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My Achilles Wheel, Auckland

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My Achilles WheelBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Jonathan Drake

Info Info
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Trail Information

9.20km

326m

326m

 

Auckland

Mount Wellington

Urban fringe

Loop

Undulating, small hills only

Beach
Coastal
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

1:45 (Slow)
1:15 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)

-35.2%

+35.3%

This route should only be attempted at low tide (and even then, requires wading for full completion). Note that there are places where you sidle along a ledge above the sea or below a cliff face where large rocks can fall. It’s nothing too extreme compared to some coastal routes, but the accessibility of the route in Auckland doesn’t simply mean that this is just a casual run. Technical elements are short, but they exist.

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Description

From St Heliers Beach head east directly towards the cliffs in front of you.

You will skirt the base of these for a few kilometers. The more difficult sections of the route come early on, with some edging along a ledge above the sea and below the cliff face, but eventually, you come to an open beach and can move more freely, skirting around the occasional fallen tree and rocky point.

Eventually you will come to the long open Karaka Bay with houses above the beach and mostly free running in front of you. Beyond that, there is a little more rock clambering around the coastline, and eventually a section that requires some wading at about mid-calf to knee height. It is not too far though and makes for a very unique outing!

Coming out of the water you will see a raised boatshed ahead. Head directly underneath it and continue along the coast to the beach at Roberta Reserve.

Take a sharp right off the beach onto the grass and in the direction of Glendowie Park across the road and angling up the hill in front and to the right.

Make your way through Glendowie Park then angle right to Westhaven Road. Here is a short road section – turn right onto Whitehaven, then left into Forfar which will lead you to Churchill Park. Follow the path to the right of the gate and through the centre of Churchill Park then onto the footpath alongside the school.

From here the path drops down some steps and into a wooded area, there are one or two little spur tracks to the right but follow the arc of the trail to the left and up a series of steps.

Take a right along the residential access road and up the steps to cross Riddell Road and to Glover Park.

Follow Waitara Rd alongside the park to the end of the road then angle left to follow the footpath along the clifftop around the outside of the park.

Before the changing sheds take a right onto a short section of Glover Road, then at the top of the rise a right onto Springcombe. This will arc around to bring you to Achilles Point.

Touch the rail at the end of the viewing platform, take in the views, then follow the clifftop back in the direction of St Heliers Beach along Cliff Road and arrive back at the boat ramp.


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Features of interest

The route provides outstanding views of Rangitoto, Motutapu, Motukorea (Browns Island) and Musick Point, with Motuihe and the Coromandel behind them. Returning through Glover Park you skirt the crater of Whakamuhu, the ancient volcano that created these cliffs and then visit Achilles Point, dedicated to the NZ naval vessel of that name.


Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 48%

Easy Single Track: 30%

Sealed Road: 22%


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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