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Source: Auckland Council

With more than 4000 parks to choose from, Aucklanders are spoilt for choice. But how do those making decisions on local matters see the green spaces in the region?

Given local boards are full of people who know their local areas inside out we wanted to get the inside scoop. What park is a favourite in their local area? What made that park their favourite?

We also wanted to challenge them to think outside of their local area too, asking “How about a favourite park across the region?”

Their responses were as diverse as the people who serve on our local boards.

Their favourite parks also highlight the variety of Auckland parks. See how many of these local board members’ favourite parks you have already visited. Alternatively, why not explore that diversity this weekend?

Izzy Fordham

Board Chairperson

Aotea / Great Barrier Local Board

“Okiwi is a must-see on Aotea. It’s so diverse. One part of the park has a new bike pump track and a lovely walk through to an area that has the most amazing old trees and bird life, it’s nothing to experience kākāriki (NZ parakeet), tūī, pāteke (brown teal), kererū (wood pigeon) and other bird species whilst you are there. It adjoins Okiwi School and the children there have become de facto guardians of the park.

“Albert Park is a cool place in the heart of the city. The magnificent trees seeped in history, the beautiful gardens, the wide open space and the connectivity it offers between the central city, Art Gallery and university is pure magic.”

Andy Baker

Board Deputy Chairperson

Franklin Local Board

“Karaka Sports Park is where I have so many great memories playing rugby and so many injuries. Time spent with mates playing a sport I love in a great location.

“The Hūnua Regional Park is naturally stunning, incredible in every sense and 20 minutes from my door. An absolute treasure.”

Ingrid Papau

Board member

Henderson-Massey Local Board

“My three kids love Royal Reserve playground. It is an epic day of play (and good time out for me) with a huge variety of space and equipment on offer; towers that look like they’re straight out of a fairy tale, sand play, massive swings, huge 12+ meter slide, basketball court, bbq’s, kids bike/scooter tracks, trampolines, outdoor gym equipment, green fields…it has it all.

“I am in my happy place laying down the picnic blanket under the pohutakawa trees at Cornwallis, while my kids play in the safe swimming beach. The beauty is having the large open spaces of grass, with native trees and bush, all on the fringe of the sandy beach.”  

Joseph Allan

Board Chairperson

Manurewa Local Board

“I was lucky enough to have Orford Park in our backyard growing up. There is a large area of native bush, native birds, a small stream and a large open lawn in the centre. It was the best playground.”

“With a network of walkways, views to the Manukau Harbour, Bombay Hills and wider Auckland, playgrounds, bush walks, outdoor pool in summer and mountain bike tracks all year round – you can’t help but love Totara Park.”

Chris Makoare

Board Chairperson

Manugakiekie-Tāmaki Local Board

“I was brought up around Taurere / Taylors Hill and always go past this maunga, I’ve played on it, I’ve cried on it and only recently have learnt its history, which has given me so much respect for this maunga.”

“Maungarei / Mt Wellington is a larger maunga that is more visible over a wider area and has been a playground for many over the years, but has a strong cultural significance to local Mana whenua.”

Scott Milne

Board Chairperson

Ōrākei Local Board

“Selwyn Reserve is the quintessential Auckland Park – sea views and beach, open green spaces, children’s playground and significant heritage fountain and sculpture; plus changing rooms and toilets. And it is well loved and used by a very diverse regional community.

“I visited Tawharauni Regional Park once a year, every year, as a child when it was privately owned and now I get to go many times a year. It is ‘World Class’ beautiful with well-maintained and well-respected facilities including ecology trails, bush and farm walks, toilets and showers.”

Cath Handley

Board Chairperson

Waiheke Local Board

“Owhanake Reserve is an untouched bay with a deep anchorage for boaties and an easy walk, cycle or drive from Oneroa Village. I like it because it’s a dog off-leash park with a short flat coastal walk over to Island Bay on the northern coast. I swim in both bays as does my dog Rosie. Delicious.

“When I’m over in the city I like to get up to Ponsonby and sit or walk in Western Park. I love the massive trees and Paul Radford’s sculptured building remnants. Both are cause to stop and reflect, and to relax. It’s an oasis.”

Greg Presland

Board Chairperson

Waitākere Ranges Local Board

“Parrs Park is a great park that has a number of uses including a playground, soccer in the winter and Cricket in the summer, exercise areas, a space for dogs and exercise equipment.  It is a place where all sorts of activities are catered for.

“Waitākere Ranges Regional Park has to be my favourite park outside my local area because it includes the majesty of the West Coast beaches with the beauty of the regenerating subtropical forest.  It is a very special and unique place.”

Adriana Avendano Christie

Board Member

Waitematā Local Board

“I have to admit Western Park / Tuna Mau is my favourite due to its diverse character. The park is tailored for all genders, all ages, even species. We enjoy walking our dogs and watch touch being in the fields. kids running around the playground, couples working out on gym equipment. Lastly, the heritage feature gives a lot of character to the space makes it unique.

“I love how creative and playful Potters Park is. The play area is so appealing I want to play at it. at times. There’s enough seating for a picnic or takeaways from dominion road. It’s important for a city park to provide its unique characteristic but also keep on improving and providing the need of the locals.”

Fasitua Amosa

Board member

Whau Local Board

“Craigavon Park has a great playground, open space to play, bbq facility and dog friendly forest (I’m a big fan of an urban forest). It is amazing.

“I really rate Long Bay Regional Park. A great beach, loads of space and I love seeing loads of different people sharing and enjoying public space together”

See more on AKL Paths

AKL Paths is a great starting point for exploring the incredible range of parks we have in Tāmaki Makaurau, so why out plan your next outdoor wellness time today? Your body and your mind will thank you.

MIL OSI