Auckland Short Walk: Papakura Inlet, South Auckland
It was low tide the winter morning that we walked around the Pahurehure Inlet at Papakura. The frosty ice crunched under our feet when we started our walk, and yet it did not take long for our bodies to warm up after the cold start to the day.
Part of the Pahurehure Esplanade walkway has slipped into the estuary at one point, but we managed to find a short detour.
This walk is full of contrast - the quietness of the tree lined suburban streets and the reserves, the busy noise of the Southern Motorway, the happy sound of sports grounds in use on this Saturday morning, the peacefulness of the estuary path along Pahurehure Inlet.
In 2010 the Pahurehure Inlet was cleared of mangroves. Today the empty inlet looked naked - in a good way.
Suggested cafes (from a friend who lives in the area): In Papakura there’s the Robert Harris which is probably the best coffee, and then there’s the local Pizza Box - they have some good dishes and a good selection, and their coffee is quite good too.
There is a children’s playground in Ray Small Park. Please check signage for off leash dog exercise areas.
Nearby Walks: Conifer Grove, Wattle Downs, Totara Park.
Description: Mostly level paths with a short run of steps. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind.
To see: Papakura Inlet coastal views, shorebirds, parks and sports field, residential streets.
Time: approx. 80 minutes (about 6.4 kms).
Parking: Wharf Street, Prince Edward Park. Cafés: Various in township Public toilets: Ray Small Park Children’s playgrounds: Ray Small Park
Dogs: Please check with Auckland Council for current rules. Picnic Sites: Bench seats along route. Directions: Start from the car park at the end of Wharf Street (off Queen Street).
NB. At the time of publication, part of the concrete walkway had been washed out around the edge of the inlet between Wharf Street and the end of Queen Street. Once this is repaired it will be possible to use again.
1. Turn back down Wharf Street and turn right > into Queen Street and continue to end.
2. Turn left < into driveway between #48 and #50. Follow driveway around in the direction of Elliot Street.
3. Turn right > onto Pahureuhure Esplanade when possible. 4. Turn right > into Elliot Street. 5. Turn right > onto walkway between #57 & #59 to The Spinney. 6. Turn left < into Cricklewood Street. 7. Turn next right > into Rippleside Place.
8. Turn right > onto walkway between #12 & #11 and continue straight ahead along Freelance Terrace.
9. Turn left < onto walkway between #19 & #20.
10. Keep right > at all the junctions along the Pahureuhure Esplanade.
11. Turn right > into Rushgreen Avenue.
12. Turn right > at the next walkway beside #64 and follow the walkway within the Jack Farrell Reserve to the right > to Lakeside Drive. 13. Turn right > into Barnhill Crescent. 14. Turn right > into Bexley Place. 15. Turn left< into walkway between #24 & #26.
16. Turn left < into Elliot Street and cross over to Ray Small Drive (next road on your right).
17. Turn right > into Union Street (almost at the end of Ray Small Drive).
18. Turn left < into Wood Street. Continue straight ahead to the end.
19. Join the walkway, and turn left < at the T-junction.
20. Take the steps down to the waterfront and then turn next left < to return to the start at the end of Wharf Street.
Above left: Low tide at Pahurehure Inlet. Below left: The Pahurehure Inlet clear of mangroves. Below right: Looking out into the Pahurehure Inlet.