We know it’s not just kids who crave safe spaces to get the hang of riding a bike. We’ve been thinking about all of you out there who are keen to get going… but not quite sure where to start.

To get the big picture, join Cycle Action Auckland, and we’ll make sure you receive the full set of Auckland bike maps in the post.

But putting bikes on the back of cars can be a bit of a mission, so wherever possible, it’s good to start local. Plenty of the trips Aucklanders make in cars are quick local errands of 5km or less – not only could those journeys be done on a bike, they’re often much more fun that way!

You know your back yard better than we do. That’s why we’d love your help in making a list of bike beginnings for you, your kids, or novice friends. Once we have a more comprehensive ‘biking picture’ of a suburb we can give it its own page on our website.

So, tell us about the quiet, bike-friendly places in your ‘hood. Have you got access to your local school hard courts? Are there good safe paths around a park? Any quiet streets that feel safe to ride on, and that connect to great destinations? What’s your best insider tip?

Check out the list below, which is just a start. Have we got your suburb? And have we got it right?

Please correct our info, add a suburb, or suggest a great easy local ride – local maps or great photos are especially welcome. We’ll be very grateful, AND we’ll put you in the draw for a $50 Bike Barn voucher. If you’re a paid-up member of Cycle Action, we’ll double up: two goes at the voucher for every tidbit.

Add your local knowledge in the comments below, or email Jane directly by the end of August to go in the draw for the voucher!

Avondale is Whau bike lovers!

Central Map

Beginners park ride: A circuit of Eastdale or Riversdale Reserves; the new learn-to-bike park at 10 Racecourse Rd.

First quiet streets: East of Rosebank has lots of quiet roads; a few good links through parks, too.

Great destinations: How close to the Whau can you ride? Look across the other side and start exploring there.

Insider tip: Easy to catch the train to all sorts of places.


Beachlands Lucky you!

Eastern Map 

Beginners park ride: Te Puru reserve and then, when you are ready for hills, some gorgeous views in Leigh Auton reserve

First quiet streets: All those 1st, 2nd ….view Aves – brilliant

Great destinations: Cross the Te Puru bridge, walk up the hill; follow the perimeter path of Omana Park to the Esplanade; take the Tracey’s walk to Maraetai

Insider tip: You can get the ferry to downtown – only midweek in winter


Clendon, Clover Park, Conifer Grove…?

Devonport  Why wouldn’t you!

Northern Map

Beginners park ride: Parts of the Green Route; the shared path along King Edward Parade or alongside the golf course from Plunket to Narrow Neck

First quiet streets: Bayswater or Cheltenham or around the Navy sports fields

Insider tip: Bikes go free on the Devonport Ferry

Join the crowd: Bike Devonport is on Facebook.

Ellerslie, East Tamaki?

Freemans Bay

Central Map

Beginners park ride: Victoria Park; the Bikes in Schools learn-to-ride track at Freemans Bay School.

First quiet streets: Cross Victoria Park, travel down to Wynyard Quarter and ride the Westhaven Promenade.

Insider tip: You are so close to safe riding to downtown! Cross Beaumont St; take the shared path around the Victory Church; and you can use the glass bridge to sail over the motorway – a lift at the Westhaven end takes bikes up & down. Then it’s along the waterfront, all the way to St Heliers if you like!

Grey Lynn  (we’ll be the fittest once we conquer the hills!)

Central Map

Beginners park ride: Grey Lynn Park (although maybe not on a league or touch tournament day!). Or head to Cox’s Bay Park.

First quiet streets: All are pretty car-infested or lumpy, alas. Maybe a circuit of Castle /Stanmore/Wilton?

Insider tip: There’s a safe route heading to downtown from Grey Lynn Park – turn up the hill under Huia Taylor’s sculpture ‘on the backs of others’ (a gateway with the words Te Rimu, featuring among other things a brilliant motopaiki warrior); then head up the valley to get to Ponsonby Rd via quiet Rose Rd.

Join the crowd: Bike Grey Lynn is on Facebook!


Eastern Map

Beginners park ride: Around Howick Domain – maybe ‘the hard’ above Howick Beach in winter

First quiet streets: All are pretty car-infested or lumpy. Possibly Drake, Baird, Moore circuit?

Insider tip: Get the map and explore the off-road routes from Somerville to Highland Park


J (St Johns?)

Kohimaramara Ride to the beach!

Central Map

Beginners park ride: Madill’s Farm

First quiet streets: Tamaki Drive, to bike in the sunrise or off into the sunset! Other suggestions?

Insider tip: Quiet paths around Speight Rd


Mangere Bridge Bliss for Bikes

Central & Southern Maps

Beginners park ride: The Esplanade and Ambury Farm Park

First quiet streets: Away from The Esplanade – maybe around Waterlea School

Insider tip: You can travel car-free right over the Mangere Bridges to Onehunga (station) or the Upper Manukau shared path (and you can travel almost entirely off road to Sylvia Park via the cycleway between the SE Highway & Mutukaroa Park)

Join the crowd: Triple Teez in Mangere. Keep Teau in mind if you’re looking for a new home for an old bike, or a chance to lend a hand. Contact him directly: 022 360 5748

A picnic at Ambury Park
A picnic at Ambury Park


Onehunga, Otara, Orakei, Orewa…?

Pakuranga, Papakura, Papatoetoe

Point Chevalier Potential pedallers’ paradise!

Central Map

Beginners park ride: Around Walker Park paths, or head to Western Springs (mid-week after school if you can)

First quiet streets: Nice and quiet around Walker Park on non sports days; streets north of Meola, all the way up to Coyle Park. Harbour View Rd is quiet, too.

Great destinations: Connect to the Northwestern cycleway and follow your nose west or east as far as you like.

Insider tip: The seaside path is developing as part of the Waterview tunnel works. Head to the end of Montrose Rd on the way back from shopping, and see how far they have got along the coast.

Queen Street?

Randwick Park?

Stanmore Bay, Sandringham?


Central and Eastern Maps

Beginners park ride: Bikes in Schools track at Tamaki Primary

First quiet streets: ????

Insider tip: Get to Panmure Bridge the back way – Riverview Drive & you can ride the Rotary shared path on the other side of the Tamaki River

Te Atatu Peninsula

Western Map

Beginners park ride: Perimeter path around Te Atatu Park – access via Neil Ave or Matipo Rd. Flat with a couple of teeny hills. Peninsula Primary grounds on a weekend.

First quiet streets: Peachgrove Rd – fairly close to what a quite safe street should be. The waterfront path – from Harbourview Rd to Karemoana Drive Flat; quietish streets around Cellermans St/ Vinograd Drive/ Danica Esplanade (+ playground!)

Insider tip: You can almost ride around the tip of the peninsula (just a few steps to carry your bike up!). Sneak a swim at high tide at the end of Kelvin Crescent/ Beach Rd or at Harbourview Park. Ride a bike and get a discount at Yoga/Pilates, Luscious Food Store, Greens, and Casa del Gelato. Easy access to NW cycleway and Twin Streams cycleway

Join others: Bike Te Atatu is on Facebook. Be part of their crew at the annual Santa parade, a local highlight!

Getting ready for the Te Atatu Santa Parade...
Getting ready for the Te Atatu Santa Parade…

Unsworth Heights


Wesley Way to go – on a bike!

Central Map

Beginners park ride: Underwood, Walmsley, Memorial Parks – over 2km of amazing paths and more coming with the tunnel works

First quiet streets: Residential areas between the main roads – on the flat near Wesley School

Insider tip: You can access the Dominion Road (low traffic) parallel route from the Hinaki bridge near Gifford Ave

X! – exciting new suburb – want to claim it?



PS once we’ve sorted this list, we’ll ask you to help us take it to the next level: local jaunts – great one hour to half-day rides to great destinations around Auckland. So, once you’re familiar with your own hood, check out the suburb next door. Think about where you can get to by putting your bike on a train or ferry for free, and venture forth for new delights. Bonus points if you can combine bike, train, AND ferry for an outing!

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23 responses to “Biking in your back yard: help us write a beginner bike burb guide!

  1. Where Are the P’s… pakuranga papatoetoe and papakura

    1. Well spotted, Peter from Papakura! Added to the list – now awaiting insider tips 🙂

  2. Is that supposed to be a link in the first paragraph? ‘Cos it doesn’t go anywhere

  3. ###Henderson###

    Western Map

    Beginners’ park ride: Both Twin Streams routes – Opanuku/Oratia streams and Henderson Creek.

    First quiet streets: At the south western end of the Opanuku Stream cycleway the path continues on to a nice quiet residential area. It’s very flat but there is a big hill you can cycle up if you feel so inclined (pun intended)

    Insider tip: If on the Opanuku Cycleway walk your bike up Stevies Lane and you can do your #quaxing at WestCity. If coming from the Oratia Cycleway you have easy access to Waitakere Mega Centre or you can take the bridge to Pioneer St and ride down Catherine St to get to WestCity.

    Local jaunts: You can cycle all the way to Triangle Road without leaving the cycleway, and with just one short bit on the road in Te Atatu South (soon to be unnecessary) you can go to Te Atatu Peninsula, West Haven or St Heliers. You could even take the ferry to go further afield. If you’re tired on the way back you can take the train from Britomart. A recent discovery is that you can take the new cycleway to the SH16 Lincoln Road interchange and once you’ve crossed it, go along Selwood Rd which ends at the Henderson Creek boat ramp. Make sure you bring maps along, some parts of the cycleway between Henderson and the North Western Motorway can be very confusing.

    ###Henderson Valley###

    Unless you’re a brave road cyclist, forget it (trust me, I live here)

  4. Under P for Pakuranga or Panmure I know second hand that the path alongside the Tamaki River between the old Panmure Bridge and Farm Cove is a ripper. I googled it and its called the Pakuranga Rotary shared path https://at.govt.nz/cycling-walking/auckland-cycle-run-walkway-maps/pakuranga-rotary-shared-path/ I guess if you wanted more adventure you could carry on along roads to the tranquility of Musick Point Reserve. It would be a great day out if you went there via the Half Moon Bay Ferry rather than the bike on car option. I also know first hand there are cafe’s and other refreshments available out east to round off a terrific day.

    1. The Rotary path is utterly magnificent. If there are ever any NIMBY’s complaining about new paths going in front of their properties, then they need to be put on a bus and taken to Pakuranga on a sunny evening to see how wonderful it is. Maybe they can talk to the locals and ask them if crime increased as a result! The Rotary path is especially great because all along its length there are connections to local streets via walkways between houses. It’s a bit sad that when AT or the council or a local board try to get a path created they face all sorts of NIMBY anger, but when it is the Rotary club who are getting the path made, it seems to attract much less opposition.

      A tip is: there is a walkway from directly opposite the ferry terminal up to Compass Point Way and then there is another walkway from the coast through to Clyside Ave and from there you can go on back roads all the way to where the Rotary path starts.

  5. Avondale: Mead Street, Maple Street, Riversdale Road and Wairau Ave OR Holly Street, Highbury Street get you to the Racecourse for the Sunday Market on quiet(er) roads and use the light controlled crossings. A great excuse to splash out on some panniers or a trailer.

    If only there was a boardwalk stitch between Heron Park and Holly Street…

    1. Boardwalk between Heron and Holly coming soon, NIMBY’s permitting.

      It is possible to cycle through the racecourse from the petrol station on Ash Street, (where there is a ped crossing) to Elm Street or Racecourse Parade, as a quiet route to the town centre, except that the last 100m are on gravel which isn’t fun.

      From that ped crossing you can get all the way to Fonteyn Street avoiding Rosebank Road by going along Wairau Ave, Riversdale Road, Riversdale Reserve, Kiritoa Street, Orchard Reserve, Avondale Road then the path to Fonteyn Reserve.

      Going under the Whau bridge at Ash Street you can go along the boardwalk to Tony Sedgin Reserve and then to Riversdale Road. The Whau bridge also connects to the new path in Ken Maunder Park and will eventually connect to the Whau walkway north, or south to Olympic Park or Rizal Reserve and Wingate Street and a quiet route to the town centre.

      Responding to the list above. There is not yet a circut of Riversdale Reserve, although it is also supposed to happen soon. And the circut of Eastdale Reserve is flawed because when you get to the cricket club changing rooms there are steps.

  6. Z needs to be Zoo, no not Ponsonby Road on a wet night, the actual Zoo with animals in it. Don’t believe you can ride in the Zoo but around about and Western Springs there is nice family riding and possibly somewhere to buy a kid an ice cream? Haven’t ventured around there myself lately but someone might be able to help.
    Cheating but Y could be Yacht clubs at Westhaven. The Boardwalk along the seafront facing the harbour and some decent paths on the marina side too. And then there is the fabulous new Promenade. Lots of peeps promenading, walker’s, bikes, runners, scooters. Confirmation if you need it that when build it, they will come. Skypath – no worries.

  7. Campbells Bay & Surrounds – Northern Map

    Beginners park ride:
    quite a few, but not linked by easy, non-hilly routes, need mum & dad to transport you there
    The new learn-to-bike cct at Greville Reserve, top of Forrest Hill Road
    Soon to be finished skate/BMX update to Forrest Hill Skate Park
    Your local primary school – Campbells Bay is great for scooters and bikes, but no skateboards please!
    Sunnynook Park – nice flat cct round the park and a few thrills at the skate bowl
    Unsworth Reserve – through the park and under Upper Harbour Hwy using the tunnel to Rosedale Park

    Normanton Reserve – great little cct that kids can hoon around while parents sit with a coffee. Even had a kids bike birthday party here one year!
    Marlborough Park – again, bit of a cct that the kids can go around, plus great skate park for any type of wheels!

    First quiet streets:
    Tricky as not that many quiet road and lots of hills, but kids always liked the ride across Pupuke Golf Course and the 5km downhill shared path all the way down Forrest Hill Road to Smales Farm or Takapuna for an icecream. Normally met by a car pickup as 4km uphill was a killer on single speed bikes!
    Riding to school – down the hill, up the hill and a little bit of flat along Aberdeen Road to the great bike sheds at Campbells Bay Primary!

    Great destinations:
    Hobonville Point – trying to link all the tracks I know to get there safely with the kids
    Paramoremo Reserve – a little bit of offroad and BMX track for the more advanced
    North Harbour BMX track on Bush Road, Albany – great fun to race your mates

    Insider tip: See Bike Friendly North Shore for more info. Antoine lives on my street!

  8. An oldie for eastern suburbs locals, but still a favourite – Tamaki
    Drive shared path just has to be included as the best safe place to ride a bike
    for all the eastern suburbs from Orakei to Kohimarama
    and St Heliers. The path’s popular at weekends and can seem crowded but
    Aucklanders are learning big-city attitudes to sharing our city promenades and
    enjoying the vibe. And apart from peak time it’s quiet. Locals and visitors of all
    ages enjoy cruising the beautiful Waitemata waterfront, or riding to city beaches,
    the Parnell baths, parks and playgrounds, places to eat and attractions. Plus there
    are 3 options for hiring bikes to get started or take along friends.

    The Auckland Domain and Cornwall Park could be great
    resources for their local suburbs but it’s a shame the vehicle traffic through
    both these great parks limits the bike-ability.

  9. Ellerslie (bikes not horses)
    Central Map
    Beginners park ride: Waiatarua Reserve. A reasonably flat gravel tracked park. Access off Abbotts Way and Grand Drive. This is perfect for first time off road riders, even kids. Mind the dog walkers and the couple of slippery bridges. If you are looking for sealed paths head to Michaels Ave Reserve (access off Michaels Ave).
    First quiet streets: Stonefields has some quiet streets on the borders. Also try Celtic Cres (walkway access through to Waiatarua Reserve, across the busy Abbotts Way).
    Insider tip: For new commuters heading to downtown Remuera Rd has a T3 lane along some of its length. I find this better than heading through Greenlane, (which is manic with traffic). Avoid the Ellerslie Panmure highway at all cost, its a rolling, fast 4 lane nightmare. Use Marua Rd instead.

  10. Onehunga
    There is a nice loop path around the Onehunga lagoon next to the motorway on Beachcroft Ave. Lots of distractions for little ones including a beach and playground The paths are nice and smooth but watch out for for smelly surprises that the dogs leave behind. Its nice and flat apart for the ramps down to the beach.

    Once the Onehunga foreshore restoration is finished in the next few months this will open up the foreshore side and also Mangere bridge. You can use the existing bridge over to Orpheus drive to get to Mangere bridge but the roads are rough at the moment due to the construction.

    1. And there is a path from the end of Onehunga Mall to the junction with Mangere bridge which also connects to the foreshore path going East which goes past Waikaraka Cemetary all the way to Southdown; get in quick before AT and NZTA bulldoze it for the new billion dollar link road.

  11. New Lynn: Central Cycle map, though you may want the west one as well.
    Nice shared path along Rankin Ave and part of Margan, pity it doesn’t go very far.
    Arawa St is very quiet and fairly cycle friendly. Bike parking is available outside the mall, library and supermarkets. New Lynn School is completely locked to the public outside school hours 🙁

    New Lynn transport centre and Fruitvale Rd train stations are in the area, with bike parking and lockers at New Lynn.

  12. Waterview: Central map. Beginners park rides: er, sorry you have to wait until Waterview Reserve is returned to the public post-motorway. Heron Park is too steep.

    First quiet streets: all of them west of Great North Road. Oakley Ave even has two bike bypasses for the traffic calming chicanes. Tip: there is a bridge between the end of Fir Street and the corner of Saxon Street.

    There is a nice newly restored path meandering along the shore going from the remnants of Waterview Reserve to Howlet Reserve and Howlet Street but it is very steep in a couple of places so better for walking. Across Great North Road there is a shared path connecting to the NW cycleway which eventually will cross over Oakley Creek and go through Unitec to Mt Albert to connect to the SH20 cycleway. And although Oakley Creek is a lovely spot the path is very narrow and busy so not recommended for cycling. If you don’t mind carrying a bike down steps there are a couple of bridges over Oakley Creek to either Unitec, or from the corner of Blockhouse Bay Road and Great North Road over to Phyllis Street Reserve or Harbutt Reserve.

  13. Grey Lynn: There is a great, safe and flat route from the lowest point of Williamson Ave to West End Road in Coxs Bay, via Grey Lynn Park, lower Dryden Street and Hakanoa Street, the walkway through to Sackville Street then straight across to the walkway through to Westmoreland Street, then across Richmond Road at the pedestrian crossing, then either along the boardwalk to Coxs Bay park or even better through the Countdown car park to the corner where there is a walkway to Regina Street at the end of which is Coxs Bay Park.

    If you don’t mind pushing the bike up some steps there are connections to various streets at the edges of Coxs Bay Park including on the West Nottingham Street (from where it is back roads to Meola reef and Pt Chev) or Wharf Road (from where it is back roads to Pt Erin and Westhaven Drive.

    1. Stuart, you’re a wonder – keep ’em coming! It’s exactly that sort of on-the-ground knowledge we’re after. Many thanks.

  14. Albany: There is a good place for beginners to practice – a bike path on the other side of the road from Mega Mitre 10. There is also a lot of green space behind Massey University – parks with footpaths that are fun to ride for kids and beginners.

  15. Update on the Mega Mitre ten bike path. It has now been extended all the way to Gills Rd. They have built a bridge across the stream.

  16. Hi Jane,
    The link to your email in the post is broken. But there’s a great, very easy, family ride in Mt Albert that runs along the parkway from May Rd to Richardson Road. I’m hoping that once the motorway link is complete it’ll continue all the way to New North Road. It passes various playgrounds, and other than crossing roads a couple of times it’s bike path all the way.

    Steve King (Can’t login via CCA forum yet as only just joined:-) )

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