This busy seaside park treasures and celebrates its special features for the enjoyment of current and future generations.
The 111ha Long Bay Regional Park is visited by approximately 1.3 million people annually, making it a regionally and nationally significant recreational and tourist destination.
The park includes a playground that caters for children of all ages, wide open spaces for informal recreation, the Long Bay Restaurant, small stands of regenerating indigenous vegetation, bookable picnic and barbeque sites, designated single night camping sites for self-contained campers and toilet facilities including facilities for limited mobility users.
The park also hosts the historic Vaughan Homestead which was built in the late 1800s. The Vaughan family occupied the house for approximately 100 years then gifted it to the people of Auckland. The homestead is open as a museum during public holidays and has a designated seminar and function room which can be hired by the public.
Ecological restoration is being carried out to reinforce the beach sand dune systems using the native pingao and spinifex grasses. Interpretive signs which explain ecological processes, as well as other signage including historical information, are dotted throughout the reserve.
The park's three main beaches lie adjacent to the Long Bay - Okura Marine Reserve. As with Tawharanui, Long Bay is another example of Auckland Council's intention to provide contiguous connections between areas of high marine and terrestrial ecological value.
The Sir Peter Blake Marine Education and Recreation Centre has its headquarters at the southern end of Long Bay. The centre can accommodate 85 overnight guests and offers day and multi-day activity and residential programmes for schools and other non-profit groups. The facility hosts 10,000 visitors annually, 3000 of which are international students.
Scheduled improvements to Long Bay Regional Park include the expansion to incorporate 38.5ha of the neighbouring heritage protection area, and upgrading of the restaurant, park roads, coastal tracks and facilities. Further scheduled improvements include the restoration of the extensive wetlands that lie along the western border of the park. This will further improve ecological links with the marine and terrestrial ecosystems of Long Bay, Okura Estuary and the Weiti River catchment.
For more information on Long Bay Regional Park, please visit the Auckland Council website here.