Clifton Rd - Porterfield Rd - Henson Rd
One of New Zealand's few bridleways. This shared path for walkers, horse riders and bicycles, has existed for a long time, using the riparian strip of the coastline, thanks to the enlightened attitude of the local Whitford residents.
Several years ago, the Manukau City Council (as it was then, pre-Auckland amalgamation) upgraded the trail (drainage, and some widening of areas prone to erosion), the parking area, and the access.
The total length of the bridleway is around 3.8km.
There are gates or barriers at all access points to ensure that horses can't run straight on to a road, should they get loose.
The local roads all have bridlepaths on them - simple gravel paths that horses, cycles, and walkers all use. So you can easily extend your ride down Potts Rd to the Whitford beach area, or loop around the roads.
The trail surface is gravel. For the most part a small pea gravel that barefoot horses can handle easily, but there are places where the subsurface has appeared, or the repairs have been done in GAP 40 (see photos). There is plenty of grass margin along most of the bridleway, although in winter this low lying seaside trail is very wet, and there are plenty of drains laid to keep the trail itself fairly dry.
Access and Parking
Locals access the bridleway, from one of three points (or their own properties, if they are lucky enough to be adjacent to it); Henson Road, Porterfield Rd, and Clifton Rd. There is a car park at the end of Porterfield rd, with pull through parking for horse floats, This leads directly onto the bridleway, with both pedestrian gate, and horse stiles (to keep out motorbikes).
at the Porterfield Rd carpark there are horse stiles to keep motorbikes out
Clifton Rd steps
At the Clifton Rd end there is a slope that has been built rather incompetently - it washes out every big storm