This walk in Hillsborough traverses each side of the Heathcote/Ōpāwaho River, with footbridge crossings at each end for an easy loop track.
Start: Aynsley Terrace, near the intersection with Centaurus Road.
Finish: Same as the starting point.
Distance: 1.5 km.
Time: 30 min.
Toilets: Located at Hansen Park.
Dogs: Under effective control.
Start at the corner of Aynsley Terrace where a stand of kanuka was planted by schools and community groups as part of a Natural Heritage project in 1990. A well-defined track snakes through these and native wetland plantings to reach the King George V Reserve, where a set of steps provides access to the river.
From here the track becomes a grassy path between the river’s edge and the backyards of several private properties, ending at Riverlaw Terrace. A few metres along, a footbridge crosses the river into Hansen Park, where there is a playground and sports fields. A sealed shared path follows alongside the river’s edge, back towards Aynsley Terrace. Cross a footbridge to return to Aynsley Terrace, a few metres downstream from where you started.
Or for a slightly longer option (15 minutes) you can continue along the sealed path and then cross the river at the next footbridge, next to the Opawa community library. Turn right onto Aynsley Terrace to return to your starting point.