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Te Ara o Taurarua / Judges Bay Path

Walking time 40 mins

Walking steps 3510 steps

Distance 2.7 km

Starts at 87 Gladstone Road, Parnell

Get directions on Google Maps

About the path

This stunning path combines the beauty of the Parnell Rose Gardens with extensive views of the Waitematā Harbour.

Admire the variety of colourful roses, the Nancy Steen Garden, the Historic St Stephens Church and learn about the growth of this waterfront suburb.

Start the loop at the archway entrance on the corner of Gladstone Road and Judges Bay Road, following the edge of the driveway. Almost immediately you enter the vast array of roses for which Dove Myer Robinson Reserve is famous. There is a large variety of species and colours to enjoy.

Across the driveway, the walkway takes you past many grand pōhutukawa trees and towards the harbour where you can enjoy wonderful views. There are plenty of seats throughout the walk to rest and relax on.

Heading downhill (some of it quite steep with a few stairs) you are greeted by Judges Bay, a small tidal inlet suitable for swimming. At the Eastern end of the bay, the historic Parnell Baths (pool) are located, open in the summer months.

The walkway passes through the pool complex where you can enjoy the creative crushed glass mural and learn more about early Auckland history.

Continue to the modern waterfront pedestrian bridge and turn right to head up the stairs to St Stephens Avenue, the street of former Prime Minister, Sir John Key. Ensure you pause to take in the views of the sparkling Waitematā Harbour.

The next stop is the historic St Stephens Church, with its fascinating early settler graveyard and lovely views.

Once you have taken some time to explore, head downhill and back towards the Rose Gardens.

A climb back up towards the starting point will lead you to the Nancy Steen (1898-1986) Garden, planted to honour her dedication to understanding roses brought out by early NZ settlers. There is a lovely spot with a fountain where you can sit and relax.

Enjoy a short bushwalk and you arrive back at the start!

This walk has good pathways but is hilly, so requires moderate fitness and stability. There are stairs along the walk so the full loop is not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies, although most of the Parnell Rose Gardens are fine.


  • Drinking fountain
  • Drinking fountain
  • Public artwork
  • Public toilet
  • Swimming pool

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