Auckland: Parks and recreation

We've rounded up some interesting facts about Auckland's lovely parks.

Dog walking in one of Aucklands' 4200 parks.
Dog walking in one of Aucklands' 4200 parks.

Biggest: Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, at 16,000ha, with about 250km of tracks, is the giant on the Auckland scene. From short half-hour bush walks to the waterfalls to the full four-day 77km tramp of the Hillary, this park has it all: wild west coast beaches, native forest, streams and waterfalls, some rugged camping.

Start at the Arataki Visitor Centre near Titirangi for a wealth of information.

Tiniest: The teensiest pocket parks around inner-city Ponsonby are great for a breather from the bustle of the city.

Newest: Waitawa Regional Park (see over). Golden beaches, farmland, regenerating native bush and wetland and some of the oldest pa sites in the region. Get out there next weekend (March 8 and 9) for the opening.

Oldest: Records are patchy but we're guessing Albert Park is Central Auckland's oldest park.

Forget the size, feel the quality: Auckland has more than 4200 parks including 26 regional parks and 747 sports fields, spread over 55,000ha.

That includes 1701km of paths, tracks and walkways, one 51km sea kayak trail, 42 campgrounds and three holiday parks (with 600 camp sites). To keep us fit and trim, there are 928 playgrounds and 42 adult fitness equipment installations.

Add to that 41 pools and leisure centres (24 pools and 17 recreation centres) with 200,000 learn-to-swim lessons per annum.

In Auckland Botanic Gardens alone there are 10,000 plants.

No wonder that adds up to 20.8 million park visits around Auckland per year.

Can you help us name older parks in the region? Tell us your favourite at life@nzherald.co.nz.

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