Introduction

This track climbs up to St Paul's Rock, which stands high above Whangaroa township and provides spectacular views of the Whangaroa Harbour. It's suitable for those with moderate fitness.

Track overview

720 m one way

Walking and tramping

30 min one way 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

St Paul’s volcanic plug.
St Paul’s volcanic plug – well worth the climb

The track climbs steeply through regenerating manuka bush to the top of a volcanic plug (St Paul’s Rock) with spectacular views of the Whangaroa Harbour. Chains are installed to help you climb the last 30 metres.

Getting there

Head north on State Highway 10 to Kaeo. 4 km north of Kaeo, at the one-lane bridge, turn right and follow the river to the Whangaroa township. Turn right on to Old Hospital Road.

You can access the track from the carpark at the end of Old Hospital Road.

Nature and conservation

The rock formations that dominate the scenery around  Whangaroa Harbour are remnants of ancient volcanoes that erupted about 20 million years ago. Angular fragments of the volcanic rocks were scattered thickly over the landscape and sea.

The loose debris was rapidly eroded except where natural cementation had bonded the fragments into what now looks like a natural version of coarse, exposed aggregate concrete. You can see this geological phenomenon up close at St Paul’s Rock (Ohakiri Pa).

History and culture

Extensive Māori terraces surround the St Paul's Rock. You can see midden (shell refuse) eroding out from areas of the St Pauls Rock Track.

Europeans did not discover the Whangaroa Harbour until 1807, when Captain Wilkinson of the sealer ship Star sailed into the harbour. The name 'St Pauls' was given to this rock in the 19th century due to its domelike similarity with St Pauls cathedral.

Know before you go

A moderate to fairly good level of fitness is needed as the track is steep and can be slippery in places.

Contacts

Pewhairangi / Bay of Islands Office
Phone:   +64 9 407 0300
Address:   34 Landing Road
Kerikeri 0230
Email:   bayofislandsbooking@doc.govt.nz
Full office details
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