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Waikowhai Stairs, Bush & Beach, Auckland

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Waikowhai Stairs, Bush & BeachBeginner

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Trail Information








Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush


2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



Part of the track around Cape Horn Rd is currently closed due to track upgrades.

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NOTE: the eastern end of this route uses the beach which is only accessible a couple of hours either side of high tide.

Start from Strathnaver and head down the track, following it till it comes out onto Fairsea Pl. Turn left up Himalaya Cres. then right down Halsey Drive. Head along till you come to Manukau Domain, run across the grass to the sculpture and down the track. This goes through some nice bush till you come out on Syvlania Crescent - run across the road and down the trail towards Wattle Bay.

Follow the track until the junction which lets you choose to go to the beach and take the low tide route, but for this journey we will keep going straight towards Cape Horn Rd. Follow the track till the lookout junction and go up and catch your breath while looking back at the Manukau Harbour. Head back down and take a right up to Cape Horn Rd.

Turn right and run down the road 500 metres till the walkway down to Waikowhai Bay. Follow the trails through Waikowhai Bay taking the track through Captain's Bush towards Wesley Bay. If it is high tide you will have to climb over some rocks then run along the beach for 200 metres before hitting the Aldersgate Reserve Track. This goes to Wesley Bay glade which is where you turn around and head back the same way.

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Features of interest

Waikowhai Park is the last stand of native forest in Auckland City. Lots of Tui, Kereru, Piwakawakawa. Runs past the old changing rooms at Waikowhai Beach. A really nice sculpture in Manukau Domain that used to be at the Auckland Art Gallery. Some time spent running on the beach. There are a LOT of stairs so get ready for a calf workout!
This mostly follows the Waikowhai Walkway (link below). You can go all the way to Mangere Bridge off Road if you keep on going

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 20%

Moderate Single Track: 40%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Sealed Road: 10%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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Wild Explorers

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  • Access

    At the end of Strathnaver Crecent take the steps to the left. You can go right and head down towards Lynfield Cove but will have to return up the stairs very soon.

    Plenty of parking on Strathnaver Crescent. Easy bus from town on the 267

    15 km

    24 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Make navigation of this route super-easy by using the Capra app on your phone. View on Capra .

    Most of the time if you take a wrong turn you won't go too far before reaching the end of the trail. Make sure you take a right turn down Cape Horn Road. Follow the signs through Waikowhai Park towards Wesley Bay/ Captains Bush - although all of these trails are quite fun so getting lost isn't a biggy!

    Perfect throughout.

    Short-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Toilets in Waikowhai Park where you can drink from the tap.

    Can get slippery in winter and has mud.

    Some traffic on Cape Horn Rd. Some dog walkers.

  • Post run indulgence

    Corner Bakery
    180a Hillsborough Rd
    Multiple award winning pies!

    Bluebells Cakery
    161A Hillsborough Rd
    Good for coffee - amazing cakes

  • Blog Posts and Articles
  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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