Duder Regional Park: Auckland’s rural beachside paradise

Duder Regional Park is a little-known gem in South-East Auckland.  A favourite amongst locals, it is a must-visit for tourists looking for an authentic glimpse of rural life in New Zealand (and a fantastic day trip for everyone else!)

New Zealand is world-renowned for its beautiful hiking, and Auckland is no exception.  With a number of fantastic hikes in the City of Sails, it’s definitely worth throwing your hiking boots or sneakers on though and getting out onto our clean, green trails; just prepare for our largest city to surprise you!

The biggest surprise of all?  A spot you’ve probably never heard of – Duder Regional Park.

Young lamb grazing at the green grass in Duder Regional Park.

Where is Duder Regional Park?

Located on the Whakakaiwhara Peninsula, in South-East Auckland, Duder Park allows visitors to get up close and personal with friendly farm animals whilst enjoying million-dollar views out over the Hauraki Gulf.

An easy 45km drive for the Central City, you’ll weave your way along incredible beaches; Maraetai being a particular highlight.

Pro tip: On your way there, be sure to stop off for ice cream and to feed the animals at Omana Regional Park in Maraetai.  

Return to central Auckland via Clevedon, a lovely little farming community.  Even better, if you decide to visit Duder on a Sunday, go via Clevedon on the way there and enjoy their awesome farmers market.  There, you’ll find all sorts of locally grown produce and freshly served brunch delights.  It’s so good that it’s actually worth going out of your way to do so on a Sunday morning

Once at the park, you’ll find the gently sloping farmland that gives way to the Wairoa River and to stunning beaches; the likes of which are unrivalled in Auckland.  Sandy shores, pohutukawa-lined bays and unexpected turquoise waters, it really is like having our own little piece of paradise in Aotearoa.

Visitors looking at the panoramic view of the sea while standing atop the grassy hill.

There aren’t many places in the world where you can enjoy sweeping coastal views, cute farm animals and green pastures, all so close to a large city.

Duder Regional Park is conveniently accessed and is a great example of the day hiking that is available in Auckland.

A young lamb playing with his mother.

What Kind of Hiker is Duder Regional Park Best Suited to?

Duder Park caters well to visitors of all ages and fitness levels.

Young children will especially enjoy visiting the farm animals and as much of the walk is either flat or gently sloping, they’ll be able to keep up too.

Flock of sheep grazing in a huge pasture.

How Long Will I Be Able to Hike For at Duder Regional Park?

Guests to Duder can spend as much or as little time as they like there.

Loop tracks allow hikers to connect back to the car park without having to double back on the same trail. These tracks take anywhere from 2 hours upwards.

Alternatively, those with limited time can begin a walk and retrace their steps at any stage, whilst still benefiting from the incredible scenery and animal encounters at the park.

Panoramic view of the grasslands with sheep grazing by and the sea.

Duder Regional Park: Everything You Need to Know

  • Distance from Auckland CBD to Duder Regional Park:  45km
  • Hike Difficulty:  Easy
  • Key Sights:  Rural landscapes (complete with sheep/lambs and native birds), stunning beach views and the remains of a Māori pā.
  • Hiking Routes:
    • Farm Loop Walk (1 hour, 50 mins)
    • Whakakaiwhara Pā (2 and a half hours return)
    • Coastal Walk (dependent on route) – perfect for swimming and fishing
  • Recommended Route to Duder:  Our favourite drive to Duder is definitely via Maraetai!  If you’re looking to soak up even more beautiful New Zealand countryside, we’d also recommend returning home via Clevedon.
  • Cost: N/A
  • Parking:  Free at the start of the trail
  • Shops on site:  N/A.  Should you wish to have lunch at the park, make sure you come prepared.
  • Address:  889 North Rd, Clevedon
  • Additional Information on Duder Regional Park:  Park history.

Duder Park Map

Map of Duder Regional Park.

Duder Regional Park is a fantastic day hike.

The walk itself is easy, the beaches are beautiful and the views unsurpassed.

With such incredible natural beauty on Auckland’s doorstep, it really isn’t a question of whether Duder Regional Park is worth a visit but a matter of when!

A wooden pier viewed from behind the trees.

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