Okura Bush Walkway
Updated 16 April 2014: Storms in 2013 caused damage to the southern section of the Okura Bush Walkway. Two large slips have occurred between the sand spit and the staircase. Vegetation has been cleared and the track is passable, but the track width has been reduced to 30 cm. Caution is required on this section of the track.
Cleaning boots to stop the spread of kauri dieback disease, Okura Bush Walkway
Time and distance:
- Haighs Access Rd to Dacre Cottage 4.8 km, 1.5 hr one way
- Haighs Access Rd to Stillwater 8 km, 3 hr one way
Sections of the track may become slippery after periods of rain. Please keep to the track when crossing private farmland, and take care around stock. Leave gates as you find them.
This track takes you through regenerating coastal kauri forest along the Okura River estuary and edge of the Long Bay – Okura Marine Reserve to Karepiro Bay and historic Dacre Cottage, and on to Stillwater.
From Haighs Rd the track follows the Okura River estuary through mixed coastal forest, with groves of nikau, pohutukawa and regenerating kauri. After a 20 min hill climb the track drops down to the rivers edge where you may see a variety of wading birds such as stilts and oystercatchers.
Dacre Cottage, Okura Walkway
It then climbs to a headland before dropping quite steeply to Karepiro Bay, where the restored historic Dacre Cottage is located at the northern end. Dacre Cottage was built in the 1850s by Henry Dacre, son of the retired sea captain Ranulf Dacre, who bought the Weiti block in 1848.
If heading to Stillwater, you can follow the coastline at low tide, or take the overland track, climbing steeply above the coastal cliffs, with good views of Karepiro Bay and the Hauraki Gulf, before dropping back to the Weiti River estuary. From here the track follows the river, crossing private land to the Stillwater car park.
The walkway runs between Okura and Stillwater. The southern entrance at Okura is accessed from Haighs Access Rd, off East Coast Rd. The northern entrance at Stillwater can be accessed from Duck Creek Rd, off Spur Rd which runs off East Coast Rd.
Plan and prepare
Help stop kauri dieback
Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.
- Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
- Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.
Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.
Dogs are not permitted on the tracks because of the threat they pose to stock and wildlife, with the exception of certified guide dogs.
- Karepiro Bay and Stillwater are fragile areas, with New Zealand dotterel and oystercatcher populations. People pose a threat to these shorebirds by disturbing nesting birds - birds will not return to incubate their nests until you have gone and eggs can overheat or become chilled quickly. Stick to the track and stay well away from birds during their nesting season (from about mid-September on). Take care when you walk on the beach to avoid crushing their well-camouflaged eggs.
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