Auckland off-road running blog

Welcome to Trailophile - a blog with information about off-road running trails in and around the Auckland area.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Waiatarua Reserve

Once upon a time, before Kelvin and I moved in together, I lived with my Mum and a cat called Meg (short for Megatron) in a house near Waiatarua Reserve. I wasn't feeling very adventurous this week and this is a nice familiar run, so I stopped by here on my way home from work today.

Waiatarua Reserve loop track

Waiatarua Reserve has wetlands in the middle and is surrounded by a walking track and small pockets of bush.

It's a comfortable run, with no real hills (just gentle slopes). There's the added bonus of an off-leash dog park within the reserve, so there's plenty of entertainment on offer. I couldn't quite capture on camera the black lab which leaps into the pond like a missile, with all 4 legs tucked up close to its body. Must be one hell of a belly-flop!

One circuit of the gravel track encircling the park is about 3k, but more if you explore more of the outer and inner bits of the park aswell.


I started the run from the northern entrance to the reserve on Grand Drive, St John's park, where it's easy to park on the road and the car is pretty visible all the time. You can also park at the main carpark on the corner of Abbot's Way and Grand Drive.

Click on the map image on the left to open up the mapometer map.

Here is the Waiatarua Reserve page on the Auckland City Council website.

Upcoming events at Waiatarua Reserve
  • Distance: One loop is about 3k - but one lap doesn't feel like enough, and there's lots of different routes to try on the second time around
  • Terrain: Flat and tiny hills
  • Shade: Only in some parts
  • Track type and condition: there is a gravel track all the way around, but you can run beside it on the grass if you prefer
  • Mud: Nope, none at all - not even in the winter
  • Views: of the wetlands and birds from the interesting viewing points
  • Novelty: For me, not at all but if you've never been here it's a nice park worth checking out
  • Remoteness: Not at all
  • Toilets: Yes - at Abbots Way/Grand Drive carpark
  • Crowd factor: Can get lots of people and dogs but there's heaps of space
  • Watch out for: Not much to watch out for, except perhaps don't go here too early in the morning as I did hear of an incident of a woman being confronted. But then again that probably goes for all off-road areas. Oh, and I did get a facefull/mouthful/nosefull of bugs in one of the inner tracks closer to the wetlands
  • Extra for experts: You can cross Grand Drive and head to the smaller reserve on the other side of the road - would add perhaps another 1km or so
Nice all round inner city run, or walk, or dog walk, or dog-coveting walk (I really want a dog!)

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