Trekking The Te Araroa


Te Araroa traverses New Zealand’s new super city – a far reaching district of contrasts. The trail leaves glorious white sandy beaches in the north and ventures inland for a taste of the semi-rural before racing back to the coast via suburban footpaths. With a ferry into the CBD, Te Araroa leaves the Pacific Ocean and its harbours and heads across the isthmus to the Manukau Harbour before venturing inland to experience more of the diversity of the Auckland region.

You can trek the local route (Mangawhai to Pakiri) which is a 30km easy tramping route, taking approximately  7-8 hours. Starting at the beach carpark on Wintle Street, Mangawhai Heads; from here follow the road to the walkway by 44 Wintle Street, which leads down to the estuary. 

Follow the estuary past a camping ground, a boat ramp and holiday baches until wooden steps lead up to the Findlay Street walkway. From Findlay Street, head left into Molesworth Drive until reaching Mangawhai Village. Then a right into Moir Street, left into Insley Street and across the estuary then left into Black Swamp Road. Follow this road until reaching Pacific Road which leads you through a forestry block to the beach and the next stage of Te Araroa. 

For those wishing to avoid the road walking section, you could obtain a boat ride across the estuary to the Mangawhai Spit. Care of sand-nesting birds is required on this Scientific Wildlife Reserve - please stick to the shoreline. Lower tide time is best, so check tide times before setting off.

 Avoid dune nesting sites and no dogs allowed. Please take care all the way down the beach and avoid entering taped/marked nesting sites, particularly if needing to venture upstream to cross. Where possible, avoid the sand-dunes area altogether. 

Just 1km south, a stream cuts across the beach and it can go over thigh height, as can other water crossings on this track. When heavy rain and high tide coincide these rivers can be deep; never cross flooded rivers.

Follow the coast southwards for another 2km, then take the track over Te Arai Point. Once back on the beach, continue south for 12km (fording Poutawa Stream on the way) until you cross the Pakiri River then head inland to reach the end of Pakiri River Road. The walk concludes at the 

For maps and more information on transport and accommodation etc. visit their website.

Susannah Marshall