Mairangi Bay Playground
Located on Sidmouth Street, behind the shops is a wonderful fully-fenced playground with a wide range of equipment to play on and a large grass area with seating for you to enjoy a picnic. The children can enjoy swings, slides, a roctopus, a playhouse and a climbing gym, while parents relax with a takeaway coffee from one of the nearby cafes. Parking is easy with a large adjacent carpark and the beach is an easy stroll away. View map
Mairangi Bay Beach
A lovely sandy swimming beach with grassed areas for picnicking and swings for the children. The beach is located on Montrose Terrace and walking paths extend to the north and south as part of the East Coast Bays Walkway. There is a boat ramp and the beach is patrolled on summer weekends by the Mairangi Bay Surf Lifesaving Club. Parking is available on Montrose Terrace and the beach is only a short stroll from Mairangi Bay’s shops and restaurants. View map
World War II Tunnels in Kennedy Park – Castor Bay
Visit the gun emplacements and World War II tunnels in Kennedy Bay, Castor Bay. The tunnels are open to the public on the second Sunday of every month between 11am and 2pm. Take a guided tour through this fascinating part of North Shore history – entry is by optional gold coin donation. Enquiries to John Crews on (09) 410 2653. Visit website. View map
Centennial Park – Campbells Bay
It began as a Kauri forest, as did much of the area. The only evidence of this now is the remnants of a gum digger’s hut on the northern side, adjacent to the Kohekohe track. The Park itself dates from 1884 when a 73 hectare recreation reserve was created and named in 1885 as the Takapuna Domain. From this time the park became a sort of product of the colonial body, one that saw the term ‘park’ in a very English sense. During WWII the valley was bulldozed to allow for the installation of bunkers and pill boxes. These historical sites can still be seen today, with a bunker buried at the 13th tee on the Pupuke Golf Course (established 1914) and another on the ridge of the Mamaku and Aberdeen tracks.
The 40 metre high pines planted in the early 1940s as part of the centennial celebrations completely obstruct what once would have been a clear line of sight down the valley during WWII.
It was not until 1977 however that Centennial Park was to make the first movements towards becoming the focal point of native conservation it is today. When the council in an effort to tidy up the area began to clear away manuka, two locals Pat and John Morton were quick to protest that what they were clearing away was not ‘scrub’ but fledgling native forest. This was the beginning of the Centennial Park Bush Society that still functions working in cohesion with the local council to rid the park of invasive weeds and promote the regeneration of native bush.
Volunteers are welcome and you’ll find more information on their website: www.centennialparkbushsociety.org.nz.