My closet fantasy is to run a marathon (and save the world in dramatic Macgyver-style fashion). To help facilitate this (the running part, that is), we often go on a weekend urban exploration run, and this Sunday, decided to check out Oakley Creek.
Oakley Creek is a reserve situated along Great North Road, with reserve entrance at the Great North Road/Western Motorway Interchange. The reserve is 1 -2km in length, winding its way along a scenic stream, complete with waterfall, native bush, and the occasional mini-rapids.
The Oakley Creek Walkway is dedicated to the memory of Beverly Price, an accomplished mountaineer and tramper, who campaigned to turn the creek into a reserve and walkway. Tragically, she died in the Mt Erebus Plan Crash.
Today, the reserve is a lovely spot to escape the hecticity of urban life, and all within walking/running distance from the central city.
To get there from Eden Terrace, these two urban explorers ended up taking the long route due to not being equipped with a map, and the walkway not well signposted.
However, to take in the most of Auckland POIs*, I recommend the following more optimised route:
Starting at Eden Terrace, head through Kingsland, checking out the Ponsonby wannabe Mommy’s Coffee Club, before taking a turn down Western Springs Road to Fowlds Park.
Head towards the Chamberlain Golf Course, stopping for a stretch break at the old 1942 anti-aircraft battery.
Then, continue on along the North Western Cycle/Walkway past the old Oakley Mental Hospital (now Unitech), before reaching the reserve entrance at the Great North Road intersection.
Ramble along the walkway, and head back via tree-lined streets, oggling at some lovely old villas along the way, as well as the occasional sorer view of urban decay.
All-up our trek/run took in about 17km of local scenic delights, although taking the direct route, a return trip from Eden Terrace would be closer to 10km.
View all photos here.
* That’s Points Of Interest, if you’ve never worked at Navman