With its harbours, beaches, bush and volcanoes, Auckland is a spectacular city. Just don't look too closely.

It has an ugly backside which you are best placed to see from a bike seat.

Cyclists seek out roads on the city's fringe because traffic is light. So do people who illegally dump their rubbish - less chance of being caught in the act.

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Illegal tyre dumping causes road closure in Brookby, Auckland

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Out by Auckland Airport, a fortune has been spent landscaping the approach to George Bolt Drive and a swish tree-lined bike path.

It makes for a pretty introduction for the 75 per cent of visitors who arrive in New Zealand at this airport. But just a few metres away is all this crap, household rubbish - mattresses, clothes, a sofa - rotting among the vegetation.

In this instance, those responsible have gone to the bother of carrying their garbage just beyond the bush fringing the road. Perhaps they were ashamed?

It may therefore not have been reported to Auckland Council - out of sight, out of mind.

This lot is on the corner of the main road to the airport and Ihumatao Rd, a road long treated as a tip.

Click here to see our Rubbish Dumping Map

That's a good spot for one of the extra seven cameras (bringing the total to 14) that Auckland Council has announced it will deploy to gather evidence to prosecute illegal dumpers.

So much for 100 per cent pure, said Paul, when the Herald visited a business on that road that stores and rents vehicles.

"We have a lot of overseas backpackers come through here. What an introduction to New Zealand!"

Paul didn't want to give his full name because he has confronted suspected dumpers in the past and is wary of reprisals.

The illegal dumping of hundreds of tyres on Twilight Road, Brookby, on January 24 prompts road closure. Photo /Phil Taylor
The illegal dumping of hundreds of tyres on Twilight Road, Brookby, on January 24 prompts road closure. Photo /Phil Taylor

For the Herald's project highlighting illegal dumping, I visited on spec another road popular with cyclists. Twilight Rd winds its way through bush-lined hills west of Clevedon. I found this wrecked car down a bank and hundreds of tyres tipped into gullies.

A truck would have been needed to transport them. The volume suggests a commercial operator.