10 Best Walks in Whitianga
Walks and hikes near Whitianga.
Lace up your walking shoes and discover the coastal scenery and inland forest of Whitianga and Mercury Bay. One of the main hubs of the Coromandel, Whitianga is surrounded by many exciting walks through kauri forests – New Zealand’s largest types of trees – and on historic Maori pa sites where Maori villages used to be situated. Discover some of the highlights with this list of the best walks in Whitianga!
1. New Chums Beach (30-40 minutes one way)
Often seen as one of the most scenic beaches in the Coromandel, New Chums Beach is only accessible on foot or by boat. The walk begins just north of Whangapoua and takes walkers through lush nikau and pohutukawa forest. The track leads to a lookout where you’ll be able to get “that picture” before descending onto the beach. For more beaches worth finding, see our 10 Coromandel Beaches You Can’t Miss.
Location: The walk starts on the north end of Whangapoua Beach. You will need to wade through an estuary. 36km from Whitianga.
2. Te Pare Point Historic Reserve (15-30 minutes one way)
Take as little or as long as you want to explore these two pa sites, Hereheretaura Pa and Hahei Pa. Hereheretaura is at the tip of the headland with steep cliffs on all sides and distinct manmade terraces, while Hahei Pa is on a ridge above the walking track leading to Hereheretaura Pa.
Location: Southern end of Hahei Beach on Pa Road. 35km from Whitianga.
3. Cathedral Cove (1h30min return)
Undoubtedly one of the most popular walks in Whitianga and the Coromandel Peninsula, the Cathedral Cove Track hugs the coast offering tremendous views along the way. The walk has a couple of side options down to small inlets before eventually dropping down into Cathedral Cove.
Location: Grange Road, Hahei. Note that the car park at Grange Road is closed between October 1- April 30. Alternative access is via Hahei Beach (extra 20 minutes on your walk) or from the Hahei visitor car park with a park-and-ride shuttle. 35km from Whitianga.
4. Black Jack Track (20 minutes one way)
After spending time relaxing on Kuaotunu Beach, find the Black Jack Reserve and a 20-minute bush walk offering spectacular views across the coast.
Location: East end of Kuaotunu at the beginning of Black Jack Road. 15km from Whitianga.
5. Waiau Kauri Grove & Waiaua Falls (30 minutes return)
Take a scenic drive down the 309 Road and find the Waiaua Kauri Grove and Waiaua Falls walks among the lush regenerating forest. When coming from Whitianga, you’ll come across the Waiau Kauri Grove walk first, just a 15-minute walk to a stand of kauri including a “Siamese” kauri. 1km further up the road is Waiaua Falls, just a short stroll from the side of the road.
Location: 309 Road. 20km from Whitianga
6. Waitaia (1h30min-2-hour loop)
What was once an extensively mined and logged area is now a regenerating forest area with a 2km loop walk through it. The walk has a few stream crossings, most are bridged, as well as old mining tunnels.
Location: Waitaia Road. 14km from Whitianga.
7. Whitianga Town Walk (1h30min-2-hour loop)
Explore more of Whitianga town with interpretation panels explaining the history of the town. A good place to start is Whitianga Wharf and walk north along Esplanade to enjoy views of Buffalo Beach and the Mercury Islands. Check out the sign next to the giant anchor, then either continue on a pathway by the beach or cross Halligan Road onto Cook Drive. Down Cook Drive is a signposted walkway to the School Raod Reserve. Walk along School Road to Eure Road to Hannan Road, then to the end of Kenneth Avenue. The signposts will lead you onto Albert Street which you can follow back to the Wharf to complete your loop.
Location: Whitianga town centre.
8. Maramaratotara Track/Whitianga Rock (1-hour loop)
Either take the ferry across the river at Whitianga to Ferry Landing or drive around to Cooks Beach. From Ferry Landing, walk for about 10 minutes down Purangi Road to a track that starts on your right. Enjoy a spectacular bush walk to Back Bay. After that, the walk continues around to Whitianga Rock which is a historic Maori pa site.
Location: Purangi Road, 37km via road or 2km via ferry from Whitianga.
9. Matarangi Wetland Walk (4-hour loop)
Discover the wildlife of Matarangi at this wetlands walk. The walk starting behind Rings Beach steadily climbs up the hills to a couple of lookouts over Matarangi Beach and alongside important habitat for wetland birds.
Location: Bluff Road, Matarangi. 18km from Whitianga.
10. Whenuakite Kauri Loop (1-hour return)
Get another fix of kauri on the Whenuakite Kauri Loop. Park at the Whenuakite car park and walk down to the Manuka Stream Bridge where the loop walk begins. The walk has some hills to climb through regenerative kauri forest, also offering great views over the forest before returning back to the car park.
Location: State Highway 25 between Whenuakite and Tairua. 28km from Whitianga.
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