Upper and lower bush tracks
From the West Tamaki Road entrance, turn left past the observation shelter, then follow the boardwalk. Enter the woodland above the willow pond where fantails dart around.
You will pass the Christine Barfoot Memorial seat.
A short distance further steps lead up to the godwit lookout, which provides excellent views of the lagoon and meadow.
The walk soon divides into the upper and lower tracks. Take the lefthand turn or upper bush track and continue up through bush to the Sylvia Reed Memorial seat, which is an excellent spot to observe birds in the lagoon and on the sandspit.
The track continues through mānuka and kānuka to a small ponga grove then crosses a stream before rising to the sandspit lookout. This has spectacular views of the entire reserve, especially to the fish dam and sandspit beach, as well as the estuary mouth and Musick Point.
From the lookout, go down the steps to rejoin the lower bush track.
A short walk alongside the fish dam will take you out to the sandspit beach before returning along this track. Circle around a swamp on the boardwalk and cross a small stream before entering denser bush alongside another swamp.
At the turn-off to the fish dam causeway, continue straight ahead along a boardwalk which curves around young kahikatea and cabbage trees.
Passing the junction of the upper track, return to the West Tamaki Road carpark.
Sandspit beach walk
At the dam, you will find stilts, herons, kingfishers and ducks. Finches also gather on the salt marsh at the head of the dam.
You can access the walk from the Vista Crescent entrance, the sealed walkway from Riddell Road, near the Beverly Hills shops, or from West Tamaki Road, going along the Lower Bush Track then crossing the fish dam on the causeway.
From the Vista Crescent end, you will pass alongside the fish dam. Continue along the beach, passing groves of young pōhutukawa.
At low tide the spit extends well out into the river towards Bucklands Beach.
You can return to West Tamaki Road at low tide by crossing the mudflats to the Cable Beacon Point.
Dam top and lagoon walk
The dam top walk starts beside the freshwater pond at the West Tamaki Road entrance.
Walk along the dam to observe ducks and pūkeko feeding and swallows catching insects on the wing. You can also enjoy a swim or have a picnic.
At the end of the dam a boardwalk curves over a small swamp of flax and cabbage trees.
Pass through the pōhutukawa trees then turn left just before Cable Beacon Point onto the lagoon walk. Fringed by mangroves, the lagoon contains the Godwit islands and Lockley Island.
Tahuna Torea to Point England
This walk takes you through
Wai-O-Taiki Nature Reserve.
The track rises and falls, crossing a number of side streams and alternating between shady glens and grassy open spaces with river views.
The colourful New Zealand kingfisher, or kotare, is a common sight.
Horse paddocks open out on the right and the mouth of Omaru Creek is visible on the left.
A major bridge over the creek marks a fork in the track.
If you want to do a loop walk or bypass Point England, continue along the pleasant woodland track as it follows the creek.
For the more direct and open route to Point England, cross the bridge and follow the white stone pathway.
Mt Wellington dominates the view to the north.