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Project introduction

SeaPath is a proposed 3km shared walking and cycling connection between Northcote Point and Esmonde Road, Takapuna, on Auckland’s 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


Project updates

SeaPath engagement update - August 2018
SeaPath pop up boards - August 2018
Project posters, (PDF)
SeaPath newsletter – August 2018
Project updates, (PDF)
SeaPath project update – August 2018
Support from community for SeaPath
Media release,

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The proposed route

SeaPath is designed for people of all ages and abilities. As a shared walking and cycling path, it is a community facility to be enjoyed by everyone, whether on foot, bike, scooter, wheelchair, pushchair, or skateboard.
The look and feel will be similar to other walking and cycling facilities adjacent to motorway routes, such as the shared paths alongside the North-Western Motorway (SH16) and South-Western Motorway (SH20).  Wherever possible, it will make the most of the views and connection to existing natural features such as Tuff Crater.
The path will acknowledge and respect the existing environment.  Some design compromises will be needed, such as sections where the path narrows, to minimise impacts to the marine environment, protected trees and cliffs, ecology, and areas of cultural significance.

Since consultation in 2016, we have undertaken further investigation to better understand the geographical and technical challenges of planning and constructing the path. Some of the design challenges include:

  • Tidal marine environment and sea level rise
  • An adjacent busy motorway
  • Steep gradients
  • Protected trees and wildlife
  • Areas of cultural significance
  • Interface with local roads. 

An option under consideration is staging the construction of SeaPath, starting with the northern (Esmonde Road) section of the route. In the interim, across the southern section, we can connect to and optimise the area’s existing cycle network. Staging SeaPath’s construction means we can deliver a high-quality facility within the current budget and improve access earlier, rather than waiting for the route to be delivered in its entirety.
Utilising the existing cycle network makes best use of the currently available budget and allows for upgrades to existing cycling routes to create a well-connected community facility.

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

Work is now under way on the detailed business case (DBC) phase which is to be completed by the end of 2018.  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.

Walking and cycling network integration

View larger map [PDF, 571 KB]

Related projects

  • SkyPath

    SkyPath is a planned pedestrian and cycle pathway across the Waitematā Harbour, linking the North Shore to the city centre.  Visit the SkyPath project website for more information.


Artist’s impressions