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Auckland Transport

Walking Walking

Walking in Auckland

Walking is a fun and low-cost way of keeping fit, plus it’s a great way to discover more of what’s around you. 

It has heaps of health benefits

Greek physician Hippocrates famously said, “walking is man’s best medicine”, now decades later, it seems he’s still right. Walking can improve the health of your heart and reduce the risk of various diseases. It also does wonders for your brain, even just walking for 15 minutes will help stimulate the growth of new brain cells. Walking is a great way to connect with others and helps give you a sense of independence and purpose, which all become more important as we get older.

Want to read more reasons about why walking is great for you? Check out the NZ Ministry of Health’s ‘Guide to Walking’:

It gets you outdoors

You’ve probably been told to ‘go for a walk and get some fresh air’, then after going, have found that it helped. That’s because being in green spaces, such as going for a walk-in nature, can have positive impacts on your physical and mental health. General practitioners (GPs) believe these results are so great that they are now prescribing ‘green prescriptions’ to patients, which encourages them to spend more time being active outdoors as part of a ‘total health plan’. 

If you’re looking to be healthier and enjoy more time outside, then a green prescription could be for you. Find out more information by talking to Sport Auckland.

You can wave goodbye to your car for short trips

According to Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority’s (EECA) latest research, “more than 3.3 million cars are on the road, with nearly a third of their trips [being] less than two kilometers”. That's a lot of short, local journeys! If you need to do something locally, why not get some exercise and be productive at the same time? Walking is a free and environmentally friendly way to get around, plus, if you walk places, you can forget about petrol and paying for parking. 

Walking is also a great way to connect with your local community. If you walk around your local area you have the option to window shop or pop into shops or cafes that interest you. Best of all, you get to create your own route and run off your own time. Whether you need to get some groceries or you’re just thinking about grabbing a coffee, everything you need is usually within walking distance, so grab your shoes and give walking a go.

It’s a great way to explore your wider area

Our towns and suburbs are full of great walks, including urban city walks, nature walks, local bush reserve walks, as well as walking paths through various local and regional parks. There are walks to suit all fitness levels and age groups, so you can find one that’s perfect for you. Whether you walk five kilometres or twenty, walking is a great way to get out and explore your wider area.

Not sure where to walk? Check out the AKL Paths web-portal to find a huge range of walkways and trails near you and further afield. If you’re interested in joining a walking group or organisation, or are just looking for some more resources, click here.

Walking is the best way to find hidden gems in the city centre

While you’ve been out and about exploring the city, you may have stumbled across pedestrian cut-throughs. ‘Cut-throughs’ are public accessways in-between or through buildings which connect parallel streets. These hidden walkways through the city centre can keep you drier and help you get you to your destination quicker. Some are easy to find and are well used, like The Strand and Mid City Arcades on Queen Street. Other, less obvious ones may go through building lobbies, and use escalators and lifts. If you are planning on taking a path that goes through a building, it’s a good idea to check the buildings opening hours first. Cut-throughs may also provide improved access for those with mobility aids or prams, however this isn’t always guaranteed.

It’s a great way to travel to work

Have you ever walked to work? What about part of the way? People who walk to work tend to have better overall mental health, experience less stress and arrive to work feeling more focused. If you don’t think you can walk the whole distance, why not walk part of the way then use a train, bus, bike or ferry to travel the remaining bit.

Have you thought about promoting walking in your workplace? Show your workmates just how great walking can be by downloading and using our ‘5 reasons why you should try walking to work’ poster

Make Auckland Your #Walkland

Read the stories of everyday Aucklanders who enjoy making Auckland their #Walkland.


There are so many ways to travel around. Why do you walk?

I walk most mornings, rain or shine. I find it’s a great way to start my day. If I’m walking with my husband, we talk about what’s on for the day. If I’m on my own it’s some quiet time.

Describe where/when you generally walk and what you see along the way.

On a Sunday morning I generally have a bit more time, so I have a couple of routes I alternate between. One is down to the waterfront where I generally stop at Mechanics Bay and take a seat and just enjoy the harbour for a moment. Then it’s up the stairs by the Parnell Baths, up St Stephens Ave and through the Domain for a bit of nature and [see] the magnificence of the Auckland Museum and the view over the city. The other one is down to the bottom of town, through the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter, up College Hill, along Ponsonby Road and Karangahape Road. Karangahape Road is great, it’s so diverse and in the early morning on the weekend there’s always something going on, or someone saying a cheery good morning! I try to remember to carry some cash for my favourite homeless guy.

In general, what do you enjoy about walking?

In the early morning when I walk up Mt Eden, I love seeing the sun come up and the city waking up, it’s so quiet. You can get a moment where you feel like you have Auckland to yourself.

What benefits have you noticed about walking (if any)?

It’s a great way to keep fit and to get in some nature and just be present.

Have you replaced any car journeys with walking trips?

On a Thursday I walk to and from the gym and my husband and I often walk into town or Ponsonby on our day off, instead of taking the bus or an Uber.

Is there anything else you'd like to share? Any memorable walking moments, inspiration, etc.?

You get to see much more when you walk and it’s amazing how much ground you can cover in a relatively short period of time. It’s great for so many reasons, but mostly you just feel great!


Describe where/when you generally walk and what you see along the way.

I walk a lot in my neighbourhood, to a duck pond on Portland Road, Orakei basin and a lot of cool reserves around. Recently, I started the “Purple Project”. I felt that I have never seen so many purple flowers in any of the previous countries I lived in. Purple being my favourite colour, I started taking pictures of every type of purple flower I came across. In the last 2 months, I documented 25 purple flowers along the footpaths. I am waiting to discover more!

What do you enjoy about walking?

Walking allows me to be in the moment and pay attention to my body. Otherwise, I don’t slow down enough to pay attention. Little over a year ago when I moved to NZ, I felt Auckland’s streets to be [more] pedestrian scale compared to the States. The beauty of NZ also made me very attracted to walking. Walking gave me the ability to learn about the country (flora, fauna, people, smells, traffic patterns and many more).

What benefits have you noticed about walking (if any)?

Good mood, elevated metabolism that helps me approach the day with more energy and a sense of the place I live and work in.

The best benefit of walking is that it gets my daughter to share everything about her school day in vivid detail. At home, the best description of the school day I get from her is “it was fine”. But, on our walk from school (about 1km away), she gets very playful and describes her day as if it all just happened. If any parents are reading this, I strongly recommend walking your kid from school for this very reason.

Have you replaced any car journeys with walking trips?

My trips to work and home are either completed by walking or cycling. Even when my partner offers to drop me off at work, I prefer walking or cycling as it makes me richer with experiences and fitness. And I like to be rich!

Is there anything else you'd like to share? Any memorable walking moments, inspiration, etc.?

The walk between my work and home is about 3 kms, which is a pleasant distance to walk. I noticed that I long for streets that are buzzing with people rather than cars. The busy and interesting part of my walk goes by without even noticing. So, a big takeaway for transport engineers and planners is to work with landscape architects to create footpaths that encourage people to get out more.

My most memorable walk is the one I did very recently. After 1 year of staying in Auckland, one evening I walked from a friend’s birthday party to home. It was close to 10kms and it took me through the CBD. This is the first time the layout of Auckland was imprinted in my head in a way I can’t explain. My association with the streets, landmarks, smells from restaurants, and sights along the buzzing roads gave me a sense of peace. I loved the city more deeply from that day, and it became my city.

Resources to help you enjoy each step

  • Stay hydrated and keep a water bottle on hand. You can use the RefillNZ online map to find a public water fountain or a location to refill your reusable water bottle.
  • Be mindful of sun exposure. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF), up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds, so make sure you wear sun protection, even on a cloudy day. Check out the SunSmart website for ways to protect yourself when walking out in the sun. You can also download NIWA's UVNZ app, which shows the current UV index level, its peak value, and its progression throughout the day.
  • Time your walks. According to the Environmental Health Indicators New Zealand, UV levels are typically highest from 11am to 3pm. If you’re out walking during this time, try your best to stay in the shade. Find out more about UV exposure and how it affects your health.

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If you are living in fear in your relationship or in your family, there are so many ways we can help you right now. You won’t be turned away even if you don’t have children, a NZ visa, or money. If you still have more questions have a read below and contact us when you’re ready.

I’m ready to talk now.

You can call our 24-hour support and crisis line on 0800 REFUGE (733843). Or, if you prefer, you can click here and contact us discretely through our contact form and we will email you back as soon as possible.

What will I do for money?

There are a number of benefits and allowances you may be eligible for if you are a victim of domestic violence in New Zealand. We can help you better understand your options once you make contact.

I haven’t been beaten up, can Women’s Refuge still help me?

We support women who have experienced any form of domestic violence: verbal, psychological/emotional, sexual, and financial as well as physical. In fact, psychological/emotional abuse is the most common form of domestic violence.

How much does it cost to stay?

Women's Refuge support and advocacy services are free. In the safe house, rent is usually charged once your financial situation is sorted out. Safety is our main concern. You won't be turned away if you don't have any money.

How long can I stay in a safe house?

Some women only stay a night or two, while others stay for weeks. You can talk with the advocates at your local refuge about how long you think you need to stay to ensure your safety.

I don’t live with my partner, but he is abusing me. Can you still help me?

Yes, you don’t have to be living with your partner to experience domestic violence and you can still call us.

What happens if I haven't got any clothes or food?

Women's Refuge has clothing that you can have. We’ve also got toys and books, formula and nappies. You are welcome to use our emergency food until you get your financial situation sorted out.

Will other people be there?

Safe houses usually have other women, including women with their children, staying there. Refuge advocates are around during the day.

How will I get my kids to school?

The advocates at your local refuge will help you work out transport for your children, or help with changing schools.

Can Women's Refuge help me if I stay in my own house?

Yes, we can provide all the same support and advocacy for you no matter where you choose to live. You may be eligible to access support through the Whanau Protect service.

I'm living in a rural area. Can you still help me?

Yes. Find your local refuge and they will be able to arrange support, advocacy and transport for you.

Can Women's Refuge help around issues with children?

Yes. We can provide support and advocacy around matters to do with custody, access and care.


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Getting out

The most important thing is for you and your children to get out safely. It is important to know that leaving a violent relationship can be one of the most dangerous times for women and children so it is important to make a safety plan around leaving and keep your plans confidential. Below are some tips to help you make a plan.

  • If you can, pack a bag with bare necessities and important documents that you can leave with someone you trust. Include important documents such as passport, birth certificate, bank account details, driver’s licence, and bank cards and other things like medicines.

  • Know abuser's schedule and safe times to leave.

  • Contact us for guidance or a safe place to stay for you and your children.

Getting help

We warmly welcome all women and their children to access our support, advocacy and crisis accommodation. If you need help or have questions, use our live chat to get in touch.

making a plan

The safety of you and your children (if you have them) will be your primary concern. If you’re not ready or cannot safely leave, here are some things you can do to stay safe now.

  • Make a safety plan with the guidance of a refuge advocate.

  • Get yourself a pre-paid phone; keep it charged and safe.

  • Keep photocopies of important documents (passport, birth certificate, bank account details, medical notes, driver's licence, etc) and store these at the home of a supportive friend or family member.

  • Keep a journal of all violent incidents, noting dates and events.

  • If you can, open your own bank account and try to save some money.

  • If you have pets you are worried about, consider them in your safety plan.

Privacy Policy – The Shielded Site Application.


In this privacy policy, the terms ‘NCIWR’, ‘we’, ‘us’, and ‘our’ refer to National Collective of Independent Women’s Refuges Inc. NCIWR operates this web application at (‘this web application’).

This privacy policy explains how we may collect, store, use, and disclose personal information that we collect and that you provide to us. By using this web application you acknowledge that we may collect, store, use, and disclose your personal information in the manner set out in this privacy policy.

Collection of personal information

We may collect personal information from you when you use this web application, for example when you make a request for contact on this web application.

You may decide not to provide your personal information to us. However, if you do not provide it, we may not be able to provide you with access to certain information or services. For example, we may be unable to make contact with you if you do not provide us with your contact information.

Automated collection of non-personal information

When you visit this web application, we will not add traceable elements (such as cookies, sessions, and usage monitoring software) to your browser or device.

Use and disclosure

We will not use or disclose your personal information except in accordance with this privacy policy or the Privacy Act 1993. We may use your personal information to:

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All personal information collected on this web application is collected and held by NCIWR. We will endeavour to protect your personal information that is held by us from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, alteration, or destruction.

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This web application may be hosted by websites operated by third parties. We are not responsible for the content of such websites, or the manner in which those websites collect, store, use, or distribute any personal information you provide. When you visit third party websites from hyperlinks displayed on this web application, we encourage you to review the privacy statements of those websites so that you can understand how the personal information you provide may be collected, stored, used, and distributed.

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You may request access to, or correction of, any personal information we hold about you by contacting us as follows:
Post:Privacy Officer
PO Box 27-078
Marion Square
Wellington 6141

To ensure that the contact information we hold about you is accurate and current, please notify us of any changes to such information as soon as possible.

Contacting NCIWR

Any emergency relating to domestic violence should be directed to 111 for New Zealand Police assistance.

If you request assistance through this website, we will endeavour to respond as soon as we can. If you require advocacy services phone 0800 REFUGE or 0800 733 843 to talk to a refuge in your area within New Zealand. All member refuges of NCIWR are listed on our main website ( If you do visit the Women’s Refuge Website, please note that it is a traceable site so we recommend you use the online safety tips found on this web application to visit safely.

Advocacy services are available at member refuges. Your call and information will be treated in confidence and privacy.

Changes to our privacy policy

We reserve the right, at our discretion, to alter this privacy policy at any time. Changes to this privacy policy will take effect immediately once they are published on this web application. Please check this privacy policy regularly for modifications and updates. If you continue to use this web application or if you provide any personal information after we post changes to this privacy policy, this will indicate your acceptance of any such changes.

This privacy policy was last updated on 6 October 2015.

If You’re In
Immediate danger

If you fear for your safety:

  1. Run outside and head for where there are other people.
  2. Ask someone to call 111
  3. If you have children take them with you if you can
  4. Don't stop to get anything else