Just over the Harbour Bridge from Auckland, the stunning Takapuna to Milford walk offers spectacular nature and historical perspectives. The short walk between the two North Shore beaches is filled with impressive New Zealand nature.
Yesterday was a perfect spring day for a coastal walk from Takapuna to Milford on Auckland’s North Shore. So much of the best of New Zealand, all in one afternoon’s adventure; a perfect cup of coffee, sandy beaches, volcanic rock, gentle waves, a mermaid, cliff and island views, and happy people everywhere.
While many locals have enjoyed the walk, we encourage visitors to discover this little corner of paradise.
Takapuna to Milford walk options
Before you begin, decide if you want predominantly nature or a mix of nature and historic architecture.
- Nature: The walk along the coast is on terrain alternating between paved promenade, uneven lava rocks, and open beach. Parts of it can not be accessed at high tide.
- Heritage Trail: However, there is also the classic Takapuna Milford walk promoted by North Shore city that weaves in and out along several of the streets.
- Loop: It’s easy to see both, just make a loop. Check the Takapuna tide tables first, and choose either the outgoing tide, or the lower tide for the beach walk side.
Takapuna to Milford walk: Coastal
We opted for the coastal walk and loved it so much we came back the same way.
Our walk started at the Takapuna boat ramp where we were instantly distracted by the insanely delicious options at the Takapuna Beach Cafe. After enjoying a tasty dessert alongside my latte, we were ready to begin our adventure.
The 2.1km distance between Milford and Takapuna beaches isn’t that far, but we took our time, frequently stopping to enjoy both nature and some of the interesting architecture of these two upscale neighbourhoods.
On the late spring day that we walked, there was a gentle breeze matched by soft waves. The blue sky and crystal clear water would have been enough to keep us happy but some of the interesting finds made it a truly worthwhile walk.
There seemed a surprise around every corner. Like a cliff wall of lovely fragrant flowers or a playful dog splashing in the foreshore.
The giant’s chair
Feeling like a princess, I couldn’t resist sitting in the “giant’s chair.” Also called ‘the throne’ as it sits at the base of Thorne Bay below what was once Merksworth Castle, and is now a modernized private home.
More great views on the Takapuna to Milford walk
Honestly, the day just kept on getting better with views like these:
- A stair case leading to the low tide sand. Our mid tide walk found the bottom of these stairs underwater.
- Rangitoto Island stands tall and proud in the distance. It last erupted about 600 years ago.
- Look closely at the third image, at the girl lying on the seawall. Is she a mermaid?
Takapuna to Milford walk: Heritage trail
If you opt for the heritage trail. you will walk along public roads as well as paths. Download a free map.
Some of the highlights include:
- The old post office
- Several prominent homesteads
- The Hurst trees
- Algies Castle (originally called Merkesworth Castle)
- Views of Lake Pupuke
Curious, I did look up Merkesworth castle and found this:
What you need to know: Takapuna to Milford walk
- If you are making a loop, you can start the walk anywhere and go in either direction. Many people do a Milford to Takapuna walk. We start at the Takapuna boat ramp.
- We found parking in the small boat ramp car park. There is also street parking along Alison and Earnoch Avenues. There is also parking near Milford Beach at the end of Muritai Road.
- The coastal distance between the two beaches is just over two kilometres (in each direction), and the loop walk takes between 1-2 hours, depending on how many photos you take.
- The walkway has two distinctively different portions. From Takapuna Beach Cafe to about Audrey Road we walked on uneven surfaces, climbing up and down over black, volcanic rock. According to the sign, it requires a reasonable level of fitness, which I guess I now have as I never found it a problem. There were occasional joggers, confirming that it wasn’t too difficult.
- The second half of the trail, from about Audrey Road to Milford Beach, is paved, easy, and suitable for prams.
- Children should always be supervised around water, but additional care would be needed for the Takapuna end of this trail.
- The walk from Takapuna to Milford is one of the many free things to do in the Auckland region.
If you loved this walk, check out these 18 amazing short Auckland walks.
Save on your NZ trip with these resources
These are our go-to companies when we travel. We believe this list to be the best in each category. You can’t go wrong using them on your trip too.
- Flights: we use Expedia for the best and cheapest flight options.
- Accommodations: we use Booking.com (hotels) or BookABatch (self-contained).
- Cars (gas or electric): we use RentalCars to search for deals and dealer ratings.
- Campervans or Motorhomes: we use Campstar where Albom Adventures readers get a 3% discount
- Activity discounts: we check Bookme.com for discounts of up to 70% on activities.
- Private guides: we love the private guides at Tours by Locals
- Travel Insurance: our go-to is World Nomads*.
Check out our travel resources page for more companies that we use when you travel.
*World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Save for when you are ready to walk
If you enjoyed this walk, please share it on social media, and pin it:
Which Takapuna to Milford walk will you do?
Nearby things to do:
- Orewa Beach: See Why This Local’s Paradise is an Auckland Getaway
- North Head: Exploring Old Military Tunnels in Auckland
- Mount Victoria Devonport: Best Views of Auckland Sunset and Skyline
- Gluten-Free Hibiscus Coast Restaurants: Orewa to Gulf Harbour
- Shakespear Park: Visit an Open Bird Sanctuary, with Beaches, and Hiking
You are looking great! What gorgeous shots, as always. Pinned your puppy….too cute!
What a beautiful place to celebrate your birthday and your great success, Rhonda. By the way, did you change the color of your hair? You look very different in this picture.
Good observation. I lost 40 pounds (18kg), changed my hair from blondish to dark reddish, and I have new glasses.
Belated happy birthday! What a wonderful place to spend a special day. Love the wall of flowers!
What a beautiful day you had to do this walk. Love the scenery and all your photos. Happy Birthday too 🙂
I couldn’t imagine a nicer day.
Lyn (aka) The Travelling Lindfields
I am really enjoying all your Auckland posts. it makes me realise how much we missed when we were there in February. Now we’re going to have to go back – lol.
Beautiful photos! Love the wall of flowers. Always fun to find those hidden elements of natural beauty!
I am still surprised that I have lived here this long and this is the first time I did this walk.
Indeed, it’s amazing; especially this wall of flowers! So beautiful! 🙂
I’ve never seen an outdoor elevator, how cool is that!
I am not sure if they are actually called elevators, as they run on the track. Regardless of the name, I agree, they are really cool.
What a peaceful way to spend the day. All that coastal blue is just mesmerizing. Happy Birthday!
It was a perfect birthday destination.
Happy birthday and congratulations! What a wonderful bit of news!
That walk looks amazing! I grew up in the hills of southwest Missouri, and my mom jokes that I’m part goat with one leg shorter than the other due to climbing all those hills as a kid. I’m OK with rocky, uneven surfaces 😉 Those little elevator cars are interesting to me. Lots of our houses here along the Mississippi Coast have outdoor elevators…after Hurricane Katrina, the required home elevations reached 20′ in some places. Those little carts are much cuter with much more character, though. That wall of flowers is incredible!
Thank you for sharing with us at Photo Friday!
What a small world. I went to the University of Missouri, but that was a long time ago. Interesting information on post Katrina. Glad you enjoyed my photos.
Happy Birthday and the fireworks were exclusively for you. What a beautiful walk.
I enjoy my fireworks every year.
Rhonda, read your post where you reveal your great news! Very happy for you! What a stunning place to celebrate. The wall covered with flowers is so pretty.
What a fabulous way to celebrate your birthday and good news from the doctor, too! My favorite photo is the wall of flowers – absolutely gorgeous!
The flowers were a really great surprise when I came around the corner.
As you said, it is stunning!!
I really loved the picture of the flower wall, great photo!
Lydia C. Lee
What an absolutely beautiful walk – except that flag!! 😉
Ha ha ha, I put it in just for my Oz friends.
New Zealand is so beautiful, hope to visit someday – you mentioned.. sandy beaches, volcanic rock, gentle waves, a mermaid.. but there was no pic of a mermaid.. haha. Great post and pics!
In the 6th picture from the top, don’t you think the girl laying on the rocks looks a bit like a mermaid? She did to me when I first noticed her 🙂
Haha – that does look like a mermaid with a hat sunning!
LOL – My daughter laughed at me when I first saw her and said “Look – a mermaid, that must be good luck!”
That shot of the wall of flowers is stunning! What a beautiful and scenic walk and the views are stunning. I hope you had a good birthday too! – Tasha
I would do this walk again for the scenery and it helped make my birthday special.
Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor
Happy Birthday! What a wonderful way to celebrate. And well done to the All Blacks!
I’m so proud of you. I know you’re on cloud nine and that’s great. You’ve earned your spot on that cloud. I’m also glad you have a great birthday. Probably one of the best ever.
Have a fabulous day Rhonda. ♥♥♥
Happy Birthday! That stone chair is THE COOLEST thing. Amazing pictures, I especially like the one with that cute doggy 🙂 Thank you for hosting and have a great weekend!
I’m happy you enjoyed my pictures. The dog was quite happy in the water.
Alex J. Cavanaugh
Happy birthday! The fireworks were for you.
Beautiful place. I’d be in the water playing with that dog.
The fireworks were awesome but the water is a bit too cold for me still.
Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
Great photos! Auckland seems like a pretty cool place to live in!
Paul F. Pietrangelo
” Happy Birthday Rhonda “. You had a beautiful day walking around that beautiful area. New Zealand must really be a beautiful place to live. Are there dangerous snakes and spiders there like Australia? If not I might want to visit New Zealand some day. Save me a piece of Birthday cake my friend. See ya.
There are no snakes in New Zealand and only one endemic spider that is poisonous (and it is very geographically limited). I’ll put a piece of cake in the freezer 🙂
L. Diane Wolfe
How beautiful! It looks so peaceful. I would love to smell that wall of flowers.
Happy belated birthday.
Serenia from Squidoo
Happy Birthday Rhonda
I used to live in Glenfield and work in Takapuna a LOOOONG time ago (over 20 years ago now). I’ve taken the bus from Takapuna to Milford. LOL
But otherwise, no I have never done that walk. I do not have good balance on rocky and uneven ground.
If you walk from the Milford side, it is flat and well paved so you can see a lot without chancing the uneven rocks.
Beautiful photos Rhonda and the lovely scenery and blue sea, It’s pouring with rain here and dark & grey…no change here then LOL 🙁
I’ll send some of our sunshine over. Summer is starting early for me.
Hi Rhonda – are you a happy Guy Fawkes day girl … many congratulations and what a wonderful week it’s been for you. I’m so pleased the medical was such a positive experience … the beach walk looks incredible – I love that wall of flowers … absolutely gorgeous. My recent coastal visits weren’t so kind, but it didn’t rain very much – just grey … but that’s understandable here at this time of year.
Happy Birthday and here’s a great year ahead for you all … what a lovely way to start Spring off … cheers Hilary
I love the fireworks on my birthday. A big celebration for all the good things that have been happening. I wish you better weather.
I haven’t been there in quite a few years but as a teenager I spent many happy summers on the beach with my family 🙂
Stella Lee@ Purfylle
Photos of Auckland leave me speechless every time with how green the plants are, how blue the water is. I’ve never seen those little car lift things, they are a pretty awesome feature for such steep blocks. My favourite shot is that incredible wall of flowers!
I don’t think all the houses have street access so those “cable” cars must be very useful. It was a beautiful day and the colors were quite vibrant.
I hate uneven stones! As much as I love Europe, I found myself often catching my toes on the uneven pavement. Happy Birthday!
I remember the cobbles in Europe. A lot of the beginning of this walk was volcanic stones placed to stop erosion so they might wobble. It was slow going but not too difficult.