Northcote’s Onepoto Reserve (just off the SH1 Onewa Road exit) is a favourite for families, with plenty of great facilities. The park is huge and grassy, and has two playgrounds within view of its learn-to-ride track, which is handy for those juggling kids with competing interests.
The track is long and there are plenty of spots where they’ll be out of sight, but that never seems to worry the littlies tearing around. It is busy, especially on weekends, so keep that in mind if confidence around other riders is an issue. The track is varied, mainly asphalt but with a few interesting bits, like a wooden ‘bridge’ and a cobbled section. There’s also a lovely boardwalk which offers a nice change of scenery when you’re all bored with the playground and the bike track.
There are toilets on site, near the playgrounds, and if you’re looking for a big day out, there are barbecues too. BYO food and drink as there are no cafes in the immediate vicinity.
- Absolute Beginner
- Learner (balance bike, trainer wheels)
- Confident child (pedal bike - no trainer wheels)
Exit the motorway at Onewa Road and turn into Sylvan Ave, then Tarahanga Street and into the Domain. There is lots of parking, but it is very popular during summer weekends, so parking can get tight.
Pond, fields, public barbecues available
Kids visible at all times?
Great for a kid-focussed outing - biking, playground, maybe a picnic too.
Suitable for multiple kids
Maybe, Depends on the age of the kids and how they'll go when they're around the back of the track
Tips from the local
Take the boardwalk on the left of the cycle track for a change of scenery, at the end of the wetland follow the track to the right and it joins back up with the cycle track. A nice cool spot under the trees on a hot day. Try out the Queen Street cafes before you go to the track - they're harder to get to after. When you leave the domain, while you can get onto the motorways, there's no right turn up Onewa Road - you have to go all the way around via Sylvan Ave.
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