Aorere Park - Mangere East (South)
Walk status: Off-lead
On a trip to Auckland, I was looking for a stopover point out South that would be our last stop of the day. It didn't need to be a big walk, but just a spot that allowed for a decent stretch of the legs after our last stop in Hamilton. Having previously only walked on-lead areas that day, I wanted to try and find a spot in Auckland that George could have a proper run around.
Using Auckland Councils search function (which you can find HERE), I sought out parks in South Auckland and landed on Aorere Park as it was just a short detour from the motorway.
I parked up on Haddon Street, but you can access the park from any of the surrounding streets. The carpark gate on Haddon Street wasn't open so I assume this is only opened during sports games on the weekends. There is plenty of street parking, just be warned there are schools and a pre-school in close proximity so visiting at schools out isn't the best idea (as we unfortunately discovered!).
Heading into the park via the carpark on Haddon Street, the park opens up to various sports fields with some large established trees, and at one end, the local pre-school. We headed right and eventually ended up at a small bridge that we crossed to walk the edge of the surrounding houses. Crossing another bridge back to the other side lead us to a more tree lined area of the park which looked to follow alongside some houses for a fair distance. However on reaching roughly the halfway point, I discovered the access to the other side was blocked by a small flow of water.
It turns out there are a few parts in this park that are blocked due to the water that runs through, it also means that even in the early days of winter, certain parts of the park were very muddy. You might find yourself having to weave around the open spaces a bit to find where the pathway or bridge is to get you back onto the other side. While we would have enjoyed exploring around here usually, with schools out, we were sharing the park with some of the local kids that decided on that day that they were interested in making a bit of trouble by lighting the dry leaves on fire at various points in the park. Not wanting George to get in the mix of anything, especially being off-lead, we diverted our walk slightly and headed back to where we started.
Time a visit here during school hours and you'll probably get the place all to yourself. Its big enough for a throw of the ball or frisbee, just be prepared to get a little dirty with the mud. This is one you'll probably want to avoid on Saturdays as its used as a sports field.
Location: 28 Haddon Street, Mangere East
Lots of parking on the surrounding streets
Things to know:
Carpark gate isn't open during weekdays (from what we saw)
Lots of surrounding schools so can get busy at certain times of the day
Watch out for the mud and water that runs through certain parts of the park