CLIFF TOP WALK
When: 3 hours either side of low tide to complete the loop.
Note: This track does not continue to Langs Beach.
What to Expect:
You can park at the Mangawhai Surf Life Saving Club car park. The track is signposted from there. The loop can be walked in either direction with many locals preferring to walk the beach first as the views can be better with the sun behind you.
• Easy to moderate walking but includes many well formed steps.
• Track is well formed. Care needed over boulders.
• Suitable for people with moderate fitness and abilities.
• Clearly signposted.
• Strong walking shoes or light hiking boots required.
• Take plenty of water in the summer.
• Note the tide is low.
• Take extreme caution when crossing the open
cliff faces as erosion can occur at any time.
• As this is a DoC track no dogs are permitted.
This is an excellent beach and cliff-top walkway having been described as one of the best coastal walks in New Zealand. The high quality grade of the track makes it a top attraction in the area. Outstanding views extend from Bream Head to Coromandel including Mokohinaus and Great and Little Barrier Islands. The immediate islands are The Hen and Chickens/Taranga Marotere named by Captain Cook. These are great for fishing but landing is not permitted.
The walk heads north along the beach for 15/20 minutes, until you see the signs. A resident has erected a glorious sculpture of moving palm fronds just by the track entrance. Look for the white rata clinging to the taraire trees by the side of the steps. After 15 minutes of step climbing is the first look-out. Stop here for a breather and to admire the view. The height above the beach is amazing and the view magnificent. From then on the track rambles up and down on an almost level gradient as it winds across the open cliff face so take care on these vertical slopes. Then the track leads through cooling patches of bush where, in early summer, a native pigeon may be seen feeding on the nikau berries. Boardwalks keep the feet dry over damp gullies. Finally it drops down from the high point through stands of nikau and pohutukawa on more steps to the water. All the way the views continue to catch the eye so take time to stop and be still for a while.
About 55 minutes along the track there is a signpost showing the Missing Link track heading inland. This crosses farmland and traverses through bush to end at the Cove Road car park from where one can access the Brynderwyn Walkway. Check the DoC web site for information concerning this access. It also is the link on Te Araroa National Walkway
On the beach turn right and note the high massive archway rock. If there is water surging through the gap you have misjudged the tide and must turn back via the cliff. The 45 minute return walk along the beach back to the Surf Club has 20 minutes of boulder hopping. Stop for a swim at the beach named by some as Paradise Bay while others call it Honeymoon Beach.
MANGAWHAI COMMUNITY PARK
(Pictured above: Typical kanuka dominant vegetation of Mangawhai Community Park, the look out and the Molesworth Drive Track).
Numerous walking opportunities exist in Mangawhai Community Park on Molesworth Drive, all accessed from either the Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) or the Golf Club’s driving range carpark.
The three main tracks, all linking the driving range carpark and the museum, are: Paul’s Track which follows three sides of the park passing the waste water treatment plant, The Last of the Summer Wine Track which runs through the middle of the park, and the Molesworth Drive Track which reaches the museum by way of the MAZ. The tracks are mainly in mature kanuka and have numerous linkages between them. Location maps are placed throughout.
TE ARAI POINT
Time: 2hrs loop
Reasonable fitness required.
The Point is now part of the Auckland Regional Park system with access from both sides at the seaward end and from Te Arai Point Road from the western end. Spectacular views of the coast are to be had from the ridge while hidden in depressions south of the ridge are special treasures, the remains of three freshwater sand lakes, only one of which has extensive open water. The other two are being reclaimed by the land with bull rushes and manuka invasion. A rather tricky to find track from the ridge about 200m west of the trig passes the open water example.
"Te Arai Point is a beautiful isolated spot just south of Mangawhai. A sweep of beach ends eventually at Pakiri and Goat island."
Drive via Coal Hill Road or Te Arai Point Road. Park at Te Arai Point (north side) on the upper park. Climb the hill on the right. Follow the tractor track to the top.
- Keep looking behind to admire the view. -
At the top find the grass track on the sharp right and follow round over the gate to the trig. Continue on the open track turning left at the next intersection. Keep walking on this open section until the gate appears on the left. Squeeze round and exit the Regional Park via the short forest track through the pine trees to the road. Turn left to walk down the road to the Forestry Beach. Turn left. Walk almost to the end of the beach to find the memorial seat, amid the tussock. Nearby a walk arrow gives directions to return up the hill on a very narrow track, and through a bush patch. On emerging turn left onto the tractor width track and continue up the hill. Turn right at the top. This section leads down to the carpark.
Goldschmidt Panoramic Walk
Time: 1hrs one way
Moderate fitness required.
Track standard – tramping
From Mangawhai Heads to Cullen Street.
Park at the Surf Beach car park. Look for a small sign to the left of the white rock. Climb the short steep hill to the glorious view of Cape Rodney to the Poor Knights. At the top turn left as the track leads west down the hill to a private subdivision.
Do not access the road from this point.
The view to the south over Mangawhai Estuary and dunes. Cross the road to climb the second steep hill. Take in the next spectacular view looking south. Continue down the hill to Pearl Street, a public street where you may exit. Cross the road to climb the third hill.
Note there is a short section of the track on a subdivisional road. Re-enter the track on the left and climb the last rise to Cullen Street.
Return the same way, or take the twenty minute walk along Wintle Street back to the car park.
To access the track from Cullen Street:
Ignore the private signs and drive right to the top. The last piece of seal has been put in by the developers on a public road. You can park here.
Follow the above directions in the opposite direction.