Six Rewarding Pit Stops to Make When You're Tackling the Auckland Coast to Coast Run
Run up ancient volcanoes, seek out giant banana splits and explore a sculpture park along the way.
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Stretching from Manukau Harbour to the Waitematā, the Auckland Coast to Coast run is 16 kilometres of hidden gems, including lookout points, cafes, a sculpture trail and trendy bars. And it's one of those local routes that should be on every runner's bucket list (even if you consider yourself more of a walker). So, to help you make the most of it, we've teamed up with Adidas to bring you six worthwhile stops to add into your next saunter or sprint along the Coast to Coast.
ONEHUNGA LAGOON WALKWAY
Begin your warm-up jog along the Onehunga Lagoon walkway where it's easy to forget you're bordering the southwestern motorway from its many tranquil pathways. The 1.5-kilometre route is where you should limber up and watch the wakeboarding pros on the water at the Auckland Wake Park. You'll clock up nearly 2,000 steps just wandering around this area, and, if you're planning a day of it, there's also the option to hire a paddleboard from $20 an hour. Or, schedule it into your next weekend run.
OLLIE'S ICE CREAM PARLOUR
After pounding the pavement for a few kilometres, stop for a giant banana split at Royal Oak's famed Ollie's Burgers and Ice Cream. This suburban institution has been scooping cones for 48 years, so it sure knows a thing or two about ice cream. You can choose from a long list of golden oldies, such as rum and raisin, or contemporary flavours such as chocolate lamington. But Ollie's giant banana split is what dreams are made of; you'll get a banana, three scoops of ice cream, whipped cream, pink wafers, chopped nuts, lashings of sauce and a cherry on top for pocket change. Just be careful not to give yourself runners' stitch after all that sugar.
Tighten your laces and get your game face on, it's hill sprint time. Brace yourself for a 182-metre climb to the volcanic peak of One Tree Hill/Maungakiekie in Cornwall Park — one of the many drawcards of this running route. With 425 acres of land, Cornwall Park is home to around 600 sheep and 60 cows, as well as native trees, community barbecues and a couple of great eateries. Once you've admired the 360-degree views of Auckland from the top, make your way down to Cornwall Park Cafe at the edge of the green for arguably the best lolly cake in town.
Just like that, you're nearly halfway there. Take a detour through Melville Park and challenge the locals to a quick three-a-side game of basketball. This relatively newly refurbished court is just down the road from your next volcanic milestone — Mount Eden. Its access road is closed to public cars so you'll have plenty of space to drag those quads up another hill for epic views of the city. If you need a quick booster treat pre- or post-climb, we recommend Olaf's at the base for a gooey macadamia tart and a cup of milky coffee.
The end is so close you can see it. Grab this opportunity to stretch out on the sprawling greens of Auckland Domain, otherwise known as Pukekawa. After your stretch, follow a self-guided sculpture trail, hunting out all eight of the large installations spread around the park. The Domain is Auckland's oldest park and is the remnant of yet another ancient volcano.
You've made it! It's time to cool down along the waterfront and celebrate. Reward yourself with a cold bevvy at one of downtown Auckland's trendy bars and restaurants. Our pick is Saint Alice, where you can settle in on the deck for people watching and carbo loading. Its mushroom and pine nut pizza is off the hook, as are its black truffle aioli fries. Wash 'em down with a celebratory carafe of Alice's Famous Sangria ($40) or opt for a mezcal margarita ($20) made with apricot brandy and apple juice.
In need of a new pair of runners? Take a look at the new Adidas Ultraboost 21 runners here.
Top image: Jenny Hill; Unsplash
Published on March 19, 2021 by Ruby Romanos
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