Biking in your back yard: help us write a beginner bike burb guide!

Biking in your back yard: help us write a beginner bike burb guide!

Bike Auckland

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!


Join us

Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better region. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

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