Looking to plan a ride around Auckland? Here’s our list of the best maps for all kinds of rides. Anything we can add? Let us know!

The big picture – what exists now

Auckland Transport produces a a range of up-to-date folding cycling maps, covering various parts of the city. These are also available in physical form at bike shops, libraries and public transport hubs across the city (see the list of stockists here).

You can also check out AT’s online map of Auckland cycling facilities. While not yet able to be used for journey-planning, it provides a good overview of what currently exists and how it connects.

This AT GIS map also shows existing cycling facilities (NB the map is not 100% up-to-date, as it has yet to show Franklin Rd.) Between the lines, it also shows the work that remains to be done on delivering a citywide bike network.

The big plan – what to look forward to

So what’s the future plan? Note that AT’s GIS cycling facility map page talks about the planned Auckland Cycle Network (ACN), although it isn’t shown on the map. A 2015 version of the long-proposed citywide cycle network can be seen here, and below.

While we can’t use this map for getting from A to B (yet!), the Auckland Cycle Network map is an essential document for understanding where Auckland is heading as a cycling city, and helping everyone navigate towards that future.

Why is the Auckland Cycle Network so important? Because:

  • it lays out a proposed vital network of metro, connector, and feeder routes for the whole city
  • it provides AT with essential information about opportunities to upgrade streets for bike access and safety, e.g. when undertaking routine street resurfacing, upgrading intersections, widening roads, or planning connections to public transport
  • it gives the NZ Transport Agency a detailed context for adding local access points to its cycleways along motorway corridors
  • it is the basis of all Local Board plans for greenways and neighbourhood connections
  • it is enshrined in the Auckland Plan

How fast will the Auckland Cycle Network be delivered?

That depends on funding and strategy, which depends on political will, both from the public and our elected officials. The good news is there’s a strong understanding of the wide-ranging benefits of investing in complete cycle networks, which include road safety for everyone. There’s also rising public demand for safe routes for bikes, scooters, and other micromobility options, and a growing mandate for rapid climate action.

Also helpful: new street design guides, opportunities to bring better streets along with new urban developments, and an appetite for quick wins and more tactical approaches.

That’s why having this high-level plan in view helps all of us keep our eyes on the prize. From the large transport agencies to the Council family to local community groups, it helps to know where we sit on the ACN – so we can seize every possible opportunity to ungap the map.

The planned Auckland Cycle Network, as of 2015 (used as the basis for Local Board greenways and other strategic plans). Click to enlarge.

Local rides

And see Auckland Transport’s maps of safe cycleways and family-friendly local features:

  • Parks and Playgrounds This map covers the Waterview Path, which can be accessed from many places, including Pt Chev, Waterview, Avondale and Mt Albert / Owairaka as well as the Northwestern cycleway. Features playgrounds, skate bowls, pump tracks, amazing new bridges and the famous rainbow path.
  • Western Explorer Head west along the Northwestern cycleway and check out the Henderson Creek Path and the Twin Streams connections. This route features art, playgrounds, wine-tasting, and a Saturday farmers market. Take the train home if you like.
  • Westhaven Way A city centre ride that brings you along the waterfront, from Pt Erin, under the Harbour Bridge, and through bustling Wynyard Quarter and the Viaduct. Featuring museums, cafes, parks, playgrounds, and water views.
  • Harbourside Ride Auckland’s jewel in the crown: a ride around the bays. Beaches, cafes, parks, Kelly Tarlton’s underwater world, and non-stop views of the sparkling harbour. Bring sunscreen!

Quiet routes

The #AKLcyclemap by Daniel A glimpse of the #AKLcyclemap. Have a look around over here. Cranston is a crowd-sourced work in progress, which consists of layers of helpful information on a Google map.

The goal is to show a network of recommended routes for less confident cyclists – so if you have suggestions for safe routes or quiet streets in your part of the map, let Daniel know!

Other maps

  • Google Maps lets you plan a bike route from A to B. You can compare different routes, check the elevation (how up and down the route is), and find shortcuts through parks and alleyways. Note: Google’s local knowledge of shared paths, bike paths, and quiet streets is not perfect, so you may encounter gaps, or occasionally stairs. Also, add some padding to the timing if you’re a casual or beginner rider!
  • Flattest Route uses Google Maps data to show you the flattest route. It’s run by an enterprising volunteer, and welcomes donations to stay current.
  • Open Cycle Map, based on OpenStreetMap, has useful data on walkways and cycle paths but is a little ‘optimistic’ with some routes (e.g. it shows the Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive path, which as of mid-2019 is still incomplete)
  • Not a route planner, but: if you type your address into WalkScore, the resulting Travel Time Map will show you how far you can get on foot, by bike, by public transport and by car.
  • The Auckland Affordability Map helps you work out how your daily travel choices affect where you can afford to live, and vice versa.
  • The Strava Global heatmap shows how popular roads and paths used by people on the Strava app, including mountain bike trails.
  • The Auckland Mountain Bike Club has a fantastic list of MTB rides for all ages, and a dedicated page of BMX tracks across the city.

Anything we’ve missed? Let us know!