This track is now part of the Hillary Trail which connects a network of existing tracks and basic backpacker campgrounds in the Waitakere Ranges.
It takes trampers through the Waitakere Ranges, past the Arataki Visitor Centre, Huia, Whatipu, Karekare, Piha, Anawhata, and either winding north to Muriwai via the Te Henga Walkway, or through Cascade Kauri Park and onto Swanson.
Trampers can also choose a public transport option, beginning their journey at Titirangi and connecting with the train at Swanson.
Time and distance:
- Bethells Rd to Constable Rd: 8 km or 3-4 hr one way
- Bethells Rd to O’Neill’s Bay: 2 km or 45 min one way
The track follows coastal cliffs and is rutted and steep in sections. It becomes slippery after periods of rain. Take care around old slip sites.
From Bethells Rd the Te Henga Walkway crosses the Waitakere River by footbridge, rising along a graded section, to superb views of lagoons, dunes and the west coast surf down to O’Neill's Bay, where you can return along Bethells Beach.
To continue along Te Henga Walkway, the track climbs steeply then follows along the cliff-top where you may see gannets diving for fish. The track exits through a farm valley and another steep climb to Constable Rd. Care is needed on this track, which traverses coastal cliffs and is uneven and muddy in places.
Bethells Beach (Te Henga) is 37 km from downtown Auckland, on the west coast. From here the track is signposted near a bridge 1 km before the end of Bethells Rd opposite Lake Wainamu carpark.
The northern entrance to Te Henga Walkway is from Constable Rd, off Oaia Rd, Muriwai. The northern entrance is 46 km from downtown Auckland.
Know before you go
Dogs are not permitted on the tracks because of the threat they pose to stock and wildlife with the exception of certified assistance dogs.
Track crosses private land be careful around stock and keep to the track.
Parts of the track are overgrown with gorse and flax.