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Project introduction

The Northern Pathway project will provide a seamless dedicated walking and cycling link between Auckland’s City Centre and the North Shore which will connect with existing local paths to extend the region’s walking and cycling network.

  • Project type

    Walking & cycling
  • Project status

    Investigation & Design

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About the project

The Northern Pathway, from central Auckland to Albany on the North Shore, is split into three connected sections for delivery.

Name Gifted Māori name Status
Westhaven to Akoranga Te Ara Pae Moana (harbour bridge component) Design and consenting
Akoranga to Constellation Drive   Business case phase
Constellation Drive to Albany   Construction phase (as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements project)

The three sections of the Northern Pathway project are at different stages of delivery and together will provide a seamless walking and cycling link between central Auckland and the North Shore.


  • Provides choice for people to travel between the city centre and North Shore using active modes of transport
  • Travel using active modes such as on foot or by bike becomes a more appealing travel option, helping to get people out of their cars
  • Reduces the number of short trips completed by private vehicle
  • Provides people with a healthy, environmentally friendly way to commute to and from work and education, access services or connect with friends and family
  • Supports future growth of the walking and cycling network on both sides of the harbour
  • Increases access to transport hubs on the North Shore such as Akoranga, Constellation and Albany Bus Stations.

Partnership with mana whenua

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is committed to working in partnership with mana whenua to deliver the project following the principles of Te Ara Kotahi including recognising and providing for cultural heritage, identity and Mātauranga Māori.

The Northern Pathway component which travels across the Waitematā Harbour has been gifted a Māori name ‘Te Ara Pae Moana’ which translates as the path to the Horizon.

Te Ara Kotahi – Our Maori Strategy factsheet [PDF, 985 KB]

Working with partners, stakeholders and community

Waka Kotahi is dedicated to working closely with partners, stakeholders and community throughout the design and delivery of the Northern Pathway.

It will be an important community facility supporting greater travel choices, health and wellbeing and recreational use of space for those travelling between central Auckland and the North Shore.

Coordination with Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and Panuku Development Auckland as well as interest and community groups will ensure that the Northern Pathway recognises cultural history and utilises local knowledge to help the project teams understand the areas we are working in and how best to design for safety and accessibility.

Northern Pathway sections

  • Westhaven to Akoranga

    About the project

    This 5km section of the Northern Pathway starts in Westhaven, travels across the Waitemata Harbour and continues onto Akoranga. This section is the critical link required to connect central Auckland and the North Shore, providing choice for how people travel to work, access services or connect with family and friends.

    This section was previously known as SkyPath/Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path and SeaPath. Both components have now been combined for delivery of the Northern Pathway.

    Detailed Business Case

    This section was originally conceived as two separate projects and Waka Kotahi completed individual Detailed Business Cases (DBC).

    Auckland Harbour Bridge shared path – single stage business case [PDF, 14 MB]
    SeaPath – detailed business case [PDF, 12 MB]

    Preferred option

    The preferred option for the Auckland Harbour Bridge component is a five-metre-wide pathway, built on new separate trestle legs and pier brackets, attached to the existing concrete piers on the eastern (southbound) side of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. 

    The pathway will be separated from the Auckland Harbour Bridge’s existing southbound extension bridge (known as the southbound clip-on) to allow access for maintenance.

    This solution meets the future demands of bridge users and preserves the structural integrity of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

    Benefits of this solution:

    • Because it is attached to the bridge piers rather than the clip on, it will both preserve the capacity of the existing clip on and accommodate user loading comfortably.
    • It won’t move up and down like the existing southbound clip-on does under vehicle loading, as it’s not attached to the clip on.
    • The architectural concept and material are sympathetic to the shape and design of the existing bridge.
    • The five-metre width allows for separation of modes which will be worked through in the next stage of the project – with the rapid changes in active modes and micro-mobility, the separation/shared use operation continues to be evaluated as the project progresses.

    The land component of the pathway between Sulphur Beach Reserve and Akoranga is expected to be four metres wide. At a few locations the pathway may have to narrow due to areas of cultural significance and protected trees.

  • Akoranga to Constellation Drive

    About the project

    The Akoranga to Constellation Drive section of the Northern Pathway will connect with the other sections at each end. The project team will also look into how this section connects with the local network of shared paths to help increase access to the walking and cycling network.

    Next steps

    Waka Kotahi awarded the contract at the end of 2019 to develop a preliminary design for this section as part of a business case. During May and June 2020, we sought feedback from partners, key stakeholders and the community to help identify the preferred option for this section.

    Now that the preferred route has been identified, it will need to be endorsed by our Board and funding approved before the detailed design can begin.

    Akoranga to Constellation Drive preferred route [PDF, 2 MB]

    The business case is expected to be submitted to the Board in the first quarter of 2021.

  • Constellation Drive to Albany

    About the project

    This section of the Northern Pathway will deliver 7km of shared walking and cycling path as part of the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project. The shared path will include a wide range of local road and park connections, helping to increase accessibility to the local bus stations and key destinations.

    Construction is currently underway on this section of the Northern Pathway as part of the wider Northern Corridor Improvements project.

    Auckland Northern Corridor Improvements project information

    Next steps

    Construction of the Northern Corridor Improvements project, including the new walking and cycling paths, is expected to be complete in mid-2022.