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Auckland Transport

#Walkland Profiles #Walkland Profiles

Make Auckland Your #Walkland

Read the stories of everyday Aucklanders who enjoy making Auckland their #Walkland. If you’re interested in sharing your walking story, email your interest to walking@AT.govt.nz


Lisa

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 to St Stephen's 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!


Neelima

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 is 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. A 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)?

A good mood, elevated metabolism 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 is 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 km, 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.