Walks on Waiheke
Te Ara Hura Walkways
Waiheke Island’s walkways offer a unique diversity and tranquility with many areas of historic interest and large tracts of reserve land. The Te Ara Hura walking track network now means you can circumnavigate the entire island, but shorter parts of this can also be done. The walks are well signposted and of varying lengths and levels. Brochures about these can be picked up at the ferry terminals, or from the i-site in Oneroa.
The Te Ara Hura walkway is split into 4 sections:
These walks centre around the headlands from Matiatia and Oneroa Village, with walks around the Owhanake and Church Bay Peninsulas, and many stunning views across the Hauraki Gulf, and access to little known beaches. It also passes several great vineyards, perfect for a break!
These walks explore the coast from Oneroa Village passing the many lovely beaches on both the northern and the southern coastlines.
This section of the walkway includes the Whakanewha regional park, from which there is a network of short walking tracks through coastal forest. The two hour walk to the Cascades is a highlight. Whakanewha also offers sheltered swimming on a long, sweeping beach with a panoramic bush clad backdrop. At high tide the water is shallow and perfect for children. A lovely spot to enjoy a picnic on the foreshore.This section of the track also includes the lovely Onetangi Forest & Bird Reserve, a loop track that passes through a kauri grove and offers spectacular gulf views. Home to extensive native bush and birdlife the reserve is well worth a visit. It also includes Te Toki Reserve, Te Whau and Omiha/Rocky Bay, so there is plenty to explore!
This walk explores the large area to the eastern end of the island, with longer distances and fewer people! It includes the Stony Batter Historic Reserve, which features gun sites and an extensive system of underground chambers linked by hundreds of meters of channels and stairs that date back to World War II. Stony Batter is considered to be an engineering heritage site of international significance. It then continues on to Man O’War Bay (and winery!), Orapiu and Awaawaroa. Note that this end of the island is not serviced by public transport, so plan your walk well!
- MCKENZIE RESERVE This 4ha (10 acres) of public Reserve on the northern side of Waiheke Island between Oneroa and Palm Beach had been a neglected pine forest since the 1950s. Following a report condemning hundreds of trees, 40 nearby residents organised their removal in 2005. They have since built over 2 km of walking tracks that criss-cross the Reserve and have planted more than 10,000 native plants and trees, creating a verdant oasis and helping to restore this strategically-located land to its former beauty. Access either from Empire Ave (Enclosure Bay) or at the top from Great Barrier Rd.
If you are interested in a guided walk, we highly recommend the following: