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Project introduction

SeaPath is a proposed 3km walking and cycling path between Akoranga/Esmonde Rd in Takapuna and Northcote Point on the North Shore. It will provide safe and direct connections to local communities, destinations and recreational areas on the lower North Shore.

  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status


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The route

SeaPath will work in conjunction with SkyPath to provide a continuous walking and cycling connection between the North Shore and Auckland’s city centre.

The shortlist of route options included three broad alignments which were considered during previous phases of work.  These were a Seaward route (partially in the harbour), a Coastal route (on the eastern or coastal side of the motorway), and a Landward route (on the western side of the motorway). 

Feedback from stakeholders, the community and our investigations have led us to select the landward route for the following reasons:

  • It has the least impact on the foreshore environment and potential impact on significant ecological, cultural and geological values.  Importantly, it avoids shorebird habitats, including the nesting area of the rare New Zealand Dotterel.
  • It offers the most connectivity and accessibility to planned and existing walking and cycling routes in the area.
  • It is more sheltered from prevailing winds and tides. 
  • It is located near the existing motorway and local road designations which means fewer consenting issues since existing transport infrastructure will be used where feasible.
  • It is the lowest cost and provides the highest benefit when assessed against other options.

SeaPath proposed route

View larger image [PDF, 1.7 MB]

Your feedback so far

Thank you to everyone who provided feedback on the proposed landward route during 2016.

The community and stakeholders have indicated a high level of support for SeaPath as it provides a safe, separate transport solution and another travel option.  Further feedback themes and how we’ll action those are outlined below. 

What you saidOur action
Support for the landward option with some type of connection or acknowledgement of the coast and views to the city. We’ll be looking at how we can include coastal elements to the route, such as viewing platforms and rest areas, and use existing infrastructure and small route adjustments to make the most of the beautiful views across the harbour.
Importance of a well-designed, safe pathway which balances the needs of walkers and cyclists and is as wide as possible. We’ll be using and drawing on local and international best practice to design SeaPath. Innovative ideas are needed to work through the challenges of building a walking and cycling path in a very constrained  area. We will balance safety, private property impacts, engineering feasibility, cost, connectivity and environmental impact when making decisions.
The need for safe connections to existing and planned walking and cycling routes in the area Connections are being considered to recreational areas including Tuff Crater, Te Onewa Pa, Onepoto Domain and walking and cycling routes in the area, such as Northcote Safe Cycle Route, Esmonde Road, Devonport Greenways Cycle route and SkyPath.  Local road connections are proposed to include Stafford Road, Onewa Road, Sylvan Ave and Esmonde Road. Destinations include AUT, Northern Busway and Northcote Ferry.

Read the report [PDF, 1.8 MB] to find out more about the approach and key themes from this consultation.

Work completed and next steps

During 2016, we completed the indicative business case phase which involved consideration of a list of possible route options, high level cost estimates, benefit and risk assessments and engagement with stakeholders and the local community. 

Work is now under way on the detailed business case (DBC) phase which is to be completed by the end of 2017.  Steps in this phase include:

  • engagement with stakeholders and the community to discuss potential property impacts, refinements to the route, inform progress and seek feedback on design development
  • a greater level of design, including path alignment, width, crossing and  connection points
  • technical assessments such as geotechnical, structural and social impact
  • detailed cost and risk analysis
  • preparation of a consenting strategy
  • risks and benefits
  • funding considerations.

Indicative project phases

SeaPath project phases

Significance of the area

Shoal Bay and the surrounding area has many important ecological, cultural and historical characteristics. Shoal Bay is a natural heritage location of regional significance and is home to extensive mangroves and saltmarshes. It is also a key feeding and roosting area for migratory and coastal wading bird species including Oystercatchers, Caspian tern and New Zealand Dotterel.

Both the Onepoto Domain and Tuff Crater have popular walking tracks around their native bush-clad crater rims. The steep Pohutakawa-lined slopes that look over Shoal Bay and the Northern Motorway are classed as Outstanding Natural Landscapes, and hilltop properties in the area include many historic heritage-listed houses.

Walking and cycling in Auckland

Seapath will become a key part of Auckland’s wider walking and cycling network.

The NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council are working together on a $200 million programme of cycle improvements over the next three years. The focus is to improve connections to public transport interchanges, and around the city.

Walking and cycling network integration

View larger map [PDF, 571 KB]

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