Category Archives: Out of Auckland Walks

Cudlip Point Walk – NORTH AUCKLAND

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. 
Views of Mahurangi Harbour
Views of the stunning Mahurangi Harbour
Walk Time45 – 75 mins – 3.2km (yellow)
SurfaceGravel or Grass Tracks
Difficulty3/5 – some steep sections
Buggies/Wheelchairs1/5 – Steep up and down sections plus the
surface can be slippery. Buggie’s may be
possible if dry and you are very fit and strong.
No good for wheelchairs except by beach.
FacilitiesToilets, Water, Seats, Swimming, Beach,
Camping
HighlightsBeach, Views, Nature. Rocks for fishing

Click here to open the Google Map in a separate tab or tap the icon in the top right of this map.

Download a pdf version of the Cudlip Point Loop Map

Cudlip Point Loop Track Description

This Loop Track surprised me with its beauty, variety and challenge.  The views are superb as the Mahurangi Penninsula juts out into the Ocean, providing water and beaches on both its ‘coasts’.  The track is quite steep in places and is a mix of gravel and grass trail. 

Views across the Inlet to Te Muri Beach Mahurangi Regional Park
The Inlet to Te Muri Beach can be crossed at low tide

We commenced our walk at the higher carpark, the parking spot that greets you after entering the Regional Park.   You could also opt to veer left and head down the hill to Sullivans Bay and start your walk there.  This is probably recommended if you want to swim and picnic at the beach.

If starting at the top carpark, take the further right track entrance that heads towards Te Muri Bay.  This winds its way downhill for 10-15 minutes on a good gravel track until it reaches the water’s edge.   If starting at the carpark, follow the road or grass track as per the GPS Map up to the top carpark and then continue as above.

Upon reaching the inlet, you track alongside the waterway, through bush and patches of grass for about 10 minutes before turning left and heading up a steep incline.  You could also have crossed the inlet to Te Muri Beach if you desire and walk to the campsite or follow the track towards the end of the inlet.  Note: the inlet can only be crossed at low tide and remember you do need to get back again also!

Mirror views on the Te Muri Esturary
Mirror views on the Estuary

Head up the hill and towards the top of the ridge where you start to get the reward with some stunning vistas.  When we completed the track, there was a detour that took us to the ridge as the cliff-top track through the bush was unstable.   You have the choice of going right and heading through the gate to Cudlip Point Lookout or turning left and heading back along the ridge towards Sullivans Bay.  The  Lookout here gives views across the Gulf, looking East – they are ok but there are a lot of trees that block aspects of the view.

The walk along the ridgeline to Sullivans is stunning.  Views looking north up the coast are ‘million dollars’ and ahead are the views into beautiful Mahurangi Harbour.   prior to your decent to the beach, you can choose to go straight ahead or veer right and down the fenceline, which is the shorter option.

The red markers indicate the Cudlip Point Mahurangi track
Red markers indicate the track

Sullivans Beach is beautiful and fine for swimming, especially with higher tides.  There are good facilities here, including toilets, water fountains, an information kiosk and a campground if you wish to stay overnight.

If you started at the top carpark, walk back along the beach and up the steep grass hill back to the car.  If you started at Sullivans Beach, you are finished!

If you still desire more walking and even more stunning views, add the option of the Mita Loop Track that commences at the western end of Sullivans Bay. 

Buggies and Wheelchairs

The tracks in Mahurangi Regional Park are steep and unsuitable for wheelchairs.  If you are get and strong, you should be able to push a buggie with a baby around the Cuplip Point Loop Track but be aware that places are a bit slippery under foot and steep.  The Mita Loop is not suitable for buggies or wheelchairs.

Other useful Links:

Auckland Council Map and Information

Mahurangi West Wing Luxury B&B

Book one of the Park Campgrounds here

Sullivans Campground Information

Interesting article about Mahurangi Regional Park development

Maraetai Loop Walk

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.

Maraetai Loop Walk in Auckland

The views over the Gulf are magnificent – you can see over to Waiheke Island, and of course Rangitoto. And the bird song within the bush was beautiful. Today we came across a talkative and friendly fantail.

On a summers day, you may wish to pack your togs and a picnic. There is an off leash dog exercise area along the perimeter of the Omana Regional Park. Public toilets and a playground enroute. Cafes along Maraetai Coast Road.

Description: Mostly level paths with one incline. Suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility, designed with flat shoes or running shoes in mind. Muddy in bush in winter.
To see: Native bush and birds, coastal views.
Time: approx. 90 minutes (about 7.5 kms). Children’s playgrounds, Dog off leash exercise area. Safe swimming.
Start: Maraetai Park, off Maraetai Drive. Map

Stay on track…get your detailed guide and map brochure  (AE-112 Maraetai Loop Walk) over at our Walks Store

Walks in Rotorua

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.

Zealong Tea PlantationOn 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

Walks in Raglan

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.

Whakatane walks

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

Tiritiri Matangi Island walk

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.
Tirirtiri Matangi Island, Auckland

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).

Coromandel Walks

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

Orewa Te Ara Tahuna shared path

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.

The tide was going out as we walked around anti-clockwise.  It is a diverse walk, starting from the car park by the Estuary Arts CentreMAP

Orewa Estuary

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.

Download the Auckland Transport Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Map or pick up a free map from the Orewa Citizens Advice Bureau.

Waiheke Island walkways and vineyards

Walks in AucklandDiscover the uniqueness that is Waiheke Island. You will feel as though you are far away from Auckland.
Unspoiled sandy beaches, lush native bush,
fabulous views, and the island’s best walkways.

Waiheke Island walkways and vineyards are just waiting to be explored.

And Auckland City Council’s vast network of walkways makes this a pleasure.

Catch the ferry and enjoy a day out, and prepare to swim on a summers day – if you decide on Walk One, take in refreshments at Cable Bay, Mudbrick or Jurassic Ridge

Try this suggested walk from the NZ Herald Waiheke: Get art and about

Or try ‘Best Resturants on Waiheke‘ according to View Auckland.

Martha Goldmine Pit Rim Walkway

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

Walks in Auckland – weekend in the Coromandel

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.