Northland trail notes



Te Araroa section: For southbound Te Araroa through-walkers this four-day section represents the start of their epic journey. From Cape Reinga, the track heads towards the West Coast, leading you past Te Werahi Beach, Cape Maria Van Diemen, Twilight Beach, Maunganui Bluff and Scott Point. From there, walkers undertake the long trek along 90 Mile Beach to Aphipara  

Te Paki Coastal Track from Cape Reinga to 90 Mile Beach via Twilight Beach re-opened on December 12th


North to South

As walkers pass through Kaitaia on their way North to start at Cape Reinga, they are advised to call into the i-SITE (Te Ahu Centre, Corner Matthews Avenue and South Road ), where they can fill in Te Araroa Intentions Book. This is for their own safety on '90 Mile Beach'. While there, they can also find out about accommodation in Kaitaia and transit to Cape Reinga. Te Ahu is a large cultural centre with a library, computers, cafes and a cinema.

There are limited locations where camping is allowed between Cape Reinga and Ahipara — we suggest the following plan:

  • Day One — Cape Reinga to Twilight Beach campsite (12km)
  • Day Two — Twilight Beach campsite to Maunganui Bluff campsite (28km)
  • Day Three — Maunganui Bluff campsite to Hukatere Lodge (30km) 
  • Day Four — Hukatere to Waipapakauri Holiday Park (17km) or Ahipara (a further 14km)

There is no free camping in the Aupōuri Forest or on 90 Mile Beach, please camp only at the above locations. 

Generally, there is water available in these locations — in extremely dry times, the tank at Twilight Beach may run out, so unless you are aware of recent rain, it is advisable to carry enough water from Cape Reinga to reach Maunganui Bluff.

From Cape Reinga, the track heads towards the West Coast, leading you down past steep cliffs and over rocks to the long, sweeping Te Werahi Beach. Note: You are best to set off at a lowish tide to make the rock scrambling and stream crossing safer & easier. Carry enough water for your first day.

Please note that even though dogs have not been seen in the area lately they could still move into the area from other places.

  • do not walk the area alone.
  • do not approach any dogs.
  • do not leave food or scraps that may attract scavenging by dogs.
  • report any sightings to Far North District Council dog control 0800 920 029, if safe to do so – GPS coordinates and photos are helpful.

Beyond Te Werahi Beach, you will experience gorgeous peach-coloured dunes, unusual dune grasses, and views of Cape Maria Van Diemen and Motuopao Island. You follow orange marker posts over Hērangi Hill, pass the turnoff to Cape Maria Van Diemen and along clifftops of flax and mānuka scrublands before dropping down to Twilight Beach. Exit the south end of Twilight Beach on the 4WD track next to the orange marker. Just above the south end of Twilight Beach (12km from Cape Reinga) is a small campsite with a toilet, water supply and a covered area — we recommend stopping here, then planning to reach Maunganui Bluff (28km away) the following day. Please camp within the grassed area only, not in the pine trees.

The track climbs up and over Scott Point, then drops down to Ninety Mile Beach, crossing a swamp via a boardwalk and down a steep set of steps. While passing over Scott Point, you will need to watch carefully for a quad motorbike track which veers right off the main 4WD track. The marker may be very difficult to see.

  • Note: If you come to a farm gate and a paddock, you will need to double back about 10 minutes, as you have gone the wrong way.

Follow Ninety Mile Beach south for approximately an hour until you come to Te Paki Stream mouth. This is a popular vehicle entrance/exit to the beach, so be prepared for cars and tourist buses around there and further south. From the stream mouth, it is 1 hour upstream to the road should you wish to exit the beach here.

From Te Paki Stream, you walk down the beach to Ahipara. Try to time your walking to avoid high tide, as in parts, the water can come all the way up to the dunes and make for either wet feet or a need to walk in the hilly dunes.

Landmarks you’ll pass are The Bluff (40km from Cape Reinga), Hukatere (70km) and Waipapakauri (87km). 

Leave the beach at the Kaka Street boat ramp and find your way into Ahipara village, a popular holiday and surfing hotspot at the southern end of Ninety Mile Beach and 14km west of Kaitāia.


Track standard: tramping track  

Potential Hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track on Ninety Mile Beach and Kaka St boat ramp
  • Tides, waves and rivers - safer at low tide
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Few water sources
  • Steep drop-offs - take care on wet rocks - can be slippery
  • Wild feral dogs 


Cape Reinga weather


Northern Start: Cape Reinga

Southern End: Boat ramp, Kākā Street, Ahipara

Te Araroa's northern terminus in the North Island is at Cape Reinga, which is accessible by road. Kaitaia is the most northern gateway town to Cape Reinga, servicing a population of approximately 5200. An alternative is Kerikeri, which has the advantage of being on the trail should you want to leave gear

Tide timetable for 90 Mile beach


Transport from Auckland to Kaitaia 

  • InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: Buses currently four days a week. Monday, Wednesday, Friday Sunday. 7:30 am from the Sky City Coach Terminal, 102 Hobson St, Auckland.  Prices start at $39, and increase as bookings fill up. This route uses the 70 seat bus to Kerikeri and transfers to a 20 seat bus for Kaitaia

Transport from Auckland to Kerikeri 

  • InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: Buses currently every day. 7:30 am, 1:00 pm and 5:30 pm from the Sky City Coach Terminal, 102 Hobson St, Auckland. Prices start at $38, and increase as bookings fill up
  • For September/October SOBO starters Hone Heke Lodge in Kerikeri is offering an accommodation & transportation package up to Cape Reinga. Please email or call David or Victoria 09-407 8170 for further information.

Transport to Cape Reinga Trailhead

There is no public transport, however the following operators can assist.

From Kaitaia

  • Kaitaia Taxis M: 027 829 4582 or P: 0800 829 4582. E:
  • Ritchies Bus P: 09 408 3008, E: Subcontractors to Fullers Great Sights and InterCity.  Will arrange Cape Reinga trips for groups of three or more
  • Utea Park Pauly D - M: 021 804 002 - E: All transport needs north of Kaitaia. Vehicle storage available. Local knowledge offered.

From Mangonui, Kerikeri, Whangarei

  • For October SOBO starters Hone Heke Lodge in Kerikeri is offering an accommodation & transportation package up to Cape Reinga. Please email or call David or Victoria 09-407 8170 for further information.
  • Tuatua Rentals - P: 0274 858453 - E: - Offers transfers from Paihia and Kerikeri - enquire about prices and transfers to/from other parts of the Northland trail.
  • Arthur Lancaster can provide drop-off service to Cape Reinga and/or long-term parking at Paua Bay. P: 09 4097500. Arthur can also advise on commencing the walk at Spirits Bay.
  • Tuatahi Airport Shuttle - Alex Nankivell - P: 021 08753196
  • Peter Ellicott - from Northland Taxis offers a pick up from Mangonui and drop off at the Cape for $100pp - min charge of $200 text him on 021 070 5783 -

From Auckland

  • Salt Air - P: 09 402 8338 / 0800 472 582 - Charter flights to Cape Reinga
  • Bellbird Adventure Tours: Kim Maree Thomas E: M: +64 22 029 8540
    I run a shuttle service from Auckland to Cape Reinga for thru walkers and cyclists. Approx 7hrs one-way shuttle. Two stops for restroom, and lunch stop in Houhora (45mins from the Cape).
    Transport costs are as follows: (2 person minimum, includes transfer from airport & accommodation) $450pp (2 people); $375pp (3 people or more).
    Email or call me for further info. N.B. I no longer provide solo runs.
    10% of your fare will be donated to the Te Ararora Trust for track and route improvements.



  • InterCity - P: 09 583 5780 - E: - From Auckland - Kerikeri - Kaitaia
  • BusLink - Northland bus routes including Ahipara, Kerikeri, Paihia, Whangarei, Waipu, Mangawhai...


  • Detour option: 13km by stream and road to Waitiki Landing Park — SH 1 (20 km south of Cape Reinga)

The Bluff

  • Maunganui Bluff campground — This is a private camp operated by a local trust. They are supportive of Te Araroa and happy for walkers to stay here, however, please be sure to pay a $10/night fee, or this privilege will be at risk. The previous honesty box has been broken into repeatedly and may now have been removed. If possible, it is safer to pay $10 to Maunganui Bluff Trustee bank account 11-5027-0005402-11. This is difficult for hikers without a New Zealand bank account. A local caretaker may be present to collect payment in cash, but beware of imposters
  • Take care using the water and check all taps are off - water gets very low in summer. Look to the stream on the right of the campground (when looking inland from the beach), there is a bathtub there for water resupply - while the water is fresh from a nearby spring, we’d still recommend treating it. Please respect that walkers are allowed to camp here with permission, be sure to camp on the grassed area of the campsite and don’t go into the pine forest to camp.




  • Endless Summer Lodge, 245 Foreshore Road, Ahipara, 09-4094181 
  • YHA Ahipara, 168-170 Takahe St, Ahipara - P: 09 4094864 0800 888988 E:
  • Ahipara Bay Motel - 22 Reef View Rd - P: 09 409 4888 or 0800 906 453 - E: More can be found at
  • Te Wairoa Farm Camp  at the Southern end of the Ninety Mile Beach, right next to the golf course in Ahipara. P: 021 223 1194  We open our farm to campers. Facilities are basic, cold outdoor showers and portaloo. A basic kitchen is available. charge $10pp per night


  • Beachcomber Lodge & Backpacker — P: 09 408 1275 — E: — 235 Commerce St, Kaitaia. Private rooms, dorm rooms, kitchen, luggage storage, assistance with travel bookings. Bookings and check-ins are made at the Wayfarer Motel next door
  • Rayanne King - E: P: 027 330 2776 I am offering accommodation in Kaitaia for up to four people in my self contained sleepout. It is fully self contained. I provide bedding. Also towels if needed. There is filtered clean water, free tea and coffee. A toaster, small oven and jug. The accomodation is in town approximately 10 minutes walk from bus stop. I am happy to pick up from Ahipara and drop to Ruaroa Road (km 122 for southbound) for a donation. I charge $25.00 to cover the costs per person. Also open for campers for $15.00.

Food and Supply




Te Araroa trail section: From Ahipara, you'll walk east to Kaitaia, then through Raetea Forest and over some of the highest peaks in Northland, then on through Ōmahuta Forest and Puketī Forest.


The Herekino Forest has now closed due to Kauri Dieback. From the boat ramp on Ninety Mile Beach please follow the Ahipara road to Kaitaia(18km). Please be careful on this road. From Kaitaia, walkers will need to catch a lift (the road walk is very dangerous as it is State Highway 1 to Ruaroa Road (5km). You can then walk up that road until you come to Takahue Road (6km) and then walk to Takahue (4km). Turn SE on Takahue Saddle Road for 2.5km alongside the Takahue River and keep right at the junction with Warner Rd.

No camping on Warner Road beside the river. There are no amenities at the Warner Road intersection.  This is a swimming area for local children and people are understandably concerned about water pollution. There is a campsite with toilets and showers 1.5 km up the track, 1km before the saddle junction for Broadwood.

See the Food and Supply section below for a possible meal stop at 271 Takahue Saddle Rd, just before the climb to the free campsite

Raetea Forest Track - 18km / 9.5hr

This DOC time estimate is low.  The Raetea Forest Track may take some walkers 12 to 15 hours.

From the junction with Warner Rd, go right and follow the old Takahue Saddle Road (just a track now) as it turns away from the River and climbs steeply through farmland for 2.5km. At the saddle, turn off left (east) following the orange markings up into the Raetea Forest.

It's a rough climb up to the ridge and onto a 580m peak, around km 139.4. There is a small tent space at the summit.

There is a small camping area approximately 1.5km up the hill (km 136.5) that may or may not have a good fresh water supply, please note that the water supply after this point is limited or non-existent. The next water supply is at Makene Road (km 153.5), 17 slow kilometres away. Hard going in muddy conditions may required two days.  You will need more water than you might expect. We suggest taking 3 litres, especially if you will be cooking

UPDATE 17 September 2023. This camping area provides a place for a few tents, a picnic table and a rainwater tank  The toilets and shower provided by the landowner are no longer maintained and are unusable. Use a trowel and don't leave mess for others.

The Raetea Forest has some of the highest peaks in Northland, so expect cloud and rain. The bush track follows the ridgeline on a largely west-east basis past:

  • the 744m Raetea summit
  • an unnamed highpoint of 727m (past a junction with a track leading north on a route out to SH1)
  • the 638m Kumetewhiwhia summit
  • the 445m Umaumakaroro summit

There is space to camp beside the radio repeater, on a short spur track near Raetea summit (km 142.8).

The track then descends through bush and then private farmland to Mākene Rd, Mangamuka. The exit is into the yard of a house  they are used to walkers and happy to have you pass through a hello and/or thank you always goes down well. There are a number of working dogs here whose bark is literally worse than their bite. Walk steadily down the driveway and you'll be fine.

Otherwise, and preferably, to avoid the dogs, SOBOs can follow the orange signs to the right and pass around the right side of the house. NoBo's can follow the signs to the left, and pass to the left of the house. Please leave any gates as you find them.

There is a small camping area approximately halfway down Makene Rd, with toilet, river water, picnic table and washing line (km 153.5). By Donation.

Walk northeast along Makene Rd to the junction with SH1. Then carefully follow SH1 south for 5.5km, being wary of fast traffic. This takes you through Mangamuka settlement and then south to Mangamuka Bridge. 

From Mangamuka Bridge, continue south SH1 for almost a kilometre

Turn east onto Omahuta Road and walk 5km to the junction with Jacksons Road and Omahuta Forest Roads (this connection 13km/3hr).

Ōmahuta-Puketī Forest Track - 32km / 2 days

Warning: Some beehives en route, poison and trapping for possums, rats and mustelids occurs within this forest. Goat control operations using contract hunters also occur within this forest.

For forest hygiene and visitor safety reasons it is requested that in Ōmahuta and Puketī Forests camping is restricted to the sites recommended by DOC  those being Blackbridge Road and Puketī Forest HQ (eastern edge of Puketī Forest). These sites have been identified for camping as they are away from kauri, therefore reducing the risk of spreading kauri dieback disease and will be poison exclusion zones for possum control operations. Therefore please plan around using only these two sites.

From the Jacksons Road junction (km 166.3), head east on well-formed single-track forestry roads (vehicles are rare). 700m up Omahuta Forest Rd, take the left fork onto Kauri Sanctuary Rd. Keep travelling uphill for approximately another 6km past an airstrip on your left and occasional beehives tucked into the forest (just button up and walk gently past). The next major junction is where Kauri Pā Road runs off left. That’s the one to follow until turning off it onto Blackbridge Road km 173.7.

Ōmahuta-Puketī Forest Track is a challenging, wet route using river canyons subject to flash floods. You need good equipment and navigation skills. Only go in dry weather. 

Apple Dam campsite, which may be mentioned in older track notes and maps, is now closed because of the potential spread of Kauri Dieback disease. Camping is available 4 km further along on Blackbridge Road

Continue along the well-formed Kauri Pā Road a further 1km, then fork right onto Blackbridge Road (more 4WD track) at km 173.7

Follow along to cross a concrete ford over a stream (NB: if water is flowing over the top of it, do not proceed as this means water levels in the Mangapukahukahu gorge will be too dangerous). Then climb a further 1.5km until, at the top of the climb, a 4WD track leads left along a soft ridge leading down to Mangapukahukahu Stream. The track is easy to follow down, past two old forestry skid sites. At the second/lower one, a track goes through the pampas grass on the right-hand side. It leads to a rough track (with orange markers) down through trees to the Mangapukahukahu Stream. 

There is a new basic DOC campsite with shelter, water tank and toilet on Blackbridge Road at km 177, after the ford and just before the track down to Mangapukahukahu Stream. No fires allowed at Blackbridge Camp

The stream runs through a gorge and is subject to flash floods in heavy rain.

Do not try to go further if there is heavy rain in the region. Return back to the wet weather bypass around the north of the forest.

As long as the weather is clear, walk SE crisscrossing between shoal banks in the stream for 2.5km until meeting up with the Waipapa River. Immediately south (right) of the junction between Mangapukahukahu and the Waipapa, a track leads up the bank and descends to a shoal where there's a shallow crossing of the main river. 

A short but very muddy climb up the bank meets up with the Lower Waipapa River Track. Recently upgraded, it was well marked but has suffered some damage in storm conditions in early 2023 

Walk 2.5km northeast to the streamside junction with the Pukatea Ridge Track. (The alternative is to try wading between shoal banks in/out of the Waipapa River but there are some deep sections). 

The Pukatea Ridge Track climbs steeply, (past a small freedom campsite 30m up the track) and then on up steps to the ridge through young kauri for 3.5km to meet the Takapau Track. 

From the junction of Pukatea Ridge and Takapau Tracks, head northeast for 300m to the junction with Walnut Track and Pirau Ridge Road (a well-formed 4WD road). Follow Pirau Ridge Road east for 9 km to the Puketī Forest Headquarters, Waiare Rd. There's a campsite here. Take care on Pirau Ridge Road as vehicles and cyclists also use this road. 

If recent heavy rain makes the Mangapukahukahu Stream section unsafe walk past the Blackbridge Road junction at km 173.6, stay on Kauri Pa Road and follow the Omahuta-Puketi Forest Bypass route marked on Map 11 for 25 km to teach Waiare Road, near to Puketi Forest HQ at km 198.  There is a possible camping spot at Louie's Stream, 8.8 km along the bypass route

In extreme conditions, it is possible to bypass the Ōmahuta-Puketi Forest Track completely and walk along the public roads south of the forests. This alternative is rarely used. Continue south (from Omahuta Road turnoff) on SH1 for 22km, turn left into Puketi Road and walk for 9km and Puketotara Road for 2km, then turn left up Mangakaretu Road to rejoin Te Araroa at km 204.3.

Te Ao Maori

Local iwi know Herekino Forest as Orowhana, and the Herkino Saddle as Te Arai (the door) where spirits pause before fleeing north to Cape Reinga. Poupou totems mark the sacred site and the central pou is carved in honour of Taunaha, an ancestor.

The Herekino (Orowhana) Track was a project between Te Araroa Trust and the Department of Conservation. Te Araroa Trust also thanks the assistance given by the people of Whakamaharatanga Marae, also Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, and the Herekino Landcare Group in establishing the main track. Two other DOC tracks diverge from the Herekino Forest track - a tramp from Herekino Saddle through to the Kaitaia-Awaroa Road via Pukepoto Access Road takes 6.5hrs, and the tramp through to Larmer Road end, via the Kaitaia Walkway takes 11 hours. 


Track standard: tramping track

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track. Take care walking on roads, particularly SH1
  • Poisons and traps
  • Forestry operations. Take care between Diggers Valley Road and Waiotehue Road.
  • River canyons - flash floods. Use bypass in times of heavy rain.
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers.
  • Small stream crossings
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources - carry plenty of water, refill whenever you can.
  • Steep drop-offs. Bush track can get muddy and slippery so take care.


Northern Start: Boat ramp, Kaka Street, Ahipara

Southern End: Puketī Recreation Centre, Waiare Road


  • Some local accommodation places will provide transfers. Ask when you book.
  • Peter Griffiths of Takahue - Can provide a drop-off and pick up service for a small fee and some backpacker accommodation is available. Contact him in advance on P: 09 408 3685.
  • Local guide
  • Roger Gale - P: 09 409 3807 - E: - is available for guiding through Herekino and Raetea Forests


Northland Forests

  • Tramp'Inn (Alan and Hayley Tubbs) - 1479 Diggers Valley Rd (eastern exit of Herekino Forest. ) - P: 09 4088851 - E: Rustic 13-bunk hut and tent sites (by koha - $10/night), (cold) shower, drinking water and cooking facilities. Tramp'Inn is not on the recommended Te Araroa route for 2023/24. It is accessible from Diggers Valley Road via a path marked as Veza Road on some maps and may be convenient for hikers choosing to follow the road from Ahipara around the southern edge of Herekino Forest to rejoin the previous Te Araroa route after Herekino.
  • Peter Griffiths of Takahue - P: 09 4083685 - Can provide limited backpacker accommodation.
  • Makene Rd - Eastern exit of Raetea Forest. Camping now available - toilet, river, picnic table and washing line. By donation. Caravan stay available with own solar shower and toilet. Email to book for caravan stay -
  • DOC Puketi Recreation Centre (Campsite and Hut) - Waiare Rd, Puketi Hut booked through DOC - Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands - E:
  • Overnight Camping is available at the Old School Grounds (now Takahue Marae), on NW corner of Takahue crossroads. Tenting, Toilets and water refill available and $10 koha appreciated. For any concerns call Karen Murray 021 0754 246.

Puketi Recreation Area

DOC Puketi Recreation Area - is located in Puketi Forest, near the Puketi Forest Hut

Turn off SH10 at Pungaere Rd, 600m north of Waipapa and follow signs to the camp. Access: 7km of gravel. Accessible to vehicles and you can park next to your campsite.

Location - NZTM2000 coordinates: E1672203, N6103217 / Latitude: -35.25809716, Longitude: 173.75371779

Campsite Fees - Bookings are now required for the campground. Adult (18+ years): $8 per night, Child (5-17 years): $4 per night, Infant (0-4 years). Book online or pay cash on arrival at the self-registration stand.  A $10 service fee applies to all phone, email and in-person bookings. The DOC Campsite Pass can be used at this campsite. Please ensure you have the correct funds to pay your camping fees, there is no change facility on site.

Campsite Facilities:

  • Approximately 20 campsites
  • Cold showers
  • Long drop toilets (there is usually toilet paper available, however it pays to take your own)
  • Cold water tap
  • Fires are currently not allowed due to the increased fire risks during summer

Puketi Forest Hut 

Puketi Forest Hut Fees - Adult (18+ years): $18 per night, Youth (11-17 years): $9 per night, Child/Infant: (0-10 years): free

Bookings are essential. 


  • 18 beds (two-tier platform bunks)
  • Cold tap water - The water is not treated, you may wish to boil it before drinking
  • Electricity
  • Gas hob with wok burner
  • Underbench fridge (small)
  • Indoor fireplace (wood is sometimes available – check the wood store, otherwise take your own)
  • 1 cold shower
  • 2 non-flush toilets
  • Indoor tables
  • Mattresses

Food and Supply

Water: It is recommended when crossing the Rangiheke Stream that you refill your water supplies if required.

Northland Forests 

  • Abhay and Jaya’s Homecooked Meal, Takahue: Look for the sign 'Krishna sanctuary' at 271 Takahue Saddle road, Takahue which is km 135.2 on The Araroa. The start of the Raetea forest section.

    The hosts Abhay and Jayanti are offering a home cooked vegan / vegetarian meal, available daily between 1-4pm, starting 2nd October. Recommended donation $10 for the meal.  Bookings essential at least one day in advance of your arrival if you want guarantee of a meal. Tell us if you are vegan or have any food allergies
    Also available to use as campsite. See hosts at house first before setting up tents.
    Composting toilet; drinking water; charging devices; stream for taking a refreshing bath; friendly cows to give a hug. Camping etc by donation.
    WhatsApp: +64220605862
  • Mangamuka Bridge Dairy - SH 1 Mangamuka Bridge - P: 09 401 9184 - takeaways available. Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 7am - 6pm / Sat: 8.30am - 5pm / Sun: 9am - 3pm (these hours may shorten in winter). Hours may vary. In October 2019 Mangamuka Bridge Dairy advised that they will be closed on Saturdays until further notice.


Te Araroa section: This route passes through farmland and pine forest and affords sweeping views of the Bay of Islands before arriving at the Kerikeri Basin, where Māori welcomed missionaries in 1819 to establish a Church Mission Settlement. Beautiful Kerikeri is one of New Zealand’s most historic sites.


Please note, there is no camping between Puketi and Kerikeri (24km)

Mangakaretu track - 17.5km / 6 hrs to SH10 overbridge and picnic area

From Puketi recreation area campsite, walk out to Waiare road and turn right. Follow Waiare Road south for 2 km until you cross a small road bridge and then come to the start of the Upper Puketotara track on your left (km 200). This is an easy tramping track about 4km through to Mangakaretu road at kilometre 204.3. You will be walking alongside a stream in QE2 reserve until you reach a fence corridor leading to Mangakaretu Road between bull paddocks. About the halfway point there is a pleasant waterfall area where you could stop for a snack. 

Note. The Mangakaretu tracks pass alongside and between bull paddocks. It is essential to stay on the track, keep steadily moving, and to avoid wearing bright-coloured clothing.

At times Landcorp may close this Upper Track for farming operations (see trail status alerts). If  signage indicates that the Upper Track is closed, continue south down Waiare Road for another 3 km to the crossroads with Puketi Road and Puketotara Road. Turn left (east) and follow Puketotara Road for 2.5 km to the intersection with Mangakaretu Road. The signpost shows Kerikeri ahead, but the trail turns left (north) up Mangakaretu Road for 1.5 km to rejoin the route at kilometre 204.3.

Follow the gravel Mangakaretu Road 5 km in a northeast direction before meeting the Lower Puketotara farm track at a marked stile on the left at km 209.2. 

At times Landcorp may close this Lower Puketotara farm track for farming operations (see trail status alerts). If  signage indicates that the Lower Track is closed, continue south down Mangakaretu Road for another 2.7 km to the junction with Puketotara Road. Turn left (east) and follow Puketotara Road for 4.7 km to the intersection with State Highway 10. Then turn left for 600m to rejoin the route at the SH10 parking bay/picnic area.

If the Lower Puketotara track is not closed, proceed across the stile and into the farm as follows.
Follow the narrow track northeast for about 500m, then turn southeast immediately after the stile to follow the fenceline around and then down through the pine forest. Then turn east to sidle around Maungaparerua (241m), with its wide outlook across the Bay of Islands.

Watch out for the farm animals. Move gently. When going past a herd of heifers or steers, be steadfast but wary as they are excitable.

Kerikeri River Track — 6.5km / 2 hours 

Use the stile from the picnic area on SH10 and follow the Te Araroa and orange track markers around a private residence before coming back alongside the Kerikeri River.

Continue following orange markers through pleasant tōtara groves alongside the river for 3km until joining with the Department of Conservation’s Kerikeri Walkway near Rainbow Falls Rd. There, one can view the 27m high Rainbow Falls that tumble over the basalt lava fields which flowed into the river valley after long past volcanic eruptions. 

From then on, the track is a well-developed and marked bush track. It passes through stands of young kauri and tōtara. It also passes the remains of a powerhouse built as part of a hydroelectric generation scheme which operated between 1930-67. 

Follow this track to the picnic area/carpark area on Landing Road, then cross the footbridge over the river to New Zealand’s oldest house, Kemp House (1821-22) and the world-renowned Stone Store (1832-36) on the Kerikeri Basin.

Kerikeri River Track — 6.5km / 2 hours

Use the stile from the picnic area on SH10 and follow the Te Araroa and orange track markers around a private residence before coming back alongside the Kerikeri River.

Continue following orange markers through pleasant tōtara groves alongside the river for 3km until joining with the Department of Conservation’s Kerikeri Walkway near Rainbow Falls Rd. There, one can view the 27m high Rainbow Falls that tumble over the basalt lava fields which flowed into the river valley after long past volcanic eruptions. 

From then on, the track is a well-developed and marked bush track. It passes through stands of young kauri and tōtara. It also passes the remains of a powerhouse built as part of a hydroelectric generation scheme which operated between 1930-67. 

Follow this track to the picnic area/carpark area on Landing Road, then cross the footbridge over the river to New Zealand’s oldest house, Kemp House (1821-22) and the world-renowned Stone Store (1832-36) on the Kerikeri Basin.


The Kerikeri Basin is where Māori welcomed missionaries in 1819 to establish a Church Mission Settlement. This established the framework for New Zealand’s bi-cultural society. Kerikeri is a beautiful place in the Bay of Islands and one of New Zealand’s most historic sites.


Track Standard: Easy tramping track

Potential Hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Farming operations
  • Electric fencing
  • Small stream crossings
  • Open drains
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Steep drop-offs Occasional washouts next to rivers/streams - take care


Northern Start: Puketī Recreation Centre, Waiare Road

Southern End: Stone Store, Kerikeri Basin


Mangakaretu Track alternative bypass route: Puketotara connection

  • From the Puketi Recreation Centre, follow Waiare Rd south for 5kms
  • Turn east onto Puketotara Rd for 13.5kms to SH 10.
  • Turn north on SH 10 for 600m. On the eastern side of the road, just over the bridge and on the north banks of the Kerikeri River is the picnic layover (no facilities).



  • Hone Heke Lodge Flashpackers  Re-opening for TA Walkers  September 2024. Long been a favourite of TA Walkers over the last 10 years. Book early to secure a spot for you/your group at this busy, super friendly hostel. Welcome to send your bounce boxes in advance (please email us). Check our reviews on Trip Advisor. Shuttle & accommodation package available October. Please book ahead. Email or call 09 407 8170/ text 0274144222
  • KeriCentral Hostel - KeriCentral is a vibrant yet homely hostel/guesthouse located right in the centre of town. 150mtrs from restaurants, cafes, bus stop and shopping. Multiple outdoor entertaining areas, swimming pool, pool table, two kitchens and bbq area all at your convenience. With our limited beds in our dorm rooms and private rooms available you can be assured you’ll have a restful sleep after a long day of tramping. We look forward to being part of your NZ adventure. Contact - 0278008067 or email on

Food and Supply


Te Araroa section: Journey from historic Kerikeri through Kororipo Pa, Waitangi Forest and Mt Bledisloe to the iconic Treaty Grounds at Waitangi. 


From the historic Kemp House and Stone Store on Kerikeri Basin, leave Kerikeri Road and follow the Kororipo Pā Track, which curves around the headland to the southeast. 

Once on the headland, follow the wide pasture track southwest until a Department of Conservation marker post identifies a track heading southeast down into a gully and over a pedestrian bridge to Pā Road. 

Walk southeast up Pā Road and turn northeast into Kerikeri Inlet Road. Continue for 2km to a forest gate and the northern end of Te Wairoa Road, the start of the Waitangi Forest Track. This route includes footpaths, grass, easy walking tracks and a road berm.

Waitangi Forest Track — 14.5km / 3 hours

As it leaves Kerikeri Inlet Road, the trail ascends gradually through young pines for 2.6 km to a road junction. Enter into Waitangi forest at Te Wairoa road entry point, then follow Te Wairoa road until you turn right onto Te Puke and exit at the Mt Bledisloe gate. Keep a close eye on navigation, or use a GPS to connect to Te Puke Rd.

This forest has active logging operations. Be extremely careful of logging trucks and harvesting activities.

In partnership with Ngati Hapu Ki Waitangi:

  • Wear a high-vis vest/jacket throughout the forest for personal safety and to increase walker visibility for logging truck drivers.
  • Stay on the track and do not deviate from the track for your safety.
  • Trees may be felled within two tree lengths of the track.
  • Heed all signs and do not enter areas marked as closed.
  • Be aware of tree felling within

At this point, anyone with interest in Te Araroa history may want to make a quick detour by turning northwest up Te Puke Road, and a short way up, you can see a plaque and Te Araroa cairn, assembled from local volcanic rock by Kerikeri sculptor Chris Booth and restored in 2014. This marks the opening of this route; the very first Te Araroa track.

Turn southeast onto Te Puke Road and continue on 1km to pass Mt Bledisloe (105m) before turning east onto Haruru Falls Rd. Laving the forest behind you, emerge onto Tau Henare Drive, Waitangi. Follow the road through the Waitangi Golf Course past the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and continue down to the Waitangi Bridge.


Te Araroa’s first-ever track-opening plaque 7 February 7 1995. Then-Prime Minister Jim Bolger whisked a yellow tarpaulin off a local volcanic stone embedded with lines from A. R.D. Fairburn’s poem ‘To a Friend in the Wilderness’ –

I could be happy, in blue and fortunate weather,

Roaming the country between you and the sun

South of here, the trail follows the same route that once connected the now-vanished Māori village Okura with Waitangi. It passes Mt Bledisloe (105m), and a short diversion to the summit lookout is worthwhile. The large swathe of land on view from this low summit includes the Waitangi Treaty Grounds below. The track descends past Mt Bledisoe before turning east (left) onto Haruru Falls Rd, Tau Henare Drive, and the Waitangi Golf Course to the Waitangi Treaty Grounds.

On 6 February 1840, New Zealand’s founding document was signed here between Lieutenant-Governor Hobson, representing the British Crown and Māori chiefs. The manicured lawns and the solemn kaitiakitanga that surround the place indicate the importance now placed on the treaty. The Treaty Grounds (including the colonial Treaty House) and 1000 acres of land were gifted to the nation in 1932 by the former Governor-General, Lord Charles Bledisloe. As a British aristocrat, he perhaps saw more clearly than Pākehā New Zealanders then did what the Treaty of Waitangi meant to Māori and the nation. Te Whare Runanga (carved meeting house) was opened on 6 February 1940, 100 years after the signing. It stands facing the Treaty House, the two buildings together symbolising the partnership agreed between Māori and the British Crown, on which today’s Aotearoa New Zealand is founded.


Track standard: easy tramping track

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Forestry operations
  • Bikes and horses


Northern Start: Stone Store, Kerikeri

Southern End: Waitangi Bridge, Paihia



Te Araroa trail section: This track provides wonderful views of the Veronica Channel.


From the Waitangi Bridge, follow the coastal Marsden Road via beach or footpath south through Paihia township.

At the southern end of Paihia Beach (junction of Marsden and Seaview roads by toilets/car park), you have 2 options:

  1. When the tide is out, follow the coastline from Paihia Beach around to Haumi Bay.
  2. If the tide is in, take the footpath south on Seaview Road to Haumi Bay.

From the southern end of Haumi Bay, follow the signed track beside/under the bridge and around the coast to the east until you reach Ōpua.

If the tide is too high to continue around the coast from Lemons Bay (km 250) take the steps up to Richardson Street

If planning to kayak to Waikare it is easier to launch from the Paihia beach. Contact Nick at Bay Beach Hire on 021 159 2185. Details in Waikare Connection information.


Track standard: mixed grade

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Take care around water, slippery rocks



Northern Start: Waitangi Bridge, Paihia

Southern End: Ōpua Wharf, Ōpua, Bay of Islands



  • Bay of Islands Lodge, Corner of Kings & MacMurray Rds, Paihia - See special Te Araroa walker rates here.  Call or Text: 021 560 306 - Email:
  • Waitangi Holiday Park & Mayfair Lodge backpackers - 1 Tahuna Rd, Waitangi - P: 0800 55 6660 or 09 402 786 - E:
  • Centabay Lodge - 27 Selwyn Rd, Paihia - P: 0800 402746 - E:
  • Accommodation option - It is fortunate to provide accommodation in such an isolated forest area, available is a four sleeping cabin, space for tents, campervans or a short stop over for a break.  Approximately it is $18 pp, this allows use of the showers, laundry, camp kitchen and some utensils, pots and pans available. Tea and coffee can be provided at no cost.  Pick ups are available for groups or singles $10.00, one way trip.  Pick ups and drop offs are at Russell waterfront Four Square, or at the Waikare Inlet.  Details for contact are to Bernard, his email address is, please give a days notice.  Phone no. in NZ is 021 0874 34444 Bernard or Aroha on 021 0243 4349.

Accommodation en route

Food and Supply


Two options exist to negotiate the Waikare Inlet through to the start of the Russell Forest Track - by water or by road.

Following consultation with local iwi in the Russell Forest, it has been decided that we will re route Te Araroa around Russell Forest.  The key reason to do this is to respect the concerns of local iwi around reducing the potential spread of Kauri Die Back by our walkers. We have developed a new route that will take our walkers to the eastern side of the forest, before connecting back up with the original trail at 286km marker. 

Two options exist to negotiate the Waikare Inlet from Paihai or Opua through to the Punaruku Estuary on Whangaruru Harbour by water or by road via at the ferry from Opua to Okiato.

There is also the option to ferry from Paihia to Russell and connect with Sheryl Wikaere to travel with her to Waikare. Transport is available for large groups please contact Sheryl on

Tide timetable for Waikere Inlet

By water

Kayak up the inlet with Bay Beach Hire, phone Nick on 021 159 2185. This company is based on the beach at Paihia, and if you're going to kayak up to Waikare, Paihia is a better start point than Ōpua. It's better to travel in a group or two or three, which will reduce costs. The paddle from Paihia to Waikare takes between 3-4hr depending on weather conditions and fitness levels, and should only be done by persons with some experience. Cellphone reception is zero once past Marriott Island so GPS or good map skills are needed. Plan to start around 3 hours before high tide to arrive at Waikare near the top the tide.

There is a approximately 18kms of kayaking. When you get to Sheryl’s place (027 309 3476) you can stay there, or walk up the Waikare road for 6.5kms and turn right onto the Russell Whakapara road for approx. 13km to The Farm (total of 19.5kms), a friendly camping place, or continue for another 4.5km (total of 24kms walking) to re-join the trail at km marker 286, a further 1.5kms south is Tammy's Place at 2999 Russell Road.

Pricing -  $100pp, with minimum of 2 people.

Includes kayak hire, pack transport to Waikare, kayak pickup, dry bags, maps, full safety equipment.



Waikare and the accommodation providers on Waikare Road are not located directly on Te Araroa due to the closure of Russell Forest and Papakauri Track in 2021. The accommodation options below are approximately 2 km off the current route

For information re Waikare amenities, contact Sheryl Wikaire on P: 027 309 3476 E:

  • Sheryl's Place has tenting available for walkers at 228 Waikare Valley Rd ($20) - call Sheryl, or information at the Russell GAS station. Sheryl's place is 1km from the Russell Forest at 228D Waikare Valley Rd, just phone or text to arrange. Note that Sheryl's place is "off the grid" - composting toilet available on request and kauri dieback cleaning facilities available, please make use of these!

By road via Ferry from Opua to Okiato

Walk from Paihia 6kms to Opua and take the vehicular ferry over the Veronica Channel to Okiato. From there, follow Aucks Rd for 4.5km to the GAS Russell Garage at the junction with the Russell-Whakapara Rd. Turn right and follow that road for approximately (22km) to The Farm, a friendly camping place, or continue for another 4.5km (total of 36.5kms) to re-join the trail at km marker 286. A further 1.5kms south is Tammy's Place at 2999 Russell Road.

If you want a  more relaxing route between exiting the ferry and joining with the Russell-Whakapara Rd, then turn left into Pipiroa Rd soon after leaving the ferry and link to the “Okiato to Russell Walkway”. This goes through wetland, bush, and around cliffs to rejoin Aucks Rd just before its junction with the Russell-Whakapara Rd.  It is several kilometres longer than walking directly through to the Russell-Whakapara Rd on Aucks Rd, but does take you off-road and is a good coastal meander if you have time. 

By road via Ferry from Paihia to Russell

Catch a ferry to Russell from Paihia at km marker 244, and then walk through Russell township and up Florence Ave. Beside the refuse centre there is a trail that takes you beside and off the main road, over boardwalks and through coastal mangroves, all the way to GAS Russell Garage (5kms) on the corner of Aucks Road and Russell-Whakapara Road. Turn left and continue down the Russell-Whakapara Road for approximately (22km) to The Farm (km 281.3), a friendly camping place, or continue for another 4.5km (total of 31.5kms) to re-join the trail at KM marker 286. A further 1.5kms south is Tammy's Place at 2999 Russell Road.


Track standard: mixed grade

Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track. If kayaking, be alert for other water users
  • Poisons & traps
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold


Waikare Connection

Two options exist to negotiate the Waikare Inlet through to the East end of the Russell Forest Track -  by water or by road.

The Russell Forest Track has been removed from Te Araroa following consultation with local iwi.  The routes described lead to the eastern end of Papakauri Road, near km 286.

There is also the option to ferry from Paihia to Russell (and a chance to explore some of New Zealand's history in Russell), and take the Russell to Okiato walkway until you get to the Gas station at the junction of Aucks road. Alternatively, connect with Sheryl Wikaere and travel with her to Waikare - (there will be a cost involved and this is unsuitable for bigger groups). 




From Opua, take the vehicular ferry over the Veronica Channel to Okiato. From there, follow Aucks Rd for 4.5km to its junction to the Russell-Whakapara Rd. Continue east into Russell-Whakapara Rd for 14 km.
From the junction with Waikare Road (km 268), where walkers who have taken the kayak option via Waikare will join  your route, continue east on Russell-Whakapara, which later becomes Russell Road, for 18 km to pass the end of Papakauri Road (km 286)

If you want a  more relaxing route between exiting the ferry and joining with the Russell-Whakapara Rd, then turn left into Pipiroa Rd soon after leaving the ferry and link to the “Okiato to Russell Walkway”. This goes through wetland, bush, and around cliffs to rejoin Aucks Rd just before its junction with the Russell-Whakapara Rd.  It is several kilometres longer than walking directly through to the Russell-Whakapara Rd on Aucks Rd, but does take you off-road and is a good coastal meander if you have time.


 Vehicles on road or track If kayaking, be alert for other water users

  • Poisons & traps
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold



Northern Start: Opua Wharf, Opua, Bay of Islands

Southern End: Waikare


Russell Outback Eco Retreat - Near the  corner of Russell Whakapara Road and Paroa Bay Rd, 11 km from Okiato.  17 Paroa Bay Road.  We have one cabin to let out which can sleep 6 people, with self contained kitchen, outdoor fire and bathroom. The cost is $120 / night and they would need to contact us in advance to book in. Call or text Clair on 021 558 514

The Farm, a friendly camping place at km 281.3 



Te Araroa trail section: This is a really enjoyable section where, if you're lucky, you'll meet some of the finest trail angels Te Araroa has to offer!


Note: Some parts of Russell Forest have been affected by kauri dieback disease. Following consultation with local iwi, Te Araroa has been re-routed around the east side of Russell Forest. The key reason is to respect the concerns of local iwi around reducing the potential spread of kauri dieback by our walkers.

The new route takes walkers to the eastern side of the forest along the Russell Whakapara Road, and south to the junction of Papakauri Road. 

After passing Papakauri Road, keep going south on Russell Road, passing the Ōākura turnoff (6.5km) and the small settlement of Mōkau (8km) until reaching the junction of Russell Road and Webb Road, Helena Bay (13km). From the junction of Russell and Webb Road, follow Webb Road 0.5km to the start of the Helena Ridge Track. 

Helena Ridge Track - 9km / 4 hours

From Webb Road, climb the stile under the "High Chaparral" sign and make use of the cleaning station to ensure no dirt/mud remains on your footwear. 

Immediately after the sign, do not go up the hill, but follow around the hill on the little track on the right. Follow an old farm track that sidles around steep pasture where mānuka trees are regenerating. Go through a small patch of bush before the benched track ends and begin to climb a steep hill to meet a ridgeline that undulates through regenerating bush. 

While there is the occasional short scramble, the track is well formed and easy walking (though uphill most of the way).

Note: Walkers come through here with agreement from a number of landowners, so please respect this and do not make camp anywhere on this track. 

At the highest point, the track turns east, alternating between pasture, farm track and native bush. Here you can enjoy glimpses of the magnificent canopy of large native trees below and the coast in the distance.

Note: When on farm tracks you may encounter some closed gates, and often, stretchy electrified wires. Carefully use the plastic handles to open, and leave gates open or closed as you found them.

At the very top there is another cleaning station. Please use this to again carefully remove mud from your footwear.

The last kilometre is an easy gravel farm track bringing you to Kaiikanui Road

After coming out of the forest at km 306.3, approximately 1.7km before reaching Kaiikanui Road, there is a free camping spot with a water tank generously provided by the landowner. The water tank may be empty in dry conditions. There no toilet at this location.

The route from Kaiikanui Road to Whananaki along the Morepork-Onekainga Track is currently closed to Te Araroa hikers.  

The following section to Whananaki is temporarily excluded from Te Araroa.  The route description is retained here in anticipation of the Morepork-Onekainga Track route being reopened in future.

Morepork-Onekainga Track - / 4-5 hours

On reaching Kaiikanui Road turn left (east) and walk 1km to the start of the Morepork-Onekainga Track.

From Kaiikanui Road, enter DOC’s Kaiikanui Forest and 200m in, make use of the cleaning station to ensure no dirt/mud remains on your footwear. Follow a well-benched track for about 4km, past Hansens Hill (where the bench turns sharply northeast).

Be aware that around this 4km mark, the track moves off into the bush to the right of the bench. At this junction, there are few large trees for markers so it can be missed. The route follows markers through trees to meet up with the forest’s northeast boundary fence. It follows the fenceline much of the way down into a gully before a steep climb up to a cleared and grassy high point (218m) with spectacular views out to the coast and the Poor Knights Islands. You are now on private land belonging to the Waetford whānau (family), so please respect the privilege.

Continue on old bush tracks in a southeast direction down ridgelines to some pretty little streams before climbing steeply all the way up again (174m down then up). At the top, you climb stiles onto well-formed farm tracks. After 500m, turn left off the farm track and cross 200m through a small pine plantation (there are no markers allowed on these pines so navigate carefully) to a boundary fence just west of the Onekainga Trig (227m) and more views. Stay on the track and follow the fenceline past the pine and then down the ridgeline in the native bush for 1.5km. By now you have left the Waetford block, and are in the Harman’s farm and just as you leave the bush, have lovely views over the inner Whananaki estuary. There is another cleaning station here and again, please remove all mud from your footwear before continuing.

For the last 800m, you begin following the markers down the fenceline and then cross a pasture (look for the lone tree) then down the other fenceline and along a small creek. There may be magnificent Charolais bulls grazing. If so, walk slowly and quietly, waiting for them to move if need be. At the southern end of the property, over the stile, you emerge onto Whananaki North Road.

  • Please note: Private farmland and kiwi and pateke nesting area; Open daylight hours only; No dogs, horses, bikes, guns, fires or camping. Electric fences.

Walk 800m southeast along Whananaki North Road. Look for the Estuary/Inlet track sign in the bush on the south side (do not go down a private driveway). The track leaves the road and circles around a paddock fenceline to reach a stop bank on the side of the Whananaki Estuary. From there, the track follows along the Estuary to the Whananaki Footbridge, entrance to the Whananaki Holiday Park and the Village.

Bypass route to Whananaki via Kaiikanui Road -18 km

On reaching Kaiikanui Road, turn right (west) and walk almost 8km to the intersection of Pigs Head road. Turn left for about 800 m, then turn hard left (east) and follow Whananaki North Road for 10.5km toward Whananaki North until you meet the trail again at km 320.2. 

Whananaki Coastal Track - 7km / 2.5 hours

Tide timetable for Whananaki Coastal Track

From Whananaki North village, there’s a track next to the school which leads to the footbridge. Once across, head east along the estuary (if the tide is high, there is a 1km detour by road around the back of the settlement) around the small settlement and over the spit before heading south on Pukekawa Road parallel to the shore. 

There is a possible diversion via a short, steeper track to the Capitaine Bougainville Memorial on the north point of Oruaea Bay. There are great views from here along the coast.

Note: There is limited beach access from the track – only at Sheltered Bay. 

Beyond Pitokuku Point, a grassy track goes behind private baches and over a stile to join up with a well-graded pōhutukawa-lined farm track/driveway with excellent views of the coast and the Poor Knights Islands. Continue on the driveway until reaching the gate at McAuslin Road.

Leaving the gate at the north end of McAuslin Road, head south down the road and turn west onto Matapōuri Road. Follow the road (looking out for traffic) to Sandy Bay, enjoying the beautiful beaches as you go.

When you arrive into Sandy Bay, turn right onto Matapōuri Road and head west inland for approximately 3km. Turn left onto Kaiatea Road for 3.5km

Turn left into Te Toiroa Road. Pass Kiwi Bush Lane (a loop road). Then take the narrow 'Old Coach Road' to Pukenui Road, which you follow until you merge right onto Waiotoi Road. This takes you all the way into the seaside village of Ngunguru. 


Tide timetable for Ngunguru and Taiharuru Estuary Route

From Waiotoi Road, turn right/southwest onto Ngunguru Road. Just 200m down this road are the Ngunguru Village shops. If you need food supplies, now is a good time to get them as the next shops on the trail are 2–3 days' walk away

The entire 5km section of  TA  trail  between the Ngunguru and Horohora Rivers is NOW CLOSED to ALL Te Araroa walkers until September 2024

The Ngunguru River boat crossing is another 1km walk past the shops southwest along Ngunguru Road. Take the first left into Pāpaka Road and walk 80m to the edge of the estuary. It is essential to text (not phone) James Johnston 24 hours prior to your boat ride on 021 0242 1632.

James will do his best to pick you up at a time that suits you text ahead to ask.

PLEASE NOTE: It is essential to txt JAMES on (021) 0242 1632 at least 24 hrs before walking thru the private Maori land between Ngunguru and Horahora Rivers. This allows James to explain what you need to know when walking thru this section AND to let the owners know that you will be walking thru their property.

Horahora River Crossing

This is a low-tide or near to low-tide trail option. You will wade through water on a sand base. The Horahora River tide times are about 90 mins behind all other surrounding tidal rivers. For example, if the low tide time for Ngunguru is 10am, it'll be 11.30am for Horahora. It can be crossed by foot, 2 hours either side of its low  tide. The river crossing distance is about 300m and the depth goes up and down as you cross.
DO NOT use any of the dinghy boats on either side. They belong to the Maori landowners who are allowing you to walk through their land. They will close this precious section of the trail should you choose to take their boat. Please be respectful walking through Maori land on the north side of the Horahora River. 

James at Nikau Bay Camp can provide you with more info should you decide to choose this trail option.

Alternative detour option by road

Ngunguru Track Bypass North - 14 km 

From the corner of Ngunguru Road and Pāpaka Road, walk west out of the village and continue on the road margin until you reach a junction with Ngunguru Ford Road (10.5Km). (Ngunguru Road is a very busy road linking Ngunguru to Whāngārei - take a lot of care walking, stay as far off the edge as you can. Wear a hi-viz vest and do not use headphones.)

Follow Ngunguru Ford Road southeast for 3km to the start of Mackerel Forest Track.

Mackerel Forest Track - 4 km / 1.5 hours

The track passes through private forest and may be subject to occasional closures due to forestry operations. 

  • Open daylight hours only.
  • NO dogs, guns, vehicles, camping or fires.
  • Two river crossings never cross flooded rivers.

From the forestry gate, the track follows Mackerel Road (a forest road) largely downhill through a pine forest. At the bottom of the hill, it crosses the Waitangi River which is usually knee/thigh depth. From there, the track follows the river bank through a recently harvested area of the forest.

It then turns south to meet and cross the Tāheke River – at the shallower ford between the deeper pools - and clambers up the southern bank. The track continues on the true right river bank until meeting an old logging track that climbs steeply up and around a pine-covered hill before dropping down to a logging gate on Pātaua North Road.

Ngunguru Track Bypass South - 7.5 km 

From Mackerel Forest Track logging gate, turn left (east) to follow Pātaua North Road 13km to the Pātaua North settlement. The winter bypass joins the  Te Araroa route at km 354.7

Note: Once you near the coast, it is private land between the road and the beach so, unfortunately, walking the beach is not an option here please stick to the road.

There is bed and breakfast accommodation available at Ra Puawai Retreat, 27 Mahanga Road, near km 360.9, shortly after crossing the Pataua footbridge. Details in the Taiharuru Estuary Accommodation section below. Local and accommodation information follows the Russell Forest to Whangarei

Taiharuru Estuary Route - 7km / 2 hours

From the Pātaua River footbridge, walk south on the main road out of Pātaua. After 1.5km look for a grassed Council Reserve on the left where Pātaua South Road runs along the Taiharuru Estuary.

Walk through the reserve, step onto the 'beach', and head southeast to the rocky point ahead. This is a low tide route.

On rounding that, and crossing the small stream, head for the 2 white marker poles out on the sandbank.

After rounding the next point, you will be facing southwest at the corner.

If you wish to cross over the estuary, proceed along the water's edge until a pole with an orange triangle becomes visible  the shallowest place.

Stingrays feed in the shallow water of the estuary.  They are not aggressive, but do not like being stepped on. To avoid contact tap the mud ahead with a hiking pole or splash the surface to disturb them

Tide timetable for Taiharuru Estuary Route

Alternatively to enjoy some Northland hospitality just after the point, a wide gap in the mangroves leads past electric fencing to an unfenced grass area. Through the gate is Beasley Road. Turn left onto the gravel road, and Tidesong B&B is 400m ahead. "Drinks, meals, hot shower, campsites and beds available; and a boat crossing to keep feet dry if the tide's high.". Contact 09 436 1959 . Happy to accept koha (donation). 

If you are not heading to Tidesong and are ready to cross, stay well out beyond the mangroves and head for the furthest white pole ahead (orange marker) marking the shallowest crossing place.

Look for the prominent bare clay bank, south side (orange marker), and walk up the bank. Do not cross the fence into the pasture on the west side. Follow the southeast fenceline over the pasture, then along a driveway (at #405) to Taiharuru Road.

Note: This narrow accessway is public land. Please ensure at all times that you do not enter private property.

Turn southwest down Taiharuru Road for 500m to Harambee Road. 1km up this road is the small parking area.

Kauri Mountain Track - 3km / 1.5 hours

The track starts by winding up a long driveway, past private homes. (Use the stiles provided and leave gates as you find them as sheep sometimes graze the driveway). The coastal views north are spectacular. 

Near the top of the driveway, follow orange markers to climb over a stile and up through pasture, then regenerating bush to the trig (where the view is blocked by bush). From there, follow the orange-marked bush track down the southern side to Kauri Mountain Road.

Tide timetable: Check the best times for walking 

Ocean Beach Walk - 9km / 3 hours

Wildlife sanctuary:

  • Avoid dune nesting sites
  • No dogs allowed

From the carpark, walk 2km southeast down this gravel Kauri Mountain Road to a farm gate (look for Te Araroa logo, orange marker). Enter the paddock here, leaving this gate as you find it, and follow the farm track across a paddock heading straight towards Ocean Beach. A few clay steps cut into the bank take you down to the beach. 

When you're first on the beach there is a stream/occasional estuary that changes shape a lot do check it before attempting to cross and on some occasions, if the tide is high you're best to wait for the tide to drop a little.

Head south down the beach running parallel with DOC’s Ocean Beach Recreation Reserve. 

Near the southern end of the beach, a sand track leads up to a carpark, toilet and Ocean Beach Road.

Note: A freedom camping bylaw is in place that prohibits camping in this carpark.

Please take care when opening gates that you leave them as you find them. There may be farm animals on this track.

Bream Head (Te Whara) Track - 7km / 5-6 hours

Note: Low tide is preferably the best time for the very first part of this track.

Tide timetable: Check the best times for walking

This is a conservation area no domestic animals are allowed (including birds, cats and dogs) and a freedom camping bylaw means Peach Cove is the only option in the Bream Head Scenic Reserve.

Walk to the southern end of Ocean Beach and climb to the ridge beyond. The track is well-formed but steep. Continue on past a WWII naval radar station to the Bream Head/Te Whara summit. It’s worth the short detour to the viewing platform. The rock formations and coastal views are spectacular. 

Halfway along the ridgeline, there is the track exiting to the north/Ocean Beach Road and another going steeply down to the south and Peach Cove (DOC hut not included in the backcountry hut pass). This is a detour see details in trail notes.

Continue along the ridge to Mt Lion (Matariki), then down a lot of steps to Urquharts Bay, passing the Busby Head loop track.

There are great coastal views from many parts of the track.

To continue Te Araroa south from this point onwards, you'll need to get across the channel to Marsden Point. 

Transport across Whāngārei Harbour

Blair Jones runs a water taxi across Whangarei Harbour from Reotahi where your trail ends, to the jetty on the Ruakaka side where your trail starts again. Just message him the day before on 021 114 7466. Tell him how many of you there are and what time you would like to be picked up. The price is $20pp, but with a minimum of $40. So for 2 Te Araroa walkers, it’s still $20 per person. But he has also capped it at $60 per trip for a maximum of five. So if you can get groups of 5, it will cost you $12 per person. Groups of 4 will cost $15 per person.

For more information on the Whāngārei Harbour Crossing and Marsden Point please visit Northland Regional Council.

Please consider the following links around boating safety in the Whāngārei area:

Northland Regional Council safety information for boating in Northland 2018-2019

If you need to go to Whāngārei City to re-supply, there's good hitchhiking from here on along the road.

From the carpark, follow Urquarts Bay Road north onto Whāngārei Heads Road. After 5km, turn south on to Bay View Road and walk down to Little Munroe Bay. 

Reotahi Track - 3km / 1 hour

The wide, gravelled track begins on the lower slopes of Mt Aubrey overlooking Little Munroe Bay. It goes around the harbour’s edge to Reotahi Beach (and boat ramp) taking in stunning sea views and passing the historic remains of a freezing works. Very noticeable is the hum coming from the Marsden Point Oil Refinery, just across the 1.5km channel, and the start of Te Araroa’s next coastal section.

Note: If you are hoping to wait and find a lift across to Marsden Point, you are better waiting here at Reotahi than continuing around to McLeods Bay, and note that on the Te Araroa maps, the route line ends at Reotahi.

From the northern end of Reotahi Bay, there is a dirt track heading off the side of Reotahi Beach Road. It climbs the hill to a playground at the end of Norfolk Road. Head up the road to a driveway just past #34. Take this driveway and turn right (north) over the front lawn past the last house. Beyond it are steps leading down to a small footbridge. This track leads to Matuku Street. Follow this, then up to the end of Darch Point Road where a well-defined track follows the headland around to the jetty at McLeod Bay. 

Information on the Whāngārei Harbour crossing and Marsden Point  

Note: Toilets, cafe, phone, accommodation available at the Whāngārei Heads village. At Marsden Cove marina you will find a cafe, toilets and phone facilities. 


Track standard: Tramping track

Potential Hazards

  • No dogs allowed
  • Multiple river crossings  please make an informed decision on tide flow and height of the river before crossing as this can be dangerous
  • Do not cross rivers after or during heavy rain
  • Please respect trail restrictions do not trespass onto private property
  • Clean boots before and after your walk to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease

Morepork-Onekainga Track

  • Kiwi Area no dogs allowed


  • Northern Start: Waikare
  • Southern End: Jetty at McLeod Bay (southern end), Whangarei Heads



Waikare and the accommodation providers on Waikare Road are not located directly on Te Araroa due to the closure of Russell Forest and Papakauri Track in 2021. The accommodation options below are approximately 2 km off the current route

For information re Waikare amenities, contact Sheryl Wikaire on P: 027 309 3476 E:

  • Sheryl's Place has tenting available for walkers at 228 Waikare Valley Rd (koha/donation please) - call Sheryl, or information at the Russell GAS station. Sheryl's place is 1km from the Russell Forest at 228D Waikare Valley Rd, just phone or text to arrange. Note that Sheryl's place is "off the grid" - composting toilet available on request and kauri dieback cleaning facilities available, please make use of these!



  • Note: If the sea conditions are good, an alternative is to sea kayak from Ngunguru to Pataua North.
  • October 2021 update. Suspension of service until further notice.  The optional trip operated by Pacific Coast Kayaks as described below is NOT operating due to low numbers under covid restrictions.  Call Mark for current information
  • Pacific Coast Kayaks - Mark Garry - P: 09 436-1947 or M: 021 1295-921- E: Offer a shuttle trip from Ngunguru to Pataua or Taiharuru, with a lunch stop at Goat Island (lunch provided). Pataua has a camping ground but Taiharuru is closer to the start of the track. This is a guided trip as there are a few hazards such as a bar crossing at Pataua. They do not hire kayaks out to solo paddlers. Pacific Coast Kayaks will carry hikers' packs to the take-out point where hikers can resume their journey. As there is additional mileage involved and a driver has to do a pickup, the cost is more than a usual day trip. It is therefore cheaper if people join up with other hikers so that the transport costs can be shared.
  • A 2 B Auckland Airport Direct Shuttle - (to/from Whangarei/Matapouri/Tutukaka) - P: 09 459 5221 or 027 273 7307

Whangarei Heads



Make contact with Tammy at 2999 Russell Road- they have camping sites $15 per person for a camping spot - call Tammy on 027 240 4121.

Oakura Bay

  • Situated in an ideal position for walkers to stay right beside the ocean at our stunningly beautiful Oakura Bay, after walking from Waikare. Ngawai and Justin run a fishing charter on the beautiful Oakura Bay beachfront called Oakura Bay Fish Dive and Cruise. It offers both beachfront tent sites and other tent sites with spectacular views overlooking the whole beach, as well as well set up caravans. The tent sites are just $15 per night for Te Araroa walkers which includes spectacular location, excellent hot showers, and free WiFi. It also has a range of well-setup caravans on the beachfront that many walkers prefer for a break with comfortable beds, great views, and impressive facilities. They range from just $25 per person per night and also include well-setup facilities, excellent hot showers, and free WiFi. They can be viewed by searching for "Oakura Bay Caravans" on Airbnb, but are much cheaper for the walkers. The camp is ideal day's walk distance from Waikare, They also offer walkers the option of being driven up to restart their trail walking the next morning after a relaxing and enjoyable stay. Drop Ngawai and Justin a line on 027 46 25872 or

Helena Bay

  • Whangaruru Beachfront Camp - Ohawini Rd, Oakura Nth - P: 09 4336806 - It has cabins, caravans, motel and campsites. Fully equipped kitchen for use. Hot free showers and a laundry. We have a small camp shop that stocks most basics and necessities. Phone number 094336806, email: Walkers are offered the camps winter rates through the summer months, which is significantly cheaper. i.e. Campsite is $22.00 per head, winter: $17.00. Cabins range between $85 to $70 per night. Discount $75.00 to $60.00. etc.
  • Hopewell B&B - 1349 Russell Rd, Helena Bay Hill - P: 09 4339608 - We offer a dinner option on request (booking required 24hrs before arrival) and we also have single room rates. Furthermore we offer walkers to pick them up of the trail and return them the next day, as we are about 4.5km away from the trail, on Helena Bay Hill. It offers a $5 discount on the dinner option for Te Araroa walkers.
  • Russell Road, Helena Bay. Alex and Dave are a friendly, creative couple in Helena Bay. We have a caravan that sleeps three and space for around 10 tent sites. Fresh water, hot water, toilet and shower available. If you've just come through Russell Forest there's another 31 Km after Helena Bay till the next campground at Whananaki. We'd love to meet you and hear your stories. Bookings preferred. Please call us and we can pick you up from Helena Bay Beach. We can also provide refreshments if wanted. Koha appreciated.  Call Dave on 0274 339 016 or Alex 0220 454 391. email:


  • Whananaki Holiday Park, Whananaki North Rd, Whananaki - $14 per night - P: 09 433 8896 - E:


  • AirBnB - Matapouri Road, Sandy Bay - P - 094344066 E - Established Airbnb and will offer summer camping from November 2020. Own tent or use our 5m glamping tent. Please email in advance for directions. We are at the top of Sandy Bay hill close to the track, in a convenient spot for a night after walking up Sandy Bay hill (this is on the alternative route from Sandy Bay to Ngunguru).
  • Toilet facilities are available at the beach.


  • Tutukaka Coast Motor Lodge - 2015 Ngunguru Rd, Ngunguru - P: 09 434 3840
  • Goldstones - 8 Papaka Rd, Ngunguru - P: 09 434 3095 - E:
  • Sam's Bush Retreat - Waipoka Rd, Kiripaka P: 09 4375375 or 021 0690937 - Mention Te Araroa to get a discount
  • Baches to rent - Coastal Holiday Homes - P: 09 434 4146 or 027 482 6408 - E:
  • DonnaMarie Austin - P: (021)142 2385. Ngunguru trail angel, 5 mins walk from the dairy and takeaways. I’m available to host Monday through to Thursday (I work out of town on the weekend so cannot host Fri, Sat, Sun nights).  Indoor hosting only please (no backyard camping) for maximum of 3 people.  I provide hot showers, freshly laundered linens, washing machine and dryer, two meals: dinner and cooked breakfast. I ask a fair and reasonable koha (contribution) merely to cover my expenses so that I can continue hosting.
  • If you require accommodation in Ngunguru, Ali & Graham have a modern self contained unit at Chloe Place. After the Ngunguru shops continue along the main road to Whale Tail Park. Walk down past the park, turn left onto Pine Rd, then 1st right onto Chloe Place ( 5 minute walk from Ngunguru shops & a 2 minute walk from the Estuary. ) Booking is essential via texting Ali on 021 137 5378. The accommodation is private, with a double bedroom plus a sofa bed in the lounge. Suitable for single or double let. The unit cost is $100 nzd per night. The unit has both heating & air conditioning, a hot shower and a full kitchen. Please note due to being on tank water there is no washing machine in the accommodation. Wi-Fi is free. 

  • Nikau Bay Camp and Cabins - 999 Ngunguru Ford Rd, Ngunguru - P: 021 02421632 (texting preferred) - The owner cannot reply to calls from an international number. Email instead, on James Johnston is your host at this beautiful spot on the southern shore of the Ngunguru Estuary. The camp has tent sites, and showers/cooking facilities and James can help get you across the estuary via boat/kayak. You'll need to text him at least a day in advance to arrange this. Then it's a nice walk along Ngunguru Ford Rd out to continue the route south.
  • James place closes each year between 1 May and 15 September - people walking during this time will need to use the road detour - Directions for Te Araroa road detour around Ngunguru and Horahora Rivers, Head west out of Ngunguru on the main tar seal road to Whangarei for about 13Km.  Turn left onto Ngunguru Ford Rd for 3 km. Turn right onto the Mackerel Track. Turn left once this track brings you out onto  Pataua North Rd. This by- passes Ngunguru and Horahora Rivers...happy travels
  • Because accommodation in Ngunguru Township is minimal it's worth asking someone for accommodation on the Tutukaka and Ngunguru Community Facebook page the day before you arrive into Ngunguru

Taiharuru Estuary

  • Tidesong B & B - Beasley Rd, Taiharuru - P: 09 436 1959 - E: - They also can provide lunch, afternoon teas, dinghy rides across the Estuary as well as advice and transport.
  • Stonelee Cottage - Beasley Road, Pataua South, Whangarei - P: 09 436 5200
  • Treasure Island campground - Mahanga Rd, Pataua South (km 366) - P: 09 436 2390, or 021 0266 8021 - E: - Please note: Not usually open in winter months, and the basic supply shop is only open for 6 weeks, over the peak summer period.
  • Ra Puawai Retreat Bed and Breakfast, 27 Mahanga Rd, Pataua South. (km 366)  P: 021 115 4969  E: . A genuine Kiwi 60's bach on the beach. Large deck for relaxing and taking in the stunning views. 3 bedrooms, sleeping 4. All beddings, towels etc provided. Heatpump and laundry with dryer. Full kitchen including coffee machine, coffee and basic supplies. Smart TV with SKY and unlimited WIFI. Hot Springs Spa, 2 kayaks, 2 paddle boards, dinghy plus life jackets. Brazier, wood supplied 

Ocean Beach/Bream Head (Te Whara) Track

  • Jaggers camp - a camp for koha/donation - look out for orange marker at (380.4km) on Ocean Beach south of Kauri Mountain. Please call ahead to book - P: 09 4340747 or 021 2431347 - water, toilets, showers (cold), camping, caravan, cabin
  • SALT self-contained studio apartments - 75 Blue Horizon Rd, Whangarei Heads - P: 09 434 0785 - Available also is pick up/drop off for walkers with afternoon tea.
  • Bream Head Getaway, 310 Ocean Beach Rd, Whangarei Heads - P: 09 4340655 or 021 550249 (Melissa). Healthy and wholesome food packs for sale as you pass through, and water top-ups available before heading onto Bream Head. Luggage storage/drop-off is available for those staying so you can walk Bream Head with a daypack.
  • Oceans Beach House - 346 Ocean Beach Rd, Whangarei Heads Ocean Beach - P: 021 780 203 - E: 1 or 2 bedrooms self-contained and self-catering apartment. Very close to Ocean Beach and all scenic walking tracks. Reasonably priced, comfortable, modern and clean accommodation. Your hosts are Gaelyn and Scott Dewhurst
  • Te Whara camp at the south end of Ocean Beach. The owners are Rupert and Wendy. They offer camping on their farm with hot shower and toilet facilities and drinking water supply. They are right next to the beach and Bream Head. You can find them at the very southern end of Ocean Beach at the beginning of the Te Whara track at 22 Ranui Rd, off the lower beach carpark. A great place to rest up with stunning beaches, mountain views and kiwis calling at night. Camping only $15 pp per night. Payments cash only. Your hosts Rupert and Wendy Newbold.
  • Detour option available: This is a 25-minute one-way detour (km 374) and a great spot for overnighting or a swim.
  • Peach Cove (DOC) standard campsite and hut (8 people). Pre-bookings are required as this hut is locked - P: 09 470 3300

 Whangarei Heads

  • Taurikura Studio Apartment - 2397 Whangarei Heads Rd, Urquharts Bay - P: 09 434 0895
  • Taurikura Peninsula Seaview Cabin and Camp. There is a cabin for 2-4 persons and available and tent sites for camping P: Brenda 09 434 0150 M: 022161 2285
  • 2363 Whangarei Heads Road – Robert and Megan – P: 09 434 0096 E: – On trail accommodation offering a room with two twin beds, a cabin with fold out double, or space for around 4 tents.  Cooking facilities available in social room with pool and darts. Tea and coffee included. $30 for a bed, $15 to tent.
  • Sparkling Waters Lodge B & B and self-contained accommodation available - 346 Ocean Beach Rd, Whangarei Heads Ocean Beach - P: 09 434 0979 or 021 949 189 - E:
  • WHY (Whangarei Heads Yoga) Retreat - 16 Reotahi Rd, Whangarei Heads - P: 022 1608950 - E: WHY Retreat is a great place to recover and refresh. Comfortable beds, healthy meals, yoga classes, massage, therapeutic sessions and a sauna await just a few steps from the trail route. They offer a 15% discount on accommodation and one complimentary yoga class to trail walkers.
  • Seaside Anchorage - 13 Stuart Rd, McLeod Bay - P: 09 4340161 - E:
  • Thistle Do, bach available, or several tent sites. 25 Beach Road Reotahi. Right opposite where you get the boat for crossing to Marsden Point. Ph 094340006; 0273566526 or book via the website.
  • Reotahi Reserve. Te Araroa Walkers are allowed to camp here one night only by negotiation with the council. Please erect your small tent in the grass area over the low fence and away from the toilet area. 
  • Camp Manaia - 26 McDonald Road off Whangarei Heads Road under Mt Manaia. 
    4 campsites available with good ablutions and small camp kitchen.
    $30.00 minimum per night per site - lockbox available for cash payments.
    Email or call 09 438 3948 during office hours for bookings.

Transport across Whangarei Harbour

  • Blair Jones runs a water taxi across the Whangarei Harbour from Reotahi where your trail ends, to the Jetty on the Ruakaka side where your trail starts again. Just message me the day before on 021 114 7466. How many of you and what time you would like to be picked up. The price is $20pp. but a minimum of $40, so if 2 TA walkers, it’s still $20 per person. But I have also capped it at $60 per trip for a maximum of five. So if you can get groups of 5, it will cost you $12 per person. Groups of 4, it will cost $15 per person.
  • You can also call Peter on 0274 172440. He runs a service as well. Please contact him at least 24 hours prior.

Please consider the following links around boating safety in the Whangarei area

Food and Supply


  • Whananaki North Beach Store - 2162 Whananaki North Rd, Whananaki Beach - P: 09 433 8466. This store shuts at 5pm. Also does Takeaway Fish and chips.


  • Matapouri Store - 954 Matapouri Rd, Matapouri Bay - P: 09 434 3706
  • Has an ATM which sometimes works, and sometimes people can get cash out with EFTPOS purchases from the store, but not with Credit Card purchases


  • Ngunguru 4 Square - Main Rd, Ngunguru - P: 09 434 3858. Has an ATM machine, gives cash out to walkers using cards to purchase, but if it's a Credit Card they charge an extra 3% to recover the commission charge

Whangarei Heads

  • Toilets, cafe, phone, accommodation available at the Whangarei Heads village
  • The Deck Cafe, 1 Reotahi Road, Whangarei Heads 0174
  • McLeod Bay Fish and Chips, 5 Reotahi Road, RD4, Whangarei Heads 0174
  • The nearest resupply store is at Parua Bay, 7 km north along the road towards Whangarei
  • Four Square, cafes, bakery, toilets, phone, ATM. Some supplies at the GAS petrol station


Te Araroa section: Bream Bay stretches along Northland’s east coast and includes many sparkling beaches such as the Ruakaka, Waipu and Waipu Cove. The bay has great swimming, fishing, surfing, walking and sunbathing.


Bream Bay Walk - 16km / 4 hours

From Marsden Point, walk south along the beach (low tide is best).

Tide information for Bream Bay

If you want a respite from an easterly wind, there is a 3.5km inland DOC track which starts beyond the oil refinery (end of Mair Road) & follows a pipeline to end behind the Mighty River Power station at Ruakākā (end of Sime Road).

9km down the beach is the Ruakākā River mouth, which can be hazardous to cross on foot and should only be done at low tide.

Do not attempt to cross the river at the beach, instead turn west and walk 400m along the estuary shoreline. This is a wildlife sanctuary with many migrant and wading birds, so please do not walk inside the fenced-off nesting areas, and please keep moving to limit disturbances to the birds during nest season. Opposite the rock/concrete wall (on the south side) is the best place to cross.

(For assistance, you can contact Simon Ellison, who can help with a kayak crossing. Please arrange a day in advance, and a koha — donation — is appreciated. Phone: 021 233 6748)

Another 6km brings you to a sign on the sandhills for a track leaving the beach and going over the dunes to Tip Road.

From the beach, follow Tip Road west. Turn south onto Uretiti Road, and south again onto Nova Scotia Drive. This will take into the heart of Waipū. To leave Waipū township, take Cove Road to the southeast and follow it 6.5km to the junction with Cullen Road.

Waipu to Waipu Cove (8km)

An off-road trail is under construction with 5km now completed and available to ensure safe walking along this narrow high-speed local road.
Known as the Waipu Cycleway and Walkway, the completed sections are:

  1. Cove Road, from Waipu Village to Riverview Place. This section provides welcome shade during summer months with seating available.
  2. Cove Road, from McLean Road to Cullen Road. There are attractive spots to rest with views of Bream Bay, offshore islands and local wetland restoration planting.
  3. Cullen Road to Waipu Cove

For those staying at the Waipu Camp overnight or replenishing supplies at the Waipu Store — this section provides a flat, easy, safe walk


Potential Hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Tides, waves & rivers - safer at low tide
  • River crossings - Never cross flooded rivers
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Note: For hikers heading north from Marsden Point to Reotahi, the marina at Marsden Cove is a good point to organise a trip across the harbour.



Northern Start: Marsden Pt (beach)

Southern End; Corner Cove and Cullen Roads, Waipū



Detour option available

  • The Marsden Point Oil Refinery Visitors Centre, Marsden Pt, Ruakaka - P: 09 432 8194
  • The display includes a 130sqm working scale model and an impressive 20 minute light and sound show. Photographs, records and models show the huge pipeline that stretches from Marsden Point all the way to Wiri in South Auckland.
  • Detour off the beach to Ruakaka Town Centre, Marsden Point Rd.For more information log onto - Ruakaka Visitor Information





  • Camp Waipu Cove - 869 Cove Rd, Waipu - P: 09 432 0410 - Cabins and camping available. Mention you are walking Te Araroa for a 25% discount on a tent site (doesn't apply to cabins).
  • Zany B&B - Coralie Betts - 298/11 Cove Rd, Waipu - P: 09 4321517 or 027 6585217
  • DragonSpell Retreat - Dragonspell. Can be found 14 km south of Waipu, at the very end of Cullen Road (434 km on trail map). Must contact first 0275077750 or “Koha” run :)

Food and Supply


  • Freshchoice Supermarket - Town Centre, Marsden Road, Ruakaka - P: 09 432 7400
  • 4 Square Supermarket - Town Centre - Marsden Road, Ruakaka - P: 09 432 7873
  • Bream Bay Medical Centre - Shops 8-9 Marsden Point Road, Ruakaka - P: 09 432 8060



 Te Araroa section: This day walk is a mixture of sealed road, 4WD track and Department of Conservation bushwalk.  Ascending 297 metres, it offers views of the surrounding landscape in every direction. 


From the junction with Cove Road (km 420.5), follow Cullen Road uphill for 7.5km. The road changes from sealed to 4WD track (at about the 4km mark) and eventually intercepts DOC’s Brynderwyn Walkway (a graded farm track). 

  • Note — there may be forestry harvest traffic on Cullen Road, generally operating Mon-Fri (and occasional Saturdays) 5am-4pm. Please observe any signage and traffic management instruction, particularly when tree-chopping is taking place near the road. We recommend you wear a hi-viz vest and/or pack covers. The private track on the topographical map at the top of Ruru Way is not a shortcut up to Cullen Road from the campsite. You will be asked to turn around.

Turn east and follow the Department of Conservation’s Brynderwyn Walkway (on Langsview track). You walk toward a highpoint of 297m and a trig at 276m for magnificent views in every direction.

Before the trig, pass through a kissing gate on the left and follow the marked track downhill. The track becomes a gravel 4WD and then a concrete driveway. Please follow the marked route, including the short bushwalk, turning off the concrete driveway, on your right as you near Cove Road (this is part of the access agreement). You will end up in the DOC carpark on Cove Rd.


Potential hazards

  • Vehicles on road or track
  • Poisons & traps
  • Farming operations
  • Forestry operations
  • Small stream crossings in paddock?
  • Few water sources

No dogs allowed.



Northern Start: Corner Cove and Cullen Roads, Waipū
Southern End: Carpark at junction of Cove and Bream Tail Roads



  • DragonSpell Retreat - Cullen Rd, Waipu (look for the signs at the very end of Cullen Rd, 7.5km up from Cove Rd) - P: 0275077750 - E:
  • Waorahi Camping, Waorahi Conservation have generously provided a free camping area with water and toilet. This is situated at km 430, part way along The Brynderwyn ridge, and is just off the DOC track.

Mangawhai Heads


Te Araroa section: This undulating farm and bush walk climbs up to offer trampers spectacular views of Kaipara Harbour and Mangawhai Heads. It is both a highlight of Te Araroa and a distinct, valuable day walk. 


Tide timetable for Bream Tail: Check the best times for walking. 

From the DOC carpark on Cove Rd, walk downhill to your left (northwest) for 0.5 km to opposite the gates where the the concrete driveway you previously followed ends. Bream Tail Road branches due east off Cove Road

Follow the no-exit Bream Tail Road (like a private driveway) as it climbs uphill through farmland, offering spectacular views of the coast. Please leave farm gates as you find them. You can use stiles where provided.

After 1.8km, you leave the road & follow markers across a pasture to reach another tarmac driveway (part of a subdivision). Turn right for a few metres, then it’s back into the pasture and down a south-eastern spur, across a marshy area at the bottom, then straight up by the bushline and over a steep hill.

Follow the well-benched track that then zigs northeast down into a bush gully (kauri galore), then zig-zags up the other side to come out at another section of the tarmac driveway. Just over the bank on the other side of it is DOC’s Mangawhai Walkway, 3.5 km to Mangawhai Heads. Turn right/south and follow the track along the cliffs and down to the beach. Continue along the beach to the carpark at Mangawhai Heads.

Mangawhai Walkway was built as a loop track, combining the clifftop walk with a beach walk. The beach walk is scenic, but not suitable near high tide.  For section walkers, more information can be found at Mangawhai Walkway.


  • No dogs allowed
  • Closed 1 August to 30 September for lambing


Northern Start: DOC Carpark on the west side of Cove Rd, uphill from and near the junction of Bream Tail and Cove Roads
Southern End: Beach carpark, Wintle Street, Mangawhai Heads


Food and Supply

  • 4 Four Square - 3 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads - P: 09 431 4656
  • Mangawhai Deli - Shop 2, 7 Wood Street, Mangawhai Heads - P: 09 431 5887
  • Supervalue - Moir Street, Mangawhai Village - P: 09 431 4585 Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am – 7:00pm
  • New World supermarket -  83 Molesworth Drive, Mangawhai. Hours: Monday to Sunday: 7:00am – 9:00pm
Page last updated: Feb 11, 2022, 1:44 PM