This versatile track can be used as a short half-day loop, as part of a two-day hike, or as part of the continuous Te Araroa walk.
Starting from the Northern side, begin by following the Te Araroa markers from the intersection of Cove Road and Bream Tail Road. The track begins by crossing over the contours of farmland, winding its way back towards Mangawhai Heads. Once reaching the coastline, you will be afforded views to surrounding islands and landmarks—the Hen and Chicken Islands, the imposing Sail Rock, Little Barrier Island’s distinctive spine and, further afield, Great Barrier Island.
The coastline leg of the track is framed with flax bushes and nikau palms, and frequent bird life. The walkway winds up with a descent down to Mangawhai Beach. After a jaunt along the beach, the walk concludes a Mangawhai Heads.
This track can be turned into a pleasant half-day loop by starting at the Mangawahi Heads Surf Club, crossing the beach, and looping around the coastal leg of the walk. The two-day hike can begin with this track in full, then continue through Mangawhai Heads Bream Bay and down to Te Arau beach. You can rest overnight at the Pakiri Beach campground, before heading up Te Hikoi O Te Kiri to the summit of Mt Tamahunga (with the new route down the western ridge opening later in 2013), and completing your journey with refreshments in Ruakaka R Matakana Village.
It’s best to check the status of the track on sby the Te Araroa website before heading out, as it closes annually for lambing season.