Whether it feels like it or not, summer is coming; so it’s time to find those sneakers that have been picking up dust at the back of your wardrobe all winter and get them ready to pound the pavement again. Although I don’t want to play into the myth of the ‘bikini body’, it is important that you feel confident in your own skin, and there is no better way to achieve this than by actively getting out and working on your health and fitness.
The most important thing is that you exercise to feel good, rather than to look good. Put on an upbeat playlist, soak up the scenery, and enjoy every single step. Whether you run, walk or crawl your way along the track, love the feeling of goodness that you are bringing to your body.
Tamaki Drive (10km)
The Tamaki Drive run is the staple in the diet of any Auckland runner, as its simplicity allows for at the most cruisy Sunday morning jog. Stop for a dip at Mission Bay on the way, have an ice cream at St Heliers at the end, or double back and turn it into a spontaneous half marathon; the opportunities are endless.
Cornwall Park/One Tree Hill (5km)
Cornwall Park is like a rural pearl in Auckland’s urban ocean; surrounded by plenty of trees, farm animals and open spaces, you won’t even feel like you are in the city during this run. However, by the time you reach the top of One Tree Hill, you will have rediscovered the beauty of the city, with a spectacular panorama of the Auckland cityscape, its volcanos and the surrounding harbours.
Hillary Trail (9-18km stages or multiple stages)
The Hillary Trail is a 77km track through the Waitakere Ranges, but don’t let that freak you out, you can break it down into much smaller stages for a casual run. The course is quite hilly and challenging at times, but surrounded by native bush and New Zealand’s stunning coastline, the scenery makes it all worth it.
Waiheke Island Coastal Loop (5.8km)
I think the best way to explore new places is to get out and get running, so if you haven’t seen much of Waiheke this could be the perfect run for you. The Coastal Loop is part of a much greater network of tracks on the island, so don’t feel as if you have to stop at 5.8km! Afterwards, enjoy the best of Waiheke by making it into a day trip.
Te Araroa Trail: Takapuna – Devonport
Discover the best of the North Shore with this stunning coastal track. The Te Araroa Trail actually runs the full length of New Zealand, but I figured starting small is best when it comes to breaking out of that winter hibernation. Who knows, after doing this section a few (hundred) times, you might be ready to do the whole trail!
Words: Harriet Keown