Outside is the place to be this summer in Auckland. See below for tips on how to make the most of our amazing region, and explore our parks and facilities and events sections to get some inspiration for more things to do.
Wake up in a park
Escape to the beach or countryside at one of Auckland Council’s holiday parks, baches or campsites. Hot picks include:
- Craw Homestead at Anawhata, Paturoa Bach near Titirangi and farm-style baches at Atiu Creek Regional Park
- holiday parks at Orewa, Martins Bay and Whangateau
- classic campgrounds at Omana, Tapapakanga, Waharau, Atiu Creek and Wenderholm regional parks
- wilderness camping experiences at Tawhitokino Regional Park on the south-eastern coast and Karamatura in the Waitākere Ranges
- campervan sites (for vehicles with self-containment certificates) at a range of regional parks.
Bookings are essential and popular sites fill up fast, so get in quick or start thinking about autumn escapes now.
Visit the Accommodation and bookings section of our website to check availability and find out how to make a booking, or call 09 301 0101.
Dine al fresco
Spread out the picnic blanket and have a meal to remember in an unforgettable location in one of our local or regional parks.
There are more than 180 electric, gas or wood-burning barbecues available for use in council parks – use the parks search for more information or find out more about picnics in regional parks.
If taking your own gas barbecue, make sure you steer clear of overhanging trees.
Large picnic sites can accommodate up to 500 people but you'll have to book in advance.
Restricted fire season
From December, a restricted fire season will be put in place to reduce the risk of fires in our rural communities.
During the restricted fire season, a permit will be required for all outdoor fires in rural areas on the mainland.
At the same time, a Prohibited Fire Season (fire ban) will apply to all islands in the Hauraki Gulf. In urban areas, outdoor fires are allowed for cooking and heating, but should be used safely and considerately.
Keep kauri standing
You can help prevent the spread of kauri dieback disease in our parks this summer by:
- cleaning your shoes, tyres and other gear before and after visiting kauri forests
- staying on designated tracks
- keeping off kauri roots
- looking out for kauri protection zones in the Waitākere Ranges and Hunua Ranges.
Visit the Keep Kauri Standing website or call 0800 NZ KAURI (0800 695 2874) for more information.
Stay safe on the rocks
Don't put your life on the line - if you're fishing off rock platforms, particularly on Auckland's west coast, remember to:
- wear a life jacket
- check the weather forecast
- never fish alone
- wear trainers, not gumboots
- never turn your back on the ocean
- call 111 in an emergency.
Pedal or paddle
Auckland Council works with mountain biking clubs and enthusiasts to create tracks and trails around the region for every skill level.
The newly opened Waitawa Regional Park offers a range of tracks from beginner to advanced, while Arch Hill Scenic Reserve has beginner and intermediate trails.
For the mountain bikers of tomorrow, there is the toddlers' bike loop at Lake Town Green in Takapuna and children's bike tracks at Onepoto Domain on the North Shore.
If you're on your bike, keep an eye out for walkers and horse riders who may also be using the tracks and trails.
Many of Auckland's parks are ideal for launching an exploration of the coast by kayak.
Shakespear and Tāwharanui regional parks in particular have shallow, sheltered areas suitable for beginners, while Rame Reserve in Greenhithe has a pontoon for launching kayaks.
Experienced kayakers can tackle Te Ara Moana - the sea-going pathway, a self-guided five-day sea kayak tour along approximately 51km of Auckland's south-eastern coastline.
A message from the Auckland Harbourmaster
Auckland Harbourmaster staff will be out and about this summer, so make sure you're aware of the new Navigation Safety Bylaw rules. Take care on the water and keep your boat and gear in good shape.
Don't get hooked on endangered seabirds
The tāiko (black petrel) is one of the world’s most endangered seabirds.
They often get caught in fishing lines and hooks. If you’re out fishing you can help protect them by using a horn or a toy water pistol to keep them away from your boat, and by keeping pliers on board to cut hooks if birds get caught.
Visit the Southern Seabirds website for more information.
Fun and fitness in the suburbs
Whether you want to keep fit, improve your swimming skills or just cool off, all outdoor council pools across the region will be open for summer by mid-December.
Visit the Auckland Leisure website to find your nearest pool and get more information about Auckland Leisure’s summer events, children’s holiday programmes, learn-to-swim classes and fitness opportunities.
Entry to Auckland Council pools is free for young people aged 16 and under.
Stay safe at the pool or beach
- Actively supervise children near water.
- Swim with others and between the flags at beaches with lifeguards present.
- Empty paddling/inflatable pools and turn them upside down.
- Remove ladders, bins, chairs and barbecues from the pool area and cut back trees so children cannot use them to climb over fences into the pool.
- Don't drink and swim.
- Learn swimming and water-survival skills.
- Know your limits and learn safe ways of rescuing others without putting yourself in danger.
Free safety advice for pool owners
A pool is a wonderful asset for your home and family, but owning a pool comes with responsibilities - non-compliant pool gates are the main cause of drowning for children in domestic pools.
To keep your pool safe:
- maintain your pool fence
- ensure your gate self-closes and latches behind you
- register your pool with the council.
Council inspections are carried out approximately every three years and the first inspection is free. Auckland Council also provides free safety advice to pool owners.
Find out more about your responsibilities as a swimming pool or spa pool owner.