10 Outstanding Things to Do in Orewa
Orewa Activities and attractions you can’t miss!
Just 25 minutes up the coast from Auckland city is the stunning beachside town of Orewa. The town has a range of landscapes to enjoy on bike or on foot with a wealth of walking trails and regional parks. Not to mention the 3km-long Orewa Beach which is popular for swimming, stand-up paddleboarding and wind-surfing. The town itself is packed with shops and cafes making it a great spot to relax. Find out what you could be getting up to in this list of things to do in Orewa.
1. Relax on Orewa Beach
Let’s start with the most obvious thing to do when you arrive in Orewa and see that long inviting stretch of beach: go to Orewa Beach! There’s 3km of sandy shores to enjoy. Plus, it’s one of the safest swimming beaches in the Auckland region. So go for a dip, a stroll, a picnic or if you have your own equipment, windsurfing!
Location: Orewa waterfront (you can’t miss it).
2. Walk the Orewa Millennium Walkway
A great loop walk to take in some of the highlights of Orewa is the Orewa Millennium Walkway. This 2-hour loop goes through estuaries, reserves and native bush before returning alongside the coast.
Location: Start from the south bridge, follow the estuary to Centreway Reserve, left down Riverside Road. Then walk to Grant Park, Hatton Road to Victor Eaves Park, then onto the beach to return to the south bridge.
3. Walk or Cycle the Orewa Estuary (Te Ara Tahuna walk and cycleway)
One of the most popular walking/biking trails in the Orewa area is the Te Ara Tahuna walk and cycleway following the edge of the Orewa estuary. The whole trail is sealed and is ideal for all levels of fitness. There are bikes available to rent from the Orewa beachfront shops.
Location: There are multiple access points, but a popular place to start is from the Western Reserve at the south bridge.
4. Take the ferry to Tiritri Matangi Island
It’s a wildlife paradise over on Tiritiri Matangi Island, a pest-free sanctuary where you’re likely to have super close encounters with some of New Zealand’s rarest birds. There are multiple walking tracks around the island through bush, to beaches, and to New Zealand’s oldest running lighthouse. Find out more about this island paradise in our The 10 Best Islands in Auckland to Visit.
Location: Ferries depart Wednesdays to Sundays (and public holidays) from the Gulf Harbour Marina.
5. Discover the native forest at the Alice Eaves Scenic Reserve
For excellent bush walks, hit the Alice Eaves Reserve with stands of native kauri and nikau trees. Walk the lower track alongside Nukumea Stream and see a historic pa site (fortified Maori village) at Hillcrest Road. Walks range from 1 to 2 hours.
Location: Old North Road.
6. Visit Shakespear Regional Park
At the tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, Shakespear Regional Park has a number of walks, ranging from 1 to 2 hours, taking you to sheltered bays, through bush remnants, to clifftop lookouts and through farmland. The park offers sweeping views across the coast and the Hauraki Gulf.
Location: Army Bay, Whangaparaoa Penninsula.
7. Do some op shopping
The op shop scene is alive in Orewa meaning you can gather some cool vintage finds or get thrifty! There are four different op shops (opportunity shops or secondhand shops) in Orewa offering “guilt-free” shopping as the shops are set up for charity and it’s a more “eco-friendly” way to be a consumer.
Location: The Red Cross – Hillary Square, St Chads – Corner of Florence Avenue and Centreway Road, Hibiscus Coast Community House – 214 Hibiscus Coast Highway, and Hospice Shop – 41 Florence Avenue.
8. Do some Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Rent a SUP board or get some lessons on Orewa Beach and enjoy a great day out on the water. For information on SUP in New Zealand, see our 10 Best Places to SUP in New Zealand.
Location: SUP Shed & Underground Surf.
9. Take in the views from the Lookout at Hatfields Beach
When driving north out of Orewa, stop by Hatfields Beach on the beach side of the road to find a small staircase with views overlooking Orewa Beach. These are the best views you’ll get of the beach so it’s worth the photo stop!
Location: Hatfield Beach.
10. Check out one of the Orewa Markets
Orewa really knows how to throw a good market and there are plenty to choose from with the Orewa Farmers Market (every Sunday), Orewa Organic Market (ever last Sunday of the month) and Gypsy Market (late November)! Pick up handmade jewellery, Kiwi art, gifts and delicious local food.
Location: Orewa Farmers Market & Orewa Organic Market – Orewa Square and Gypsey Market – Orewa Reserve.
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