The Flagstaff Hill Loop Track takes you through regenerating kanuka/manuka scrub down into the Waipara/Watering Bay stream and wetland then back up to one of New Zealand’s most iconic historic sites - Te Maiki/Flagstaff Hill.
On this walk you may very well come across the endangered North Island weka, which has been successfully reintroduced to the Russell Peninsula by the Russell Landcare Trust.
10,000 Steps Northland: This track equates to about 3,333 steps.
At low tide
Walk north from the northern end of The Strand, Kororareka Bay along the beaches to Watering Bay. Turn inland along the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track. Take the left-hand fork in the track and climb through regenerating coastal forest to reach Titore Way. Turn right onto the road, walk 300 metres along this road to a sign marking the final leg of the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track. This leg takes you up through regenerating coastal scrub to the famous flagstaff, 360-degree views of the Bay of Islands and the Flagstaff Hill summit (Te Maiki).
Once at the summit, take the path down to the carpark. At the carpark, there are two options: cross the carpark and take the short track up to the sundial for more stunning views of the Bay of Islands and Russell township or turn right to continue the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track down to the top of Wellington Street and from there to Russell township.
At high tide
The Flagstaff Hill Loop Track starts at the intersection of Wellington and Kent Streets, near the boatramp on The Strand in Russell. Walk approximately 300 metres up Wellington Street - look out for a sign on your left. This high tide alternative track takes you down into the Kororareka Reserve. At the intersection of the tracks in the valley turn right and follow the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track to Titore Way. See the low tide description for further route directions from here.
Note: Wellington Street is very narrow. If you are walking, watch out for vehicles; if you are driving look out for pedestrians.
Know before you go
- Freedom camping is not allowed on Fagstaff Hill/Te Maiki.
- Do not cycle on the Flagstaff Hill Loop Track as it is not designed for mountain-biking.