Over the next 10 years, Auckland Council's network of 25 regional parks will offer more opportunities for Aucklanders to visit, stay overnight and get active.
The now adopted Long-term Plan identifies more than $80 million of investment in increasing camping opportunities, opening up more bach escapes, increasing connectivity through track improvements and land purchases, and developing recreation opportunities.
Councillor Sandra Coney, chair of the Parks Recreation and Heritage Forum says the budget will see our regional parks receive ongoing investment and continue to be a place of pride for Aucklanders, as well as attract visitors from across the country and the world.
"Aucklanders and visitors value the unique opportunities our regional parks offer: bush walks, beach swims, mountain bike trails and affordable campgrounds that offer a special opportunity to stay overnight once the day visitors have gone home," says Councillor Coney.
There will be campsites for an additional 500 campers, including new campgrounds at Wenderholm and Atiu Creek, and expansion of existing campgrounds. More bookable baches will be added to the 18 typical Kiwi bach escapes on offer, including Puhoi Cottage across the inlet from Wenderholm and at Tapapakanga.
A further 170 dedicated sites for self-contained campervans and motorhomes will also be added across the network. These will be concentrated in high demand areas in the north (Atiu Creek, Mahurangi, Scandrett, Shakespear and Wenderholm regional parks), and also at Ambury, Tapapakanga, Waitawa and at the Hunua Falls.
In response to development demands on the North Shore, Long Bay Regional Park will expand to include the inclusion of the neighbouring heritage protection area. Coastal tracks, park roads and facilities, including the popular Long Bay restaurant, will be upgraded.
Waitawa Regional Park, near Kawakawa Bay, will open and offer a range of active recreation opportunities including mountain biking, horse riding and access to the southeastern coast.
A kayak trail along Auckland's southeastern coast, from Omana to Waharau will open in late 2012. Northern and Hauraki Gulf trails will create a regional kayak network over the next few years.
An increased focus on the Waitakere Ranges Regional Park will see improvements to tracks on the Hillary Trail while still maintaining the wilderness experience of this epic tramping challenge.
The new Muriwai Surf Clubrooms will provide amenities for the local community and add to the increasing popularity of Muriwai Beach and Muriwai Regional Park. Coast Road will be upgraded to increase safety and accessibility to the park and council will continue to work with all the clubs that occupy parkland to ensure ongoing provision of vital lifesaving services on West Coast beaches.
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