Regional parks

About
Park facilities
Park activities
Tracks
History

About this park

Long Bay is a busy seaside park, protecting the most northern of the east coast bays and lying adjacent to the Long Bay - Okura Marine Reserve.


Opening hours

Pedestrian access Open 24 hours
Summer gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
(Daylight savings)
Winter gate opening hours
6:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
(Non daylight savings)

How to get to Long Bay

From Auckland, head north on State Highway 1 (northern motorway) and take the Oteha Valley Road off-ramp. Turn right and follow Oteha Valley Road to the traffic lights. Go straight ahead into Carlisle Road and follow the signs through Torbay to Long Bay. The Park access road leads off Beach Road.

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Distance from Auckland CBD

30 km

Public transport information

A regular bus service operates between Auckland CBD and Long Bay. Buses drop visitors off then park in the bus park in the southern ground.

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Access issues

On public holiday weekends and fine weekend days access to the park can be difficult. Expect queues of 1km or more back to Torbay shops waiting to get into the park.

There is an automatic opening and closing vehicle access gate operating between 6am and 9pm all year round. This means there is no vehicle entry after automatic gate closing times. Vehicles can exit after automatic gate closing times, by driving up to the gate which will automatically open.

There are signs on the gate with instructions to follow if the gate does not open. The main gate may be closed for pest control weeks and emergencies. Notices will be posted on the Parks Contact Centre Bulletin Board when this occurs.


Maps

Park facilities

SCC campgrounds and designated parking areas
SCC campgrounds and designated parking areas Long Bay SCC Parking Area
BBQ
BBQ

There are 4 electric BBQs and 2 wood fired BBQs available for casual use but you need to supply your own wood or charcoal. There are an additional 4 electric BBQs on 3 of the bookable sites. These BBQs are able to be used if the site has not been booked. All BBQ's are free to use.

Beaches
Beaches

Long Bay has 1 km of sandy beach a short walk across the parkland from all of the main car parks. Further north along the Coastal Walk there are two more bays which are suitable for swimming. The first is Grannys Bay which is about a 20 minute walk along the track and then Pohutukawa Bay which is about another 10 minute's further along. Be aware that you may encounter nude bathers at Pohutukawa Bay. The return trip can be made around the coast on a low tide only, but be aware of slippery rocks.

Boat ramp
Boat ramp

There is no boat ramp at Long Bay. The nearest boat ramp is at Waiake Beach approximately 5 minutes drive south.

Cellphone coverage
Cellphone coverage

Good coverage over most of the park.

Dog Walking Prohibited
Dog Walking Prohibited

In the park land South of the Vaughan Stream dogs are prohibited at all times, including in vehicles. There is no dog access through this area to the beach or park land north of the Vaughan Stream.

Historic homesteads
Historic homesteads

The historic Vaughan Homestead can be found exactly where it was built in 1863, sitting on a small hill overlooking the north end of the park. It is available for small weddings and functions or for a casual stroll around its grounds.

Interpretation
Interpretation

A number of informative interpretation panels can be found dotted around the park providing information on park history, historic buildings, trees and restoration work. The area surrounding the Vaughan Homestead has many informative panels detailing the history of the Vaughan Homestead and family. Other nature focused interpretation can be found around the sand dunes and the Vaughan Stream.

Limited mobility parking
Limited mobility parking

There are accessible car parks near each of the 3 toilet blocks. North ground: Grass car parks are flat and accessible. Playground: Marked mobility car park on tarmac. South Ground: Marked mobility car park on tarmac. These car parks are monitored for unauthorised use and unauthorised vehicles are towed.

Limited mobility toilet
Limited mobility toilet

There are three sets of toilets in the park with limited mobility accessible toilet cubicles. ● Central Block: A limited mobility cubicle in each of the male and female toilets. ● The South Ground: A limited mobility cubicle in each of the male and female toilets. Assistance may be required to get across grass to reach the toilet block. ● The North Ground: A limited mobility cubicle in each of the male and female toilets. Assistance may be required to get across the grass to this toilet block.

Mobility access (partial)
Mobility access (partial)

Long Bay has a great deal to offer people with limited mobility. There are gently sloping access ways to the beach and the grassed areas are all on gently rolling slopes. There is a limited mobility accessible BBQ and shelter site and the Variety Children’s Charity Playground is designed for limited mobility access. The Coastal Walk is partially accessible for those of limited mobility.

Native bush
Native bush

The Vaughan Bush is a significant area of mature coastal forest with a canopy of pohutukawa, puriri and taraire that exists on the northern slopes of the Vaughan Stream. A fringe of pohutukawa forest extends north from Vaughan Bush to the Okura Estuary. Mixed manuka/kanuka shrub land also occurs on the cliffs in patches. An area of young and regenerating bush exist in the area behind the Vaughan Bush and adjacent to Grannys Bay.

Notice board
Notice board

There are 2 notice boards located on the park. The main notice board is found in front of the ranger office and the other is at the southern beach access of the park. The notice boards contain park maps, brochures and information for park facilities, activities, codes and rules and tides. There is also a picnic notice board just past the main entrance gate that informs visitors of the location of the bookable sites and the name of the party who has the site booked for the day.

Parking
Parking

There are approximately 1625 car parking spaces located within 7 separate car parking areas. There is a bus parking area with 10 bus parking spaces. Some parking areas are seasonal and open depending on the ground conditions. Expect delays entering the park and finding parking spaces on weekends and public holidays over the summer months.

Picnic tables
Picnic tables

There are several casual use picnic tables located around the park with six of those associated with the casual electric BBQ areas. There are also picnic tables associated with our designated bookable picnic sites.

Potable water
Potable water

There are 19 drinking fountains located throughout the picnic and activity areas. All water on the park is from a town supply.

Pram access
Pram access

The picnic area and the beach are pram friendly.

Ranger contact phone
Ranger contact phone

Located outside and to the right of the ranger station front door.

Ranger office
Ranger office

Located on the east side of the Centre Ground approximately 300 metres along the road from the main gate.

Sealed access road
Sealed access road

All roads leading to Long Bay are sealed as are all the main vehicle accessible roads located within the park.

Security gates
Security gates

An automatic gate is located at the park entrance at the end of Beach Road, Torbay (southern end of park at the end off the access bridge). This gate opens and closes automatically. See “about this park” for details. It will automatically open for vehicles exiting the park at all times.

Security surveillance
Security surveillance

Surveillance cameras are in place at various locations around the park and overlooking many car parks.

Toilet block
Toilet block

(For limited mobility options see the “Limited Mobility Toilet” Icon) There are 3 toilet blocks on the park. All have separate male and female changing rooms. ● North Ground: located just north of the Northern car parks. ● Centre Ground: Located next to the playground ● South Ground: Located in the centre of the south ground car park.

Park activities

History

Māori occupants of Long Bay gave it the name Oneroa, meaning long expanse of sand. Ngäti Kahu was the main tribal group to live here until European settlement began in the 1850s.

The Vaughan family bought 600 hectares at Long Bay in 1862 and farmed sheep on the property during the next 100 years. George Vaughan built the Vaughan Homestead as a farm cottage in 1863. It was extended and altered over the years but the Torbay Historical Society has restored it to its present form.

The Vaughan family ran the current picnic areas as a camping ground until they sold the park to the Auckland Regional Council in 1965.

Among the park’s interesting historic sites is a World War II gun emplacement north of the beach (on the Coastal Walk). This was part of a defence network to protect the Waitemata harbour from Japanese invasion.