View from Tiritiri Matangi Island

Image: Eve Manning | Creative Commons

Introduction

See a variety of native birds on the walks on this pest-free island, as well as views of the surrounding islands.

Track overview

Walking and tramping

20 min - 3 hr Easiest: Short walk
Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

Wattle Track (wharf to lighthouse)

Time: 40 min one way

This track provides one of the best opportunities to see Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife in its natural environment as you meander through planted and remnant bush along a gravelled and boardwalked track.

Tūī, saddleback/tieke and bellbird/korimako are common, but sharp eyes might also sight whitehead/popokatea, stitchbird/hihi, North Island robin/miromiro and, if you are lucky, kōkako.

This track includes several sets of steps, so baby buggies can be awkward unless you are happy to do a little lifting.

Hobbs Beach Track (wharf to Hobbs Beach)

Popular track combinations

Time: 10 min one way

This track runs along a rocky coastline to Hobbs Beach (named after the family who farmed the island for many years). The sandy beach is good for swimming and picnicking.

There are good views back to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, and walkers are often entertained by New Zealand pidgeon/kererū swooping through the air in their impressive display flights. Look out for little penguin/kororā boxes at the side of the track. These are often occupied during the spring, and visitors may gently lift the inspection lids to observe the nesting birds.

Kawerau Track (north end of Hobbs Beach to Ridge Road)

Time: 30-40 min one way

This track climbs a short distance up from Hobbs Beach to join a boardwalk that continues steadily upwards, through some of the oldest bush on the island, including massive pōhutukawa and a large pūriri tree. Most of Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife can be seen here – watch out in particular for the tiny rifleman/titiponamu and elusive kōkako.

A 15-minute detour to the Kawerau pā site offers panoramic views back to the mainland. The boardwalk has many steps.

Ridge Road/Track (end of Kawerau Track to lighthouse

Time: 25 minutes one way

This vehicle track runs along the spine of the island roughly north-west to south-east. Those walking the Kawerau Track can take the Totara Track to join Ridge Road near its northern end. A mowed grass track runs parallel to Ridge Road for much of its length, offering pleasant walking through regenerating bush.

There are several tracks leading off to the east or west coasts for those looking to explore further. At the southern end, near the lighthouse, the grass track crosses a steep hill from which, on clear days, there are good views of surrounding islands and the Hauraki Gulf.

Ngati Paoa Track, Northeast Bay Track and East Coast Track (Kawerau Track to Northeast Bay to lighthouse)

Time: 1 hr 30 min one way

The first section of this longer walk winds around the northern end of the island, where flax is the dominant planting and, in spring, red-crowned parakeets/kakariki are often found feeding. Most of the track is on high ground, and there are several good viewing points out over the rocky shoreline and across to Wooded Island. The track continues past the site of Papakura pā and Northeast Bay, both important sites of early Māori occupation.

The next section along East Coast Track to the lighthouse is beautiful, with views out to Coromandel and Great Barrier Island/Aotea. Both these sections include steep areas and walkers need to have a good level of fitness.

The many tracks and paths around the island provide lots of opportunities for round trip walks. Here we suggest a few which begin and end at the wharf:

  • Wattle Track loop (1 hr) - wharf - Wharf Road - lighthouse - Wattle Track - wharf
  • Kawerau Track loop (3 hr) - wharf - Hobbs Beach - Kawerau Track - Ridge Track - lighthouse - Wattle Track - wharf
  • Island Loop (3 hr) - wharf - Hobbs Beach - Kawerau Track - Ngati Paoa Track - North East Bay - lighthouse - Wattle Valley - wharf (reasonable fitness required)

Know before you go

  • A reasonable standard of fitness is required for some tracks.
  • Tracks are clearly marked and signposted.
  • Points of interest and facilities are marked on the map.
  • Guided tours offered by the Supporters of Tiritiri Matangi for a small cost are a great way for visitors to explore the island. You can book your tour when you reserve your ferry ticket.

Contacts

Tāmaki Makaurau / Auckland Visitor Centre
Phone:   +64 9 379 6476
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   aucklandvc@doc.govt.nz
Address:   Shop2, Shed 19, Princes Wharf
137 Princes Wharf
Auckland 1010
Postal Address:   PO Box 105 469
Auckland City 1143
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