Two tracks lead from the car park:
- The main track to the Tutukaka lighthouse
- A short walk that drops down the south side of the headland
The track to the Tutukaka lighthouse runs along the top of a headland, through pohutukawa planted in recent years by the community. Stairs lead you down onto the rocks. Follow the old lighthouse power-poles to where the track recommences on Kukutauwhao Island (maintained by the Whangarei District Council).
Kukutauwhao is only an island at high tide because of a deep gut, which fills with water. Crossing this is difficult around high tide or in rough conditions.
On Kukutauwhao Island the track runs along the left hand side of the headland providing great views of the surrounding northward coastline. The track then deviates into the middle of the headland and travels up through bush consisting mainly of cabbage trees, flax and manuka. After a final short climb, the track finishes at the Tutukaka lighthouse on the end of the headland with steep cliffs, where outstanding views reward your efforts.
Access to the reserve at the north head of Tutukaka Harbour is via a right of way, which is sign posted off Matapouri Road 400 m past the Oceans Resort Hotel. This road is a private access marked by a ‘Private Road’ sign. The public only have right of passage – respect other people’s privacy.
Know before you go
- Cliffs/fall hazards present. Supervise children.
- Drive carefully. A narrow bit on this road is clearly marked.
- Limited parking is available at a car park at the entrance of the reserve.