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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


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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 motorways, 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 and local parks and reserves.
The path will acknowledge and respect the existing environment.  Some sensitive design solutions will be needed, such as at 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. 

We will continue to work with Auckland Transport to ensure that the path is well connected to the local street network and to existing and planned cycling facilities where possible.

Work completed and next steps

Indicative business case

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.

Detailed business case

In 2017 and 2018 we undertook the detailed business case (DBC) phase for the IBC recommended Landward option which included engagement with stakeholders and the community. Read the summary report [PDF, 1.8 MB] to find out more about the feedback we received.

Also, as part of this phase we developed a greater level of understanding of the option including path alignment, width, crossing and connection points. Other work included technical assessments such as geotechnical, structural detailed cost and risk analysis and preparation of a consenting strategy.

Read the SeaPath detailed business case [PDF, 12 MB] (redacted to protect private and commercial interests).

Note that the broad alignment for the SeaPath route is confirmed but will be refined during the design and consenting phase.

Pre-implementation and consenting

Work is now underway on the detailed design and consenting phase of the project which will include further consultation with stakeholders and the public about the urban landscape and design elements of the path.

Other work in this phase will include final detailed design of the path (including stakeholder and public feedback), securing a consent for construction, and planning for the construction contract.

Work will also continue to coordinate with Auckland Council and Auckland Transport on links and connections to other paths and places such as Tuff Crater and the Northcote Safe Cycle Route. Ensuring that the path co-ordinates and ties in with the Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path is also a priority.

Indicative project phases

SeaPath project phases

Significance of the area

SeaPath is located in a significant cultural and ecological environment. Shoal Bay and the surrounding area has many important ecological, cultural and historical values and 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 (forming the original shoreline) that look over Shoal Bay and the Northern Motorway are classed as Outstanding Natural Landscapes, and properties in the area include many historic heritage-listed houses. The area is highly significant to Mana Whenua including Te Onewa Pa, volcanic features, the Waitemata Harbour, adjacent waterways and native flora and fauna.

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, 1.7 MB]

Related projects

Artist’s impressions