Cudlip Point Loop Track is a stunning walkway in the Mahurangi Regional Park, about 50 minutes drive north of the Auckland Harbour Bridge. This track is one of three main walks in the park and includes amazing coastal views, beautiful beaches and a range of grasslands and native bush. It is quite hilly, so requires a reasonable standard of fitness.
The Maraetai Loop Walk lives up to our criteria for a route that is diverse and interesting. It starts by the boat ramp on the western side of Maraetai Reserve, and follows a rough track beside a stream through the lush bush of Dr. Adah Platts-Mills Reserve (which we suggest may be muddy in winter) before emerging into residential streets. Then it’s down hill to the Omana Regional Park, past the goats (Dixie and Pixie) and then follows the waters edge back to the start.Continue reading Maraetai Loop Coastal Walk
Many people visit Rotorua for all the fun activities – and they are numerous! (Things to do in Rotorua). We headed off for the weekend to discover walks in Rotorua.
On our journey from Auckland we called into Zealong Tea Estate. Unfortunately the fine weather turned into rain and wind so we did not walk around the Estate. But we did enjoy a delicious lunch and the refreshing New Zealand grown tea.
On Saturday morning we drove to Lake Tarawera, then on the way back into Rotorua, called into the Buried Village of Te Wairoa. We gained insights into what was involved in being a tourist way back in the 1800’s – so different to how we can just hop into a car and drive to our destination. The impact of the volcanic eruption during the night of 10th June 1886 was devastating to the local people and tourists alike. The walk around the museum, the village and waterfall trail was very worthwhile.
After lunch in town, we drove to Sulphur Point and then walked alongside Lake Rotorua to the Museum and Gardens. We were surprised and pleased by the amount of bird life along the lake edge.
There are many walks in Rotorua to enjoy – Things to Do – Walking/Hiking
For a birthday treat, we headed to Raglan for a girls walking weekend. We headed south on a sun filled Friday arriving at our booked Bed & Breakfast Journey’s End at 2 pm.
That afternoon we did the “Three Bridges” walk around town (about 9kms) – alongside the harbour edge and then the estuary. Download the free walk brochure with map and directions: Raglan 3 Bridges Loop
Saturday was overcast with threatening rain, but we managed to stay dry as we drove south around the coast route past Rangipu, Ngarunui Beach, Manu Bay, Whale Bay to the steep and deep Te Toto Gorge. Along the way, we stopped and walked through the Bryant Memorial Reserve, enjoying the autumn trees and toadstools. Then onto Ruapuke Beach before heading inland to the magnificent Bridal Veil Falls (261 steps down and 261 steps back up). From there we rounded the back of Mt Karorioi to return to Raglan.
The sun appeared again on Sunday for a drive back to Auckland. We took back gravel roads via Te Akau and the Nikau Caves to Port Waikato. There is a one and a half hour walk near the Nikau Caves to a waterfall but we didn’t have the time to do it this time. We did however, have time to have some delicious home made soup and a sit in the sunshine at the Nikau Caves Cafe.
Helen visited Whakatane for the first time this weekend. We arrived on the Friday afternoon and took a wander along Ohope Beach. On Saturday we walked the “easy” River Walk and then on Sunday we walked the “easy” Kohi Point Track. We returned to Auckland via Rotorua the following day after a fantastic sunny weekend in the Bay of Plenty!
Afternoon sunshine and shadows on a small part of 11kms long Ohope Beach. (Click on the photos to enlarge)
The Whakatane River Walk – graded easy and it was a very level walkway. Lots to look at along the way from birds to fishing boats. We tracked 9.82kms from the heads at the end of Muriwai Drive to the bridge, and return via a small loop.
The Kohi Point Track is graded easy. And it would be for young fit people. For older not-so-fit people, it is moderate to difficult. There are many steep steps and inclines. Sturdy shoes are required. The views of White Island, Whale Island and Whakatane are spectacular and gave us a chance to catch our breath. We parked the car in Otarawairere Road and headed down the track to Otarawairere Bay. From the end of the bay, we started the climb upwards, finishing the track at Kapu Te Rangi Historic Reserve, then followed the gravel Kohi Point Lookout Road back to the car – a total distance of about 7.34kms.
Further exploring included Tauwhare Pa, Opotiki and Ohiwa.
View Larger Map
It’s been over 15 years since Helen last visited Tiritiri Matangi Island. Since then, the thousands of young native bush plants have grown to a lush environment (restoration began in 1983). And the bird song has intensified as the protected birds carry on with their breeding without having to be concerned about predators. This island is an example of how man can repair our environment.
Our party opted for the guided tour and our volunteer guide Anna educated us about the trees and the birds as we made our way up the Wattle Track to the Visitors Centre, shop and lighthouse. We ate our picnic lunch at the table provided. (There is an option to have your picnic supplies driven up to that point to save carrying them with you.)
After lunch we ambled back down to the ferry via the Kawerau Track. It was magic to stop in a bush clad gully to hear and see so many birds in the magnificent trees. My favourite stopping point was by the 800-1000 year old pohutukawa tree – there were many tui birds calling.
This was a great day out and we are planning to come back in the spring to see the trees in bloom.
For information about how to get to Tiritiri Matangi and what to see, click here. The Department of Conservation has information and maps here. You may wish to ‘Like’ the Tiritiri Matangi Facebook page. (Click on photos below to enlarge).
The Coromandel and Bay of Plenty area has many fine documented walks, and brochures are available from various information sites including Katikati, Waihi and Whangamata.
Easter 2013 our small group did three walks:
Wentworth Falls (near Whangamata) follows the stream to the lookout and top of the Falls. It is a steady climb through native bush. Well worth the effort.
Read more: Wentworth Valley Walk
Karangahake Gorge (between Paeroa and Waihi) is an interesting place to explore. There are the remains of the historic gold mining industrial town amidst the native bush. There are many walking track options and there is now a new cycleway. Be sure to take a strong torch to explore the tunnels.
Read more: Karangahake Gorge Historic Walkway
The Bird Walk: Uretara Estuary & Yeoman Walkway at Katikati, follows the estuary out to the Bay. It is a flat walk and if you a keen birdwatcher, take along your binoculars and you will have the opportunity to observe shore birds in the estuary and the wetlands. The walk continues past the wetlands along the front of residential homes.
Learn more: Bird Walk: the Uretara Estuary & Yeoman Walkway
Easter 2014: This time we did a loop walk around Whangamata taking in the estuary, the river, the marina and the famous surf beach.
January 2015: Wharekirauponga Track
Today we headed north out of Auckland to Orewa to walk around the Te Ara Tahuna shared path. This cycleway/walkway encircles the Orewa Estuary for a distance of 7.58km. It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes to walk it at a leisurely pace.
We walked past beautiful houses and gardens set along the path, crossed bridges, walked on the edge of farmland with picturesque bales of hay and past mangroves – arriving back to the view of the ocean along the Hibiscus Coast Highway.
Look out for all the different wetland birdlife. You will also see kauri trees, pohutukawa trees, cabbage trees and flax. There are picnic tables available at the Orewa end, as well as a skate park. Benches provide views of the estuary and take the time to admire the beautifully carved wooden seats (six in total as of today’s date).
The cycleway is ideal for families with children who are competent cyclists. The pathway is a mix of concrete, bitumen and loose gravel. Be sure to have snacks and drinks with you to keep up the energy levels. And if the weather is appropriate, take beach gear for a refreshing swim afterwards.
There are now public toilets at MetroPark in Millwater (about halfway round) and a coffee lounge,dairy and other shops at the Millwater Parkway shops.
We stopped off at Olivers for a delicious lunch accompanied by a wonderful musician.
Waiheke Island walkways and vineyards are just waiting to be explored.
And Auckland City Council’s vast network of walkways makes this a pleasure.
Try this suggested walk from the NZ Herald Waiheke: Get art and about
Or try ‘Best Resturants on Waiheke‘ according to View Auckland.
Time for an out-of-Auckland walk. The Martha Goldmine Pit Rim Walkway in Waihi is an interesting one hour walk. The walkway has been developing over the last few years and since I last walked it about two years ago, further work on it has progressed. Future plans are to turn the huge hole into a fresh water swimming lake.
But for now it is an education and a workout! I like to start the walk opposite the Information centre in Seddon Street and turn left at the battery to walk in a clock-wise direction. There are many places to stop and view the workings and machinery, plus read the information pinned onto the fence.
The walk is good on a cloudy cool day as in the middle of summer there is little shade. There are slight uphills, a small shelter-belt of native bush and open grasslands and waterways, that provide contrast. After rain, there are wet parts so it is wise to wear waterproof footwear.
Learn more, visit Waihi’s Walkways
As much as I enjoy going for walks in Auckland, it is also refreshing to head out of town.
Our family has a holiday house on the south-east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula. The Coromandel is mostly an unspoilt part of New Zealand with beautiful beaches, many walk paths and natural bush. I love going there to relax and refresh myself.
It is only a two hour drive for us from Auckland via Paeoroa and the Karangahake Gorge. Two places that are worth stopping at. The Gorge has interesting walks and mining tunnels that are fun to explore with torches.
You can choose from a variety of walks in the Coromandel region, no matter where you stay. There is a great uphill walk (that I suggest you do on a cool day) to the Wentworth Falls near Whangamata that I enjoy. And another walk for cool days is around the Martha Mine in the gold mining town of Waihi – I like to go around that anti-clockwise. From the northern end of Waihi Beach is a track that leads to the spectacular secluded beach of Orokawa Bay with the typical pohutukawa trees providing shade at the edge of the sand.
In the future I will be putting together some family day trips from Auckland that will include interesting places to visit.