Auckland running routes:
Auckland Devonport island run
Auckland Domain park and Parnell route
For more running routes, see Route List
NOTE: I neglected to take pictures inside the Domain, so I added some screenshots from Google Maps StreetView
Auckland, New Zealand is a very vertical city. It's almost impossible to avoid hills during a run, unless you stay next to the (mostly beautiful, but not everywhere) waterside the whole time. So, if you want to experience all the town's hidden treasures, you'll just have to embrace the idea of a few hard uphill slogs. That's just what this run will do.
But the scenery will make it all well worth it, believe me. This route winds from the hilltop Albert Park downtown, down across the valley separating it from the huge hilltop Domain park (sits atop an old volcano rim), and then looping downhill through the hip main street of Parnell before going back up the hill to Albert Park again.
|Banyan and bandstand in Albert Park|
Turn left to exit the park on Princes Street. Across the street you'll see some of the University of Auckland buildings, which sprawl over the next few blocks. Go left a few steps to take the side street, Alfred Street, which becomes Grafton Road after just a block. Grafton Road goes downhill, going over a big expressway (Stanley Street) and ends at the bottom of the Domain.
Cross the intersection to the park and continue straight uphill through the park lawn, with the lawn-bowling club to your right, and the boulders to your left. This path leads up into a little woods. The most scenic way is to keep to your left side, within the ravine, where the path becomes a boardwalk going through jungle and blooming trees. You've just found paradise in the middle of a big city.
NOTE: If you prefer a graded asphalt surface, take a side trail to your left up to Lovers Lane, which runs parallel to the trail, and which is hardly less scenic.
|Heading up Lovers Lane in the Domain, from Google StreetView|
|Domain Wintergarden, from Google StreetView|
|War Memorial Museum and Cenotaph in the Domain, from Google StreetView|
You come out on Parnell Road, where you turn left and go straight for almost a kilometer. You will pass the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral on the right side. The older, wooden building is more interesting than the newer brick one that they built behind it.
|Along Parnell Road|
|In a Parnell Courtyard|
|Another Parnell Courtyard|
Carlaw comes out at Stanley Street, just 2 blocks north of where you first entered the Domain earlier. Cross Stanley and head up your last hill on Alten Road. Alten runs along the north side of the university, past some of its oldest buildings. You'll also pass beautiful St. Andrews Presbyterian Church on the left.
After half a kilometer, you'll come to the intersection of Princes Street. Turn left and run past the beautiful tower of the main university building to turn into Albert Park again on your right side. Might as well sit down somewhere here now and enjoy it!