Introduction

This walkway uses the Kapuni to Auckland gas pipeline route for a considerable distance. The laying of the pipeline opened up walking access to the dramatic forest and coastal country of the region.

Track overview

22 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

up to 8 hr Easy: Walking track

Seasonal restrictions

The walkway is closed from 1 July to 30 September every year for the lambing season.

Dog access

No dogs

About this track

Description

This walkway uses the Kapuni to Auckland gas pipeline route for 11 km. The laying of the pipeline involved an immense amount of heavy construction work and these operations opened up walking access to the dramatic forest and coastal country of the region. The entire walkway is across private land.

It is no longer possible to walk the Whitecliffs Walkway from Pukearuhe to Tongaporutu as the northern end of the track from Clifton Road end at Tongaporutu to the stock tunnel entrance is currently closed.

There are three walking options along the Whitecliffs Walkway:

Pukearuhe to Wai Pingao Stream, returning to Pukearuhe via the beach (low tide only)

Distance: 6.5 km loop
Time: 3–4 hr

The walkway crosses open farmland to Mt Davidson, where it enters Ngati Tama land. It then follows the pipeline route along the ridge tops before descending to the Wai Pingao Stream. 

Here you can divert from the main track and return to Pukearuhe by following the stream to the coast and walking south along the beach.

Active slip and changing sand conditions:

  • There is a large active cliff slip just south of the Wai Pingao Stream - beware of falling rocks and take extreme caution along the beach.
  • The beach section between the Wai Pingao Stream mouth and Pukearuhe is accessible only at low tide. Do not attempt the walk unless you can reach Pukearuhe while the tide is still on its way out. Check the tide timetable for Taranaki before heading out.
  • Due to changing sand conditions the beach section may not be passable even at low tide. Be prepared to turn back. 

Pukearuhe to Mt Messenger

Distance: 11 km one way
Time: 6–7 hr 

Continue on the walkway across the Wai Pingao Stream bridge before climbing to the Parininihi Ridge high point and descending to the junction with the Mt Messenger Track.

Turn right to climb toward the summit of Mt Messenger before descending to the track exit at SH3.  

Pukearuhe to the stock tunnel

Distance: 11 km one way (22 km return same way)
Time: 3–4 hr

Follow the walkway along the cliff tops to the historic stock tunnel (cattle used to be brought along the beach to here at Tongaporutu on their way north). Here the track ends and you must return the same way. It is not safe to go through the tunnel as it is collapsing.

Getting there

Whitecliffs Walkway begins at the Pukearuhe boat ramp at the end of Pukearuhe Road, north of Urenui. 

Ensure you park to allow access to the boat ramp and farm property.

Know before you go

  • Get local advice on track and weather conditions before setting out.
  • If walking along the beach check tide times. Be prepared to turn back.
  • Be prepared for changes in the weather. Take warm clothes, including hat and gloves and waterproof raincoat.
  • Respect private land, use the stiles and keep to the track.

Before you go into the outdoors, tell someone your plans and leave a date to raise the alarm if you haven't returned. To do this, use the New Zealand Outdoors Intentions process on the AdventureSmart website. It is endorsed by New Zealand's search and rescue agencies and provides three simple options to tell someone you trust the details about your trip.

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