This is my new favourite ride.
The coastal track is very scenic, with wading birds on the sandy shoreline and plenty of sheep and pukekos in the paddocks.
If you have a kiddo who wants space to ride fast and you don’t want to have to worry about traffic and driveways, this could be the ride for you.
I highly recommend starting at Ambury Regional Park.
The best car parking is off Ambury Road, in the park. This is where the toilets are, and the best spot to go for a walk to see the farm animals.
Bring a picnic and your water bottles – there are no cafes near the track. And remember to take your rubbish home with you – like all of Auckland’s regional parks there are no rubbish bins here.
So, getting started…
The track is straight ahead when you drive in, the same direction as the campground. Head down there, through the gates and once you’re on the path, just head to the left to start your ride.
Along the path a short way, there is a side path to the Bird Hide.
It’s well worth taking the detour, and they have a new little bridge in place now, so you can keep going past the Hide, along the shoreline, checking out the birds and the mudflats as you go.
The Coastal Walkway track is all gravel, so you’re best to watch out and try to avoid the biggest rocks unless you’ve got a great off-road bike. My road bike was fine, but I did see someone else on the track with a puncture.
I rode to the Creamery Road carpark, then did the loop around Mangere Lagoon. The lagoon loop is fantastic, and if you’re looking for a shorter ride, with an easier surface I recommend it, as its hard packed fine gravel – you and the kids can easily speed around.
The walkway is temporarily closed just after the Creamery Road carpark turnoff. It should be reopened near the end of 2020.
There is a cycling detour through the carpark and down the road to the right. The walking detour goes through parkland, but its not suitable for bikes – the entrances are difficult to get a bike through, its not formed paths (over grass in places), and there are some steep sections.
There is no footpath along the road detour, and trucks do go along there, so unless your kids are confident on the road, I recommend leaving that half for another time, and heading back to Ambury Regional Park.
I rode about 13 kms going from Ambury Park, around the Mangere Lagoon Loop and back to Ambury.
On the way back, you may want to go on the track back from the coast, just for a slightly different view. You ride past paddocks of sheep and pukekos and look across to Mangere Mountain.
Things to note:
- If your little one tends to zoom off without you or to take risks, take extra care – there are a number of risks on this ride – mainly because the water (and mud) is close, and there are areas where the currents are strong. This is not shoreline for swimming.
- Your dog will need to stay home for this ride. With the birds’ nesting areas so close, and all the farm animals around, dogs are not permitted at Ambury Regional Park or along the walkway.