HIKING NORTH HEAD
Although Auckland is a large metropolitan city and close to where we’ve stayed, we did not visit the city often … as you might know by now (reading some of our previous posts), we prefer the rural areas.
Anyway … when we did visit Auckland, we saw this beautiful place across the harbour (also when we’ve went out on our friends’ yacht) … a place called Devonport. There was this large volcanic cone and we’ve read that hikers like to explore this place.
Great idea … so, on a day in April, we’ve taken the bus to Auckland and then boarded the ferry for a short trip to Devonport.
Our ferry leaving Auckland for a short trip of only 12 minutes to Devonport
Devonport shrouded in mist
Arriving a couple of minutes later in the small harbour of Devonport
The ferry that operates between Auckland and Devonport
Once we’ve arrived in Devonport, we’ve headed for a restaurant for a hearty breakfast – we’ve planned to walk quite some distance today and for that you need energy!
Devonport is a relaxed bayside village with upscale café’s and many seafood restaurants. There were plenty of small boutiques and art dealerships … I can see why this place draws crowds.
Instead of visiting all of these little shops, we’ve headed to the beach and then took the pathway up to North Head.
Cheltenham Beach at Devonport
A bit of history on North Head:
North Head is an extinct volcano which offers stunning views. Between 1870 and 1996, New Zealand army and navy personnel have been stationed here to protect Auckland and the Waitemata Harbour. During this time, they built defences and trained and prepared for an attack (that never came). Now North Head houses an area office for the Department of Conservation.
Only halfway up North Head and we already had great views on Auckland
There are 3 walks identified (The Summit Loop, The Tunnels Loop and The Coastal Loop) … we’ve combined all three and took the rest of the day to explore North Head.
More information about North Head
On The Summit Loop walkway, we had great views in all directions – we could see Devonport, Auckland, nearby islands and other ferries and yachts crossing the ocean.
Views over Auckland and a passing yacht
As we’ve walked to the other side of North Head, we could see more islands – islands we’ve visited before on our friends’ yacht.
We were now on the other side of North Head
Walking on The Summit Loop trail
The Tunnels Loop trail took us into tunnels and historic defence structures. We’ve also seen the 7-inch rifled muzzle loader’s room where they’ve used to store the gun’s ammunition.
Information about the 7-inch rifled muzzle loader magazine
Inside The Tunnels Loop trail
It was a great day out in nature and we were fortunate that the mist lifted as we’ve got off the ferry at Devonport. This meant we had stunning views from North Head.
Our day out on North Head
One last look at the ocean before we get down to The Coastal Loop
The Coastal Loop offers us the chance to view the evidence of the volcano that formed the headland. Most of this walk was in the shadow, which was great because we were quite hot after we’ve walked most of the day in the sun. We’ve also saw some people trying to catch fish on the rocks close to the Coastal Loop.
On pathways at The Coastal Loop
We were sometimes quite close to the edge of the water
It was already late afternoon, when we’ve finished our walk on North Head. Mount Victoria was also on our list to climb today, but we’ve ran out of time. Not to mention Devonport Chocolates – this shop sells handmade gourmet chocolates … yes, we’ll have to come back!
We’ve had one last look at Devonport and Auckland from the lookout point, before we’ve walked back to the harbour to take the ferry back. Devonport is well worth a visit … but plan more than just one day!
Devonport and Auckland as seen from North Head