Walk status: Off-lead
I didn't think a park could topple Churchill Park off its top perch, until I found Point England Reserve. Located just down the road from Churchill Park, you could combine the two if you're exploring the area.
Point England Reserve offers everything you could want in a doggie walk, wide open spaces, beach access, farmland, bush walks and a loop that gives a decent length of walk.
Arriving at the carpark on Point England Road, there is ample parking and a children's playground and toilets located at the entrance. Unfortunately the tide was out when we arrived, but if you timed it right you could also let your dog enjoy a swim here.
We followed the concrete path around the exterior of the park, which gives you views across the water for most of the way. Shortly after the entrance you'll see a wooden deck area which leads down to another area of beach to explore.
Continuing around the pathway, there are also many small farm gates along the path that allow you to choose to move off the main path and walk through some of the paddocks instead. However watch for grazing animals as there was cows and horses grazing there. We stuck to the path on this walk, and even the path and surrounding grass areas were quite muddy so you'll want appropriate footwear if you want to keep your feet dry.
There are many picnic tables dotted along the main pathway also, allowing for a few good photo opportunities or a stop over for a picnic if the weather is good.
Crossing the bridge allows you access to the other side of the park which leads into the other reserves and forms the Point to Point walkway. Head right to access the other reserve areas, although again a word of warning its muddy through here! George and I took the opportunity to walk through a couple of the surrounding reserves and explore that area before turning around and heading back to the bridge to try the opposite direction.
Reaching the bridge we had previously crossed, we instead headed straight (or left if you're choosing not to walk the reserves) which lead us along a nice bush track on the opposite side of Pt England Reserve. This bush track brings you out onto Taniwha Street as there are no opportunities to cross back into the reserve from this track. However just a few short steps left on Taniwha Street brings you to another entrance into the reserve, running behind the houses. This track follows along behind the houses on Taniwha Street until you reach a bridge which allows you to cross the pond that the local ducks have made their home.
Upon crossing this bridge, you can either head left and walk the paddocks to return along the main pathway. Alternatively you can do what George and I did which was walk right and across the sport fields to get back to the carpark.
To walk the same track as we did, exploring some of the reserves before heading back the way we came to complete a loop took approx an hour with a few photo stops and it was approx 4.4kms. You can make this walk as long or as short as you want and if you time it right with the tide, you could be here for a while!
Blog Update: Note a blog follower let me know in July 2018 that the paddocks are no longer accessible to dogs, and the full loop we previously did (as marked by the GPS image) may no longer be accessible without now having to walk all the way along Taniwha Street to rejoin the park.
Location: 254 Point England Road, Pt England
Carparking is good.
Things to know:
There are toilets here
There is a children's playground
There is beach access
You can create a longer walk by completing the Point to Point walkway, see details here: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz