From Matarangi, the track takes you up a set of stairs to the saddle between Matarangi and Rings Beach. It passes a cellphone tower and then drops down to Rings Beach. There are views of the Coromandel Peninsula from the top.
It takes 15–20 minutes to walk from Matarangi to Rings Beach. You can walk back to Matarangi following the old Bluff Road that is now closed to vehicle traffic due to erosion (add an extra 15–20 minutes for the walk back to Matarangi).
The track is suited to walkers of all levels with easy gradients and only a small steep section with steps.
Access to the track is from the end of Goldfields Drive in Matarangi or from the western end of Rings Beach. There is parking on both sides.
Nestled in the hills between Matarangi and Kūaotunu, the track was conceived by retired residents in 2010. Built entirely by volunteer labour, residents wanted to provide a recreational area with an educational element for the community.
The area has been enhanced with a native tree planting program since 2010 in cooperation with local schools. Over 4,000 trees were planted by 2016.
Wilding pines have been eliminated from 37 ha of the wetland area in the reserve. Suitable native trees have been planted to attract birds into the growing forest. Trapping of stoats, possums, rats and mice has allowed a remnant population of the endangered fernbird/mātātā to expand dramatically.
There is growing evidence of kiwi in the reserve and kiwi calls have been recorded in recent years.
The Matarangi Bluff reserve was the site of forestry, mining and, until 1955, farming by the annual burn-off method. Forest regrowth started after that year and native trees were slow to establish, birdlife had been under threat and wilding pines dominated the landscape. However the community effort to control predators and plant trees is helping bring the forest and wildlife back.
Auckland and parts of the Waikato are at Level 3. DOC huts and campsites are closed in these regions. The rest of New Zealand is at Level 2.