Cape Brett Track
Image: Brian Dobbie | ©
Cape Brett Track traverses through native and regenerating bush. The track runs along the ridge through Maori-owned land before reaching conservation land at Deep Water Cove - Manawahuna for the last 6 km of the track. You can take a side-track (1 hr return) down to Deep Water Cove, where you can enjoy a refreshing swim and snorkel.
Mountain biking is not permitted as the track is unsuitable for this.
From the forested ridges, you can take in spectacular coastal scenery. Towards the Cape, walking alongside the dramatic cliff-face, you can see abundant fish and bird life below - often dolphins and seals will come close to shore.
From Deep Water Cove onwards, the track gets more challenging and becomes quite exposed with steep drop-offs to the sea below.
Although it is not that far to the lighthouse, it will take you about 2-3 hours, and can be quite tiring. The effort is rewarded with outstanding views of the outer Bay of Islands, north to the Cavalli Islands and south to Whangaruru and beyond to the Poor Knights Islands.
Along the track, you will come across an electric fence crossing the width of the peninsula. This was constructed in 1995 to reduce the impact of possums on the coastal bush. Ensure the gate is closed.
10,000 Steps Northland: This track equates to approximately 26,666 steps.
The track begins from Oke Bay in Rawhiti, or can be joined from the Whangamumu Track. Access is also available from the landing at Deep Water Cove.
Cape Brett is 30 km north east of Russell. You can get to Cape Brett and Whangamumu via Rawhiti Road.
From Russell, take the Russell-Whakapara Road for 13.8 km and turning off at Kempthorne Road. Follow the road through Parekura Bay, continuing on to Manawaora Road. At the top of the road, turn left onto Rawhiti Road.
From Whangarei travel north turning off SH1 at Whakapara. Follow the Russell Road until you get to Rawhiti Road.
To access Cape Brett Reserve by sea, land at either Deep Water Cove or at Cape Brett. A water taxi is available from Russell and Paihia.
All trampers must pay a track maintenance fee, and a fee to use the Cape Brett Hut.
Track fees maintain the track section crossing private land between Rawhiti and Deep Water Cove.
Track and hut fees can also be paid at the Bay of Islands i-SITE Visitor Centre in Paihia.
There is no charge for the section of track between Deep Water Cove and Cape Brett, or Whangamumu to Te Toroa Bay.
To walk this 16 km undulating track, you need to:
Before tramping in or staying at the hut, check with the DOC Bay of Islands office about the water supply.