The North Shore enjoys a thriving sporting community, so for visitors seeking to be active during their stay there are loads of choices in the Explore North Shore area – Milford, Takapuna Beach and Devonport. Channel Magazine publisher Aidan Bennett provides a guide for visitors and there might just be some inspiration in here for locals as well.
So you are visiting the North Shore and looking for some sporting action? Well you might just about be in the action capital of New Zealand. Blessed with a great location, surrounded by water, a moderate climate – the options are numerous.
Being surrounded by water means water-based sporting opportunities abound on the North Shore. After all, this is now the home of the America’s Cup, with that event to take place in our waters in 2021. As well as Sailing, popular water sports include Boating, Ocean Swimming, Kayaking, Surfing, Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP), Kite Surfing, Wind Surfing, Diving and Fishing. There are plenty of opportunities to get out on the waters of the Waitemata Harbour or the Hauraki Golf. Or you might choose to explore magnificent Lake Pupuke, nestled between Takapuna Beach and Milford in the heart of the Shore. You can hire equipment and arrange lessons with the local experts. Visit the Explore North Shore website to find details of clubs and commercial operators.
For those who prefer swimming indoors there is a great heated public pool – at the Takapuna Pool & Leisure Centre – located near central Takapuna.
If fitness is your thing then you’ll love the opportunities both indoors and outdoors on the Shore. The area is also home to lots of fitness centres, yoga and pilates studios, many of these featured in this issue of Channel Magazine. Les Mills is an iconic name in the fitness industry worldwide, with Les Mills World of Fitness founded right here in Auckland. One of their leading fitness centres is located in central Takapuna, on the top of the Shore City Shopping Centre, with easy access and parking.
I’m a golfer, so love the fact that there are so many golf courses to choose from, right on our doorstep. The closest of these is so close it is ridiculous. The 18-hole Waitemata Golf Club is found in Devonport, actually within walking distance from the ferry. It’s so close to central Auckland and easily accessible by road as well as the ferry. So if you are staying in Auckland or on the Shore this flat but challenging 18 hole course is a must. Visitors are always warmly welcomed – see our profile of the course in this issue. Other easily accessible close local courses include the 18-hole Takapuna Public Golf Course (just by the motorway, near Takapuna), the Pupuke Golf Club (near Milford) and the North Shore Golf Club (a little further away at Albany). Our only advice is ensure you ring the course to secure a tee time. If it is just a hit in a golf driving range you are looking for there are also two excellent ranges at the Takapuna Public Golf Course and at the Golf Warehouse Driving Range in Fred Thomas Drive near Takapuna. You may also like to try Gloputt MiniGolf in Takapuna – glow in the dark golf that’s great for all the family.
For Tennis lovers, there are a number of tennis clubs in the area, as well as free community courts. These include the Belmont Racquets Club (Bayswater); Forrest Hill Tennis Centre (Forrest Hill); Milford Tennis Club (Milford); Ngataringa Tennis Club (Stanley Bay, near Devonport) and Takapuna Tennis Club (Takapuna). As a visitor, ensure you ring clubs to secure a court time.
For Squash lovers there are the Belmont Racquets Club (Bayswater) or the North Shore Squash Club (Takapuna).
As a visitor, ensure you ring either of these clubs to secure a court time.
If Lawn Bowls is your thing you might like to have a roll-up at one of the numerous bowling clubs located on the North Shore. The Devonport Bowling Club is in Cambridge Terrace, Devonport; the Milford Bowling Club is in Commodore Parry Road, Castor Bay/Milford; the Takapuna Bowling Club is in Byron Ave, Takapuna – just by the Spencer on Byron Hotel. There are also many others on the North Shore. Ensure you phone first for roll-up times.
There are two Croquet clubs in the Devonport, Takapuna and Milford Area. The North Shore Croquet Club is in Wairoa Road, Devonport and the Takapuna Croquet Club is located in the Auburn Reserve, near the heart of Takapuna Beach.
If you are an active walker, runner or cyclist you are spoilt for choice on the North Shore with wonderful self guided walks, tracks and cycle ways. Add in the beaches and views you will discover along the way and you will quickly make this a daily ritual in our little slice of paradise. A personal favourite walk is the coastal walk from Takapuna Beach to Milford Beach – with lunch or a coffee at either end. For active folk at low tide you can walk all the way from North Head in Devonport through to Milford Beach, stopping in at Cheltenham, Narrowneck and Takapuna Beaches on the way through. Many are great tracks for runners and cyclists as well, as is going up to the top of North Head or Mount Victoria near Devonport. Cycling from Devonport to Takapuna and on to Milford using the ‘green route' is an ideal way to explore the area. The good thing is bikes can be taken onto the Ferries without any additional charge. Visit the explore North Shore website to find details, including route maps.
Cricket (in the summer, season approx November to March/April) and Rugby (in the winter, season April/May to September) are popular sports on the North Shore. If you wish to take in a local game while you are here there are local cricket clubs in Devonport (North Shore Cricket Club) and Takapuna (Takapuna Cricket Club). Local rugby clubs include North Shore Rugby Club (Devonport) and Takapuna Rugby Club (Takapuna). The local provincial rugby union is North Harbour, who play fixtures in the winter between July and September at QBE Stadium at Albany on the North Shore. Rugby League is also represented in the area by the Greyhounds Rugby League Club, located in Sunnynook.
The world game of football, often referred to in New Zealand as soccer, is well represented on the North Shore should you wish to take in a game. It is played mostly in our winter (April to October). Local football clubs include North Shore Football Club (located near Devonport); Takapuna Football Club (Takapuna) and Forrest Hill Milford Soccer Club (near Milford).
For more details visit the Explore North Shore website – www.explorenorthshore.co.nz