Lovely beaches including Mission Bay, Okahu Bay and Kohimarama beaches are the best

Plan your trip, so you reach Mission Bay at lunchtime, there is a fantastic selection of cafes and restaurants there. Walk on further to St Heliers to the cute little shopping centre. The Hospice shop here is one of the best in Auckland with lots of cheap designer clothes!

Quick Facts about this walk

  • Location: Mission Bay, St Heliers Bay, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
  • Distance: 9.70 km
  • Time needed: 2 hours one way
  • Difficulty: Very Easy
  • Wheelchair Access: No
  • Elevation: Flat as a pancake!
  • Wet Feet: No, unless you plan on a swim along the way
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Dogs: Leash only
  • Mobile Coverage: Yes

How To Bike To Mission Bay

Even though this walk is straightforward, you might prefer to ride a bike instead of walking.  Imagine sitting on a blanket in Mission Bay while you enjoy your picnic lunch while taking in the scenic views.  

After you pass the container wharf there has been a great upgrade with a new two-way bike lane.

Here is the latest photo I took just a couple of days ago

New two way bike lane on the Auckland waterfront in 2021 (1)

Here is the new extension to the bridge with the 2 way bike lane along the Auckland waterfront.

New extension to the bridge for the two way bike lane on the Auckland waterfront in 2021 (1)

Summary points about this walk

Points of interest along the walk​ and my detailed description

Start of the walk from the ferry building

On one of Auckland’s sunny days, we decided to walk from downtown Auckland ferry wharf to St Heliers Bay via Mission Bay for a light lunch then catch the bus back into town.

Our little walk took us half a day, we stopped to look at things of interest along the way, and we sat down on every beach we came to. 

From the bottom of Queen Street in downtown Auckland, walk along Quay Street with the harbour on your left shoulder, there is not a lot to see till you walk past the main container shipping wharf which will take you 15 minutes. Keep to the left-hand side of the road. 

The walkway has a new two-way cycle lane and a walking path.  So plenty of room for you and the bikes.

Hobson Point

Halfway across the first bridge at Hobson Bay, I looked over the side expecting to see fish swimming by, but all I saw was a small penguin also looking for fish.  And at the end of the bridge, there was a shag drying out his wings after a quick dive into the water; he also was looking for fish, but alas we all missed out.

Okahu Bay – time for a pit stop.

The toilets are in the middle of the bay, right next to the footpath, quite old and a bit shabby now. The tide goes out at least 100 metres in this bay, so it doesn’t look so pretty when it’s all the way out.

To walk out, so the water is up to your waist you will need to walk another 100 metres further. The bay is made up of sand with a little mud and shells for good measure.  

You’ll get a great view looking back to Auckland city from Okahu Bay; you can even see the Sky Tower. A good spot for that night photo.

A little further along the walk and you’ll pass Kelly Tarlton’s underwater Aquarium, if you haven’t been in for a look, this is a great opportunity to do so. Skip the queue and book your ticket for  Kelly Tarlton’s here.

From the Orakei wharf, you walk past Briddicks Bay then around Bastion Point and along to Mission Bay

About 1.3 km.  In Mission Bay, there are several restaurants for your dining pleasure. They range from fine sliver service to fish and chips wrapped up in white paper.

There is a wonderful big fountain in Selwyn Domain in the middle of Mission Bay, simply fantastic on a hot summer day. 

St Heliers Bay and beach at the end of this walk

Only another 2.4 km from Mission Bay to St Heliers Bay; follow the walkway along the bays to Kohimarama Beach, around Gower Point and into St Heliers Bay. 

There is a small but unique shopping centre here – worth the walk around.  The bus leaves from across St Heliers Bay Beach to take you back into town regularly. Or take a city sightseeing bus tour, which goes all the way along the waterfront too, with a guide to explain the history and points of interest.

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