Walk Details

NZ Walking Routes > Northland > Whangarei > Whananaki coastal walk

Whananaki coastal walk


You can walk the track either starting north of Sandy Bay or at Whananaki North.

From Whananaki North, the start of the track is located next to the school. Take the footbridge across the estuary and head south parallel to the shore.

You find the southern end of the walkway past Wooley’s Bay where Matapouri Road meets the coast. The entrance is at the “end” of McAuslin Road (limited parking).


This coastal walk runs along a legal road along the east coast between Sandy Bay and Whananaki South. It mostly follows a well-graded pohutukawa-lined farm track, with excellent views of the coast and the Poor Knights Islands (please note that there is limited beach access from the track, but you can get to the seashore at Sheltered Bay after the farm road passes through a gully of native vegetation). Keep to the farm track, which leads up over a rise, over a stile, then down into a grassy valley.

The road then winds up a bush covered hill to a gate at the top. From here, a short sidetrack leads you to the Capitaine Bougainville memorial on the headland north of Oruaea Bay. From the turn-off to the monument the track is at a lower standard and more arduous. The coastal walk continues north to a recreation reserve on the Whananaki spit.

Here, the track splits. Depending on the tide, either continue towards the houses and walk around the estuary or, at high tide, take the road opposite the entrance to the recreation reserve and follow it to the estuary. The walkway passes close to homes. Please stick to the track and respect the residents’ privacy.

5.0 km
6.0 hours
  • Birds
  • Camping
  • Plant Life
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
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