About the path
Enjoy a scenic walkway from Glendowie to the Tahuna Torea Nature Reserve. This is an area rich in Māori history, native birdlife and vegetation.
Start the walk at Roberta Reserve or Glendowie Park. You can also complete the walk in reverse by starting at the carpark at the end of West Tamaki Road.
Roberta Reserve is a huge green space, great for flying kites and kicking around a ball. The playground offers exciting, safe play spaces for kids of all ages. For more adventurous youngsters, the park’s large colourful rope fort, eagle’s nest and swing basket are a real highlight.
From here the walkway is flat, crossing a small stream then heading along the coast. The path is sealed to Tahuna Torea (see if you can find the Taniwha teeth in the path!), and then gravel. Expect some moderate hills and watch your footing as some areas of the path suffer from coastal erosion.
Observe great views out to Browns Island (Motukorea) and the Tamaki Strait.
Tahuna Torea introduces you to 25 hectares of unique wildlife habitat sited on a long sand bank extending out into the Tamaki Estuary. There are bushy areas for birds to hide and rest in, fresh and saltwater wetlands, and plants like gorse are left to give shelter to young native trees.
At the dam, you will find stilts, herons, kingfishers and ducks. The best time to view wading birds is between full-tide and half-tide from November to March. Keen bird-watchers should check tide movements beforehand.
You can walk along Sandspit beach. At low tide the spit extends well out into the river towards Bucklands Beach. If you're feeling adventurous you can cross the mudflats at low tide to the Cable Beacon Point and lookout. Join up with the walkway end at the West Tamaki Road car park.
The sandspit lookout has spectacular views of the entire reserve. Stop for views of the fish dam and Sandspit beach, as well as the estuary mouth and Musick Point.
Finish the walk at the West Tamaki Road car park. If you're keen to keep exploring, continue along the dam top walk which starts beside the freshwater pond. Walk along the dam to observe ducks and pūkeko feeding and swallows catching insects on the wing.