point Cyclewat, you can enjoy a good 30+km of off road riding!!

Once a wastewater treatment area, this coastal stretch is now scenic, quiet and full of returning birdlife.

Stretching from Ambury Regional Park to the Otuataua Stonefields, it provides access to the Mangere Ihumatao foreshore, which is rich in cultural history.

The area is dominated by ancient volcanoes, Mangere Mountain and Puketutu Island, and was New Zealand's largest coastal restoration project.

With friendly farm animals for the kids to meet at Ambury Regional Park, there's something for everyone.

Black Swan - Be prepared to see a wide variety of birds along your way as there are several bird sanctuaries and even some bird spotting huts at points along the ride. Here a family of swans make the most of some post-winter flooding watched on by local rider, celebrity and top DJ Kapa T.  

Some History

Click here to see a newspaper clipping from the Manukau Courier (March 2005) relating to the opening of the trail (795kB jpg image, opens in new window).

Some excerpts;

  • "13 kilometres of shoreline was restored", "Birds fly from Siberia and Alaska to spend the summer in the Manukau Harbour.  Walkers will be able to watch bar-tailed godwits, knots, South Island pied oyster-catchers and wryblls."
  • "Before the oxidation ponds were installed in 1960, the Manukau Harbour was polluted by wastewater from abattoirs, tanneries and households.  The fumes caused house paint to turn black."
  • "'The results have been stratling.  Migratory birds are returning in droves to the area.  Marine life is reclaiming the tidal flats."
  • "Until 200 years ago, the area was the most densely populated part of New Zealand because of its natural resources."
  • "The last stage of the coastal restoration will see the mouth of Oruarangi Creek opened up in May to meet the sea again" (see piece below for more detail).


Click here to see a newspaper clipping from the Manukau Courier (April 2005) relating to the opening of the Oruarangi Creek to the sea for the first time in over 45 years - an emotional time for some of the senior members of the local community who can remember swimming and fishing in the area before it became too polluted to do so (812kB jpg image, opens in new window).

Some excerpts;

  • "Everyone is on top of the moon.  You couldn't wish for a better day for it."
  • "Only hours after the breaching, small fish were swimming in the creek entrance and a mullet was spotted at the mouth."
  • "Local fishermen say fish are returning to the harbour in large numbers as the restoration starts to have an affect.").

Where is the Manukau Coastal Cycleway?

The best way to begin this trail is at Ambury Regional Park where camping is permitted and you can see a working farm that is popular with the Auckland school trips.

View Manukau Harbour Cycleway in a larger map

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