Tamaki Drive hugs the waterfrount of the easterns bays of Auckland and seems to be the place to be for walking, jogging and any exercise in general. I took the bus from Auckland city to Mission Bay and really enjoyed the scenic drive.
Once you reach Mission Bay you will find that it is a perfect spot for a family day out. Restaurants and cafes fill one side of the street while on the other you will find white sandy beaches and grassy ares for having a picnic. Its a very busy place - I would imagine so especially in summer so if your driving I advise you to get there early enough for a park!
Despite what the term "inner city" implies in some cities, in Auckland, running in the inner city can be a pleasure. My favourite run was along Tamaki Drive, following the Hobson Bay-Orakei Basin circuit. The circuit is about 10 kilometers and depending on how keen you are, you can do the whole thing or just part of it, doubling back when your legs are about to give out. This is also a beautiful walk, taking you through the Domain, along Parnell's residential areas, by the Parnell Rose Garden, down by the docks and along Tamaki Drive (where great views of Rangitoto Island can be had), around Hobson Bay and back to the Domain.
Auckland City publishes a guide to running in the city, which gives several options depending what you fancy at the time.
On the way to Mission Bay you will drive along Tamaki Drive. The Drive will give you a great view of the Harbour , Rongitoto Island and the city , looking back.This is a great place to walk , jog , cycle or rollerblade. You can rent this from the vendor on the side of the road.
Mission Bay has a nice stretch of sandy beach and grass reserve where you can relax and enjoyed the views. Mission Bay is one of the most popular beach in Auckland due to it's location near the city and the row of cafes, restaurants and pubs across the road offering a enticing blend of foods ranging from Thai to Italian. If you are on a budget, grab some fish and chips from The Fish Pot or a cool ice-cream, relax on the lawn and watch people enjoying themselves on a fine day playing soccer, touch rudby or cricket.
This is a great place to spent a relaxing evening with friends over dinner and drinks.
Warning; It can get pretty crowded on the weekend and finding a parking can be a nightmare especially during the weekend.
Up on Bastion Point are the Michael Joseph Savage Memorial Gardens. Michael Savage was the Prime Minister of New Zealand during the 1930’s and quite a legend. There is a reflecting pool at the foot
A popular destination for kite fliers, Bastion Point lives up to its name and has the remains of WWII-era lookout bunkers and gun emplacements. Of the memorial and obelisk. You can reach the memorial as you drive around Tamaki Drive. The car park is closed at night.
Another place in Auckland that provides sweeping views of both the Waitemata harbour and the Hauraki Gulf is Bastion Point Bastion Point. Around the hilltop are the remains of WW II era gun replacements and lookout bunkers.
If you've come to Auckland and feel like a little exercise, there is nothing better than Tamaki Drive. Starting just outside of the City and extending all the way to St Heliers, there is a walking, cycling and roller blading track from one end to the other. Tamaki Drive gives wonderful views over the water to Devonport and out to Rangitoto Island, and you can make detours and walk up to the top of Bastion Point for even better views. Ferg's Kayaks hires out roller blades (and kayaks if you want to take the watery route.
Because of its location, Auckland has many unspoilt beaches. White sand stretches in and out of coves. It takes little time to travel to from most areas in Auckland where the beaches are.
The west coast has the more rugged beaches and in some cases, black sand. Good surfing beaches on this side.
Mission Bay is along Auckland's scenic waterfront drive and is very popular in summertime for the beach but also all year round for the little cafes and restaurants that stretch right around the drive through the various bays.
The Water fountain has been there forever and is a nice cooling off spot for kids. As always in Auckland, Rangitoto looms in the background.