WALKING TRACKS

The South Hokianga and Kauri Coast offer a diverse range of walking experiences.  Visit the Tane Mahuta and surrounding forest.  Venture into the highlands and walk along the historic coach road, camp up and listen out for Kokako.  Take a detour and discover a waterfall. Drink in the atmosphere as you ramble along pristine rivers. Stroll along unfrequented stretches of wild western beaches, with roaring surf as your sound track, or ponder the serenity of the lakes or the harbour.

TANE MAHUTA TRACK

This short track leads you under cooling shade of the forest canopy to the majestic Tane Mahuta. When you catch your first breath-taking view of this magnificent tree, you feel compelled to pause for a while. You can almost feel Tane Mahuta’s strength and ancient presence, and its overwhelming size makes visitors look like dwarfs.

There is a wooden fence and a seat to view the tree. To get a closer look at Tane Mahuta, you can move further along the track to a platform ramp, which then leads to the viewing platform. There is an interpretation sign located to the left of the platform giving information and the status of the
tree.

It is very important that you keep to the walking track at all times. The kauri tree has very sensitive surface roots, and foot traffic around the tree endangers their life span.

LOCATION: SH12, WAIPOUA FOREST

TIME: 5 MINUTES EACH WAY

DIFFICULTY: WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

FOUR SISTERS WALK

The walk is a short, one-way loop that takes you through kauri and rimu vegetation to see the Four Sisters, an impressive stand of four tall and graceful kauri trees growing extremely close together. A viewing platform encircles the trees and protects the habitat from any disturbance.
It is very important that you keep to the walking track at all times. The kauri tree has very sensitive surface roots, and foot traffic around the tree endangers their life span.

LOCATION: PART OF THE ‘FOUR SISTERS’, ‘TE MATUA NGAHERE’ &  ‘YAKAS KAURI’. WALK, SH12, WAIPOUA FOREST

TIME: 10 MINUTES EACH WAY

DIFFICULTY: WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

WAIMAMAKU COASTAL TRACK TO HOKIANGA

The Waimamaku Coastal Track follows a rugged and dynamic coastline from Arai Te Uru Recreation Reserve south to the Waimamaku River. Historically significant, this route used to be the main route for traffic before roads were built inland for travellers heading up the coast from further south.

The track branches off Signal Station Track. It heads down to the open coastline, then climbs up onto the high bluffs which extend southwards down the coastline. From there the track heads down to wide open sandy beaches and over small headlands, skirting along the clifftops before eventually heading down onto Waimamaku Beach and the mouth of the Waimamaku River.

The views of the coastline and the Hokianga Harbour are exceptional, as are the many opportunities for fishing.

This track crosses private land − keep to the track and follow the track markers.
Where the track follows the beach, use is restricted to the intertidal zone, ie wet sand. Some areas above high tide are private land and tresspassers could be subject to prosecution.
Avoid walking along this track during very high tides.

LOCATION: WAIMAMAKU BEACH ROAD / SIGNAL STATION ROAD

TIME: 4 HOURS EACH WAY

DISTANCE: 10.1 KM EACH WAY

DIFFICULTY: EASY WALKING TRACK

WAIMAMAKU COASTAL WALK SOUTH TO KAWERUA

A hike along the exposed coastline between Waimamaku and Kawerua involves rock-hopping and stream crossings, placing this walk in the "adventurous" category.
You will see this section of the west coast at its most extraordinary, showing off its huge sense of space and biodiversity.

Occupied by Maori for hundreds of years, Kawerua became the home of settlers in the late 19th century and in the early 1900s it comprised dwellings, outbuildings, a post office, store, a hotel and a race course.

It is hard to believe about 600 people once lived at Kawerua, the ruins of the old hotel are all that remain today.
The isolated spot near Waipoua, now restored to Te Roroa, never was, and is still not, accessible from land, the coastline being the main route.

For more information go to Te Roroa website teroroa.iwi.nz and the Waitangi Tribunal website: waitangitribunal.govt.nz.

LOCATION: WAIMAMAKU BEACH ROAD - HEAD SOUTH

TIME: 4 HOURS RETURN

DISTANCE: 11 KM RETURN

DIFFICULTY: ADVENTUROUS

WAOKU COACH ROAD

The isolated and historic Waoku Road, once the only transport link between the Kaipara and Hokianga Harbours, is a tribute to pioneer roadmaking.  Waoku Coach Road is located between Tutamoe and Taheke, traversing the Mataraua and Waima Forests.  The coach road was built in the late 1800s and early 1900s by Scottish stone masons and features stone culvits. It's now a paper road inaccessible to vehicles. It's a good multi-day tramp with areas that are suitable for camping 100 m along from the junction of the Waima Main Range Track (E1653443, N6065745) and also at the Honeymoon Clearing (E1657068, N6066534).  

The northern section of the Waoku Coach Road Track near Waima is closed due to long-term logging operations. The southern section of the Waoku Coach Road Track, from the end on Waoku Road near Tutamoe is still open.  Therefore, exits can be made off the Wekaweka Track.  The route is lightly marked and little used so adequate preparations should be made, including good maps, boots and wet weather gear.  

The track passes through mature podocarp and taraire dominated forest, as well as some of the last remaining strongholds of North Island kokako. Intensive predator control since the 1990s has brought this population back from the brink of extinction and it is now used to supply translocations to other forest populations.

LOCATION: WEKAWEKA RD / WAOKU RD, DONNELLY'S CROSSING

TIME: 12 HOURS ONE WAY

DISTANCE: 20 KM ONE WAY

DIFFICULTY: ISOLATED & CHALLENGING

WEKAWEKA TRACK

The Wekaweka Track is part of what was once a much-used network of coach roads built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. This network connected a large area and was the main route for overland travel from the Kaipara to the Hokianga. Though much damaged through erosion, you can still clearly see the shape and design of the road, and the surface retains much of its character. The coach road was built in the late 1800s and early 1900s by Scottish stone masons.  This was a main thoroughfare before the current State Highway 12 was constructed.

Follow the gentle incline of an old coach road up the valley and onto the Mataraua Forest plateau. The track is mostly rocks and gravel and is rough and uneven in places, but it has a gentle gradient. Upon reaching the plateau, turning right (east) connects to the Waoku Coach Road Track, turning left (west) will lead you towards the Waima Main Range track, through to the Hauturu Highpoint Track, eventuating in the Waiotemarama Waterfall & Loop Track

There are two options for turning east off the track before reaching the plateau by following tree markers, these will take you to the Wekaweka Waterfalls tracks.

There is no cellphone reception on this track.

LOCATION: WEKAWEKA RD 

TIME: 2 HOURS ONE WAY

DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED TRAMPING

WEKAWEKA WATERFALL TRACKS

There are two options for turning east off the Wekaweka track before reaching the plateau by following tree markers, these will take you to your choice of two waterfalls.  The first turnoff leads to an isolated waterfall and is approximately 2.5 hours return.  The second turnoff leads to a rare and unusual basalt waterfall and is approximately 4 hours return.  

Because the path is not as easily identified and the distance between tree markers can become out of sight of the previous marker, this tramp will require a minimum of two people.  Do not attempt this tramp alone.

There is no cellphone reception on this track.  Trampers need to be prepared and experienced in the backcountry. 

LOCATION: WEKAWEKA RD 

TIME: 2.5 / 4 HOURS RETURN

DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED TRAMPING, TRACK IS NOT WELL MARKED, DO NOT TRY THIS ALONE

WAIOTEMARAMA WATERFALL AND LOOP TRACK

This track is located on Waiotemarama Gorge Road, 3 km from the Lodge and adjacent to theLabyrinth Woodworks. The track follows a gorge for 20 minutes before you reach the beautiful 20 metre drop waterfall. 

It takes about three hours to do the full 2.5 km loop track.  Past the waterfall the track is rough in places and can be extremely slippery in wet weather.

The track winds up past the waterfall to a viewing platform overlooking the stream and gorge. From there you climb up through a stand of kauri and up to the main ridge to the junction with the Hauturu Highpoint Track, or loops around to rejoin the track to  back to the road. There are nice views of kauri from the loop. 

There is no cellphone reception on this track.  

LOCATION: WAIOTEMARAMA GORGE RD 

TIME: 20 MINUTES RETURN / 2.5 HOURS RETURN

DIFFICULTY: EASY

SIGNAL STATION ROAD

The Signal Station was in operation from 1838 - 1951 to guide ships over through the treacherous harbour entrance until being replaced by an automated lighthouse. Today all that remains is a few upright timbers and a horizontal beam.  The Hokianga Society's brochure on this area features excellent historical information and details on each of the numbered sites. You can purchase the brochure from the Hokianga Visitor Center.

The area holds great significance to Maori as Kupe's departure and should be treated with respect at all times.

Enjoy spectacular views of the harbour and coastline on this short easy walk - it's suitable for children and buggies.  The track follows the top of the cliffs, then enters tall manuka and suddenly opens out at the headland and grassed lookout.

The grassy terraces provide sheltered picnic sites and wonderful views up the harbour away from the prevailing westerly winds.

There is access to the harbour via the Martin’s Bay track.

sanddunes1-300x169.jpeg

LOCATION: SIGNAL STATION RD 

TIME: 30 MINUTES RETURN 

DIFFICULTY: EASY

KOUTU BOULDERS

The boulders are concretions built up over thousands of years. A geological wonder!  

The boulders are excellent examples of concretions : hardened nodules that form within sedimentary rocks. The word concretion comes from Latin and means “grown together”. They are composed of the same material as the surrounding rock and they form when a cementing mineral binds grains of sediment into a cohesive mass. It has been estimated that the largest of the boulders may have taken 5 million years to grow.

There are other examples of concretions around New Zealand, the most publicized being the Moeraki boulders south of Oamaru.  Many people ask why are they spherical. The most likely explanation is that a small core rolled around on the sediment on the ocean floor and grew bigger much like a snowball does.

Follow Koutu Loop Road to the Waione Road junction. Turn into Waione Road. About 100 m along is a junction with two large macracarpa trees on the right. Park on the left. It's a short 80 m walk to the shore. You can only do the walk at low tide. Aim to start a half hour before low tide and arrive back a half hour after the tide turns. The boulders get bigger the further you walk. You will know when you have reached the largest one (2.5 m).

KOUTUBOULDERSBEACH.png

LOCATION: 19 WAIONE RD OPONONI

TIME: 80 MINUTES RETURN

DIFFICULTY: EASY