View of Tapotupoto Bay from the track
Image: easegill | Creative Commons

Introduction

This 3 hour walk along beautiful Spirits Bay takes you to Pandora where you can stop to observe shore birds or camp for the night.

Track overview

9 km

Walking and tramping

3 hr Easy: Walking track

Dog access

Dogs with a DOC permit for recreational hunting or management purposes only.

  • Kauri dieback
    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.

About this track

Description

Kapowairua to the west end of Spirits Bay

Time: 2 hr 15 min

Spirits Bay. Image: Matthew Bauer.
Spirits Bay

From Kapowairua campsite you have two options:

  • Walk along the beach keeping an eye out for the orange dune marker. This signals you to head over the dunes to Waitahora lagoon and boardwalk.
  • Follow the track behind the sand dunes to the lagoon. This route is firmer and easier walking than the sloping beach.

West end of Spirits Bay. Image: Matthew Bauer.
West end of Spirits Bay

Western end of Spirits Bay to Pandora

Time: 45 min

Pandora is a small, secluded beach separated from Spirits Bay by a rocky headland.

There is a basic campsite here with toilets, shelter and water supply.

This track from Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) to Pandora forms part of the Te Paki Coastal Track.

Getting there

Cave. Image: Matthew Bauer.
Cave along the rocks between Kapowairua (Spirits Bay) and Pandora

Te Rerenga Wairua (Cape Reinga) and Te Paki are located at the northernmost area of New Zealand on the Aupouri Peninsula. Follow SH1 north from Kaitaia approximately 96 km to Te Paki and 111 km to Te Rerenga Wairua.

You have vehicle access to Kapowairua – turn off SH1 at Waitiki Landing onto Te Hapua Road and then Spirits Bay Road, approximately 16 km.

Nature and conservation

Spirits Bay is a stunning sweep of golden sand, multi-coloured shells, and pristine turquoise water.

Behind the dunes is the characteristic windswept scrub of the Te Paki region, and large marshlands with captivating native bird and plant life.

You can see plenty of birdlife at the lagoon and on the beach including Caspian terns, New Zealand dotterel, paradise ducks, oystercatchers, and godwits.

Know before you go

  • Pack your insect repellent, sunscreen and tide chart.
  • Check the tide times before you leave – sections of the track may not be accessible around high-tide near Pandora.

Contacts

Kaitaia Office
Phone:   +64 9 408 6014
Address:   25 Matthews Ave
Kaitaia 0441
Email:   kaitaia@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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