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COVID-19 Alert Level 1 – Akl Paths information

Parks facilities, including toilets are open at Alert Level 1, with the exception of drinking fountains and outdoor showers which remain closed due to water restrictions.

Aucklanders planning to use these facilities should wash or sanitise their hands before and after use, keep two metres away from other users and should not use these facilities or equipment if they’re feeling unwell.

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Explore AKL Paths to find your local path.

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Withiel Thomas Path

Walking time 10 mins

Walking steps 390 steps

Distance 300 m

Starts at 6-16 Withiel Drive, Epsom

Get directions on Google Maps

About the path

Follow the short walking loop through the park, starting at the entrance sign. Withiel Thomas Reserve is located on the edge of one-way Withiel Drive in Epsom, which comes down to Gillies Avenue. The park is notable as it is made up entirely of a tiny surviving remnant of lava rock forest – a rare ecosystem, after centuries of modification. Most of Auckland’s rock forest was lost in fires started by the earliest Māori settlers. The expansion of Auckland destroyed much of what was left.

Withiel Thomas Reserve was once part of the estate that belonged to Sir Algernon Withiel Thomas and his wife Emily. He was the first professor of natural history at Auckland University College. Next to the pocket of rock forest, they established a 4ha garden in the late 1800s.

The short but rugged nature loop through Withiel Thomas Reserve takes you through this rare little bit of forest. The path is rocky and slippery when wet, so take care walking after it has rained.

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