Parks

Waiheke Island Walk Series

Whether it is the quiet solitude and unique fragrance of the native bush or the stunning views from cliff-tops and headlands which appeals, Waiheke's walkways offer a diversity and tranquillity rarely found so close to the city. There are many areas of historic interest and large tracts of reserve land. The numerous native wood pigeons are fascinating to observe and beautiful in flight.

While Waiheke Island is generally sunnier and warmer than Auckland, it is always advisable to carry warm clothing, use sunscreen, wear a sunhat and sensible walking shoes, and take plenty of liquids. Many of the island's roads are narrow and winding so care should be taken when walking on these. Keep a lookout for signs showing an alternative route.

Besides the walks listed below, there are also individual walks which you can explore here.

Waiheke Island Walk Series map.

Map Legend

 

Walking TrackWalking track - suitable for most ages and levels of fitness and mobility. Not suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Tramping TrackTramping track - suitable for users of average fitness and mobility.

 

RouteRoute - marked only by signposts and basic route markers. May be cross-country. Requires a reasonable level of fitness.

 

LookoutLookout points

PlaygroundPlayground

BarbequeBarbecue

FerryFerry

ToiletsToilets

ParkingParking

 


Walk series

 


Walk 1: Matiatia, Church Bay, Oneroa loop (Southern walk)

Classification

Route.

 
Duration

About two hours.

 
Map
Walk 1: Matiatia, Church Bay, Oneroa loop map.
 
What to expect

Highlights are spectacular views, a Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand re-vegetation project and historic sites. Dogs are prohibited on one section of the walk, but it is possible to bypass this section if you use alternative route option one. There are toilets and a kiosk at the Matiatia ferry terminal, toilets and shops at Oneroa and toilets at Blackpool Reserve.

 
Route

Start at Matiatia wharf and follow the path to the southern end of Matiatia Bay. Cross the footbridge, follow the track uphill to the lookout on Nick Johnstone Drive and along the coastal track to Te Miro Bay. Continue along the coast to Church Bay and when you get to the end follow the track along the fence line to the top of the hill towards Church Bay Road. Follow Church Bay Road through Alison Park to Oneroa village. If heading back to Matiatia, turn left into Ocean View Road and follow it to the wharf to enter Atawhai Whenua Reserve and follow the lower track along the edge of the wetland to Matiatia Bay.

 
Alternative routes 

Option one

Leave the track at Te Miro Bay and walk back to Oneroa via Nick Johnston Drive. This will cut the length of the walk by half an hour.

Option two

If you are walking your dog, leave the track at the lookout at the top of Matiatia Bay. Follow the road to the end to reconnect with the track.

Option three

Loop through Pio Rehutai Reserve at Church Bay Road. This will take you through the hills above Blackpool and Oneroa and links back to Church Bay Road. This will add half an hour to the walk. For a longer walk, from Church Bay Road walk up the private driveway with public access and take the loop back to Oneroa via Blackpool. At Blackpool there is also a loop track through Te Huruhi Reserve.

 


Walk 2: Matiatia, Owhanake, Oneroa (Northern walk)

Classification

Route.

 
Duration

Two to three hours.

 
Map
Walk 2: Matiatia, Owhanake, Oneroa map.
 
What to expect

This walk enables you to take in as much of the island as possible without venturing too far from the ferry and Oneroa Village. It provides stunning views out over the Hauraki Gulf and to inland parts of western Waiheke. Church Bay was the site of the first church and mission built on Waiheke Island in 1833. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the walks. There are toilets and a kiosk at Matiatia ferry terminal, toilets and shops at Oneroa and picnic tables at Owhanake Bay.

 
Route

The old wharf at Matiatia is the starting point for this walk which heads through the Matietie Historic Reserve around the waterfront to Cable Bay. Continue on the track around to Owhanake Bay. Follow the green and yellow marker posts from Island Bay to Korora Road until you reach Oneroa Bay. Continue south along Korora Road then turn onto Ocean View Road to return to Matiatia wharf. The World War II pillboxes and terraces of an ancient headland pā adjacent to Delamore Drive are worth viewing. Keep a lookout for signs showing the alternative routes. The side trips offer small areas of native bush, a scenic reserve, and the Forest and Bird Society's Atawhai Whenua Reserve across Ocean View Road.

 
Alternative routes

Option one

From Matiatia Bay, head up the hill to Delamore Drive. Walk across the road and down the track to Owhanake Bay. This will cut the length of the walk by one hour.

Option two

At Matiatia Bay, walk along Ocean View Road. Climb the scenic reserve track to Delamore Drive down into the eastern end of Owhanake Bay.

 


Walk 3: Oneroa, Blackpool

Classification

Walking track and tramping track.

 
Duration

Two hours.

 
Map

Walk 3: Oneroa, Blackpool map.

 
What to expect

Rocky and sandy beaches, bush reserves. The walk offers a mix of the cosmopolitan and the traditional Waiheke bach, and features a series of coastal reserves and walkways linked by residential roads. It takes you through the island's main village, Oneroa. The beaches below the village are sheltered and safe to swim in. Keep your dogs under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There are toilets, shops and parking at Oneroa, BBQ, playground, toilets and a shop at Little Oneroa. Newton Reserve has a picnic area and panoramic views.

 
Route

Start at Oneroa, and walk along Oneroa Beach at low tide to Little Oneroa Beach. Two accessways are available from Oneroa Village to Oneroa Beach - one on the corner of Ocean View and Waikare Road (adjacent to the CAB building) and the other opposite the Red Cross Hall. For high-tide access, join the track on the corner of Puriri and Ocean View roads. From Little Oneroa Beach, follow the track through Newton Reserve to the lookout near Fisherman's Rock. Newton Reserve is a headland, with a grassed area, glorious views and a picnic table. Back on Newton Road walk along Queens Drive to the top of Goodwin Avenue where you can link to the Hekerua Palm Beach walk if you wish to extend this walk. Alternatively, retrace your steps back to Little Oneroa Beach via Goodwin Avenue.

 
Alternative routes

Option one

From Oneroa village, head south down Tui Street to The Esplanade and Blackpool Beach. From The Esplanade, follow the track to Makora Avenue to Tawa Street back to Oneroa.

Option two

From The Esplanade, continue along the coastline to Surfdale Access Reserve. Follow the track up to Burrell Road on to the Burrell Road extension then cross over to Ocean View Road. Join Goodwin Avenue and head back to Oneroa village.

 


Walk 4: Hekerua Bay, Palm Beach

Classification

Route.

 
Duration

Two hours.

 
Map

Walk 4: Hekerua Bay, Palm Beach map.

 
What to expect

Hekerua Bay and Enclosure Bay boast shingle beaches, rocky pools and coastal rock outcrops. Hekerua Bay also has some mature pohutukawa and is good for swimming. Palm Beach is a very popular white sandy beach ideal for swimming and sunbathing, with nude bathing at the western end of the beach. Enclosure Bay is partially cut off from the sea by interesting rock formations, making it a very sheltered area safe for swimming. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There are toilets at Sandy Bay, Palm Beach and Matapana reserves and shops and BBQs at Palm Beach.

 
Route

From Watters Glen, at the corner of Queens Drive and Goodwin Avenue, follow the track through Hekerua Bay Reserve to Sandy Bay. Follow Great Barrier Road to Enclosure Bay and turn right into Empire Avenue through McKenzie Reserve to Coromandel Road.  Turn left into Hauraki Road and Cory Road. Then walk to the lookout through Mawhitipana Reserve to Palm Beach. Continue along Palm Beach to Matapana Reserve and up to Matapana Road. Follow Hill Road that loops back down to Palm Beach.

 
Alternative route

From McKenzie Reserve follow Hauraki Road to Karaka Road. Turn right into Karaka Road and then left onto Te Aroha Avenue track. This is an attractive walk through native regenerating bush. A steep track with over 100 steps becomes a 250 metre gentle decline, good walking shoes are recommended. At Hekerua Bay turn back onto the zig zag track back up to the starting point. This will cut the length of the walk by one hour.

 


Walk 5: Rocky Bay's Te Whau loop

Classification

Route.

 
Duration

Two hours.

 
Map

Walk 5: Rocky Bay's Te Whau loop map.

 
What to expect

This walk explores a more secluded part of the island. Discover panoramic views over Rocky Bay, Te Whau Point, inland parts of Western Waiheke and to Auckland. The walk features serene excursions through mature coastal forest and vineyards. This area is home to many artists and crafts people. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There is a BBQ and toilets at Mary Wilson Reserve on Valley Road and that is also a great spot for children to play. There are picnic tables at Kuakarau Bay Forest Reserve, and a BBQ at Onetangi Sports Park.

 
Route

Starting at Onetangi Sports Park, take the track up the right-hand side of O'Brien Road. Turn right into Margaret Reeve Lane down to Okoka Bay (Dead Dog Bay). Cross the beach and follow the markers up the hill, turn left into Vintage Lane then right into Te Whau Drive. Follow the road until you reach the Hitapa Bay Walkway on the left. The first part of the walk down to the beach is steep. Follow the track past several secluded bays until you reach Kuakarau Bay. Turn back inland on Wairua Road then left into Kuakarau Bay Forest Reserve. Two tracks in the reserve take you to Te Whau Drive or O'Brien Road, leading you back to the start.

 
Alternative route

Option one: as above except after exiting Kuakarau Bay Forest Reserve cross over O'Brien Road and take the Stanimoroff Walkway that traverses the ridgeline behind Rocky Bay village. At the end of this walkway a track passes through Whakanewha Regional Park to Gordons Road. This will add half an hour to your journey. option two: there is a short walk near the start that takes you past privately owned houseboats into Putiki Bay. Return to the road and follow the walk above. This takes 20 minutes.

 


Walk 6: Rocky Bay (featuring Whakanewha)

Classification

Route.

 
Duration

Two hours.

 
Map
Walk 6: Rocky Bay (featuring Whakanewha) map
 
What to expect

This is a chance to enjoy beautiful southern bays and Māori archaeological sites. Go for a bush walk to the Cascades in the Whakanewha Regional Park, or relax under the pohutukawa. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There are BBQs and toilets at Mary Wilson reserve, toilets at Omiha Bay and toilets, picnic tables, a BBQ and camping gorund at Whakanewha Regional Park.

 
Route

Starting opposite the old Rocky Bay Store, walk up Glen Brook Road and turn right into Omiha Road. Follow this until you reach the Upland Road track, which leads you to the coast of Whakanewha Regional Park. This will take you to a car park and picnic area. On the opposite side of the road from the toilet block enter the Nikau track and turn left onto the Tarata track. This will take you onto Carson's and Gordon's Roads. Cross the road and walk up through Whakanewha Regional Park to the Stanimoroff Walkway. Follow this walkway to Te Whau Drive and enter the Kuakarau Bay Forest Reserve. Follow the track down to Rocky Bay.

 
Alternative route

An ancient pā site with panoramic views over Rocky Bay to Auckland is one of the highlights of this walk. From the old Rocky Bay Store, walk up Glen Brook Road and turn left into Glenbrook Reserve and follow the track down to Okoka Road. Downhill a wooden bride crosses a stream fed by a natural spring. A narrow track then leads uphill through mature broadleaf forest until it opens onto the pā. The track continues up the ridge through a canopy of manuka and interesting rock formations to Okoka Road. Walk down into Fairview Crescent and follow this to Bella Vista Road and Crosby Reserve overlooking Whakanewha and Rocky Bays. Continue along Bella Vista Road and turn left into Upland Road and Omiha Road to the start. Duration is one hour.

 


Walk 7: Onetangi

Classification

Tramping track and route.

 
Duration

One hour.

 
Map
Walk 7: Onetangi map
 
What to expect

This walk offers the chance to see the sights at Waiheke's biggest beach, ideal for family outings, safe swimming and picnicking, and a choice of places to eat. The route criss-crosses the area, taking in the spectacular views from the cliffs above the beach out towards Great Barrier and Little Barrier islands and a number of local reserves. You can view mature bush remnants including a kauri and nikau grove in Victoria Reserve. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There are toilets on The Strand, between Fourth Avenue and Jacobs Ladder and BBQs at Onetangi Beach. Keep a lookout for signs showing alternative routes.

 
Route

Start at The Strand and Fourth Avenue intersection, walk eastwards along the beach and take the steps at the end leading to Garratt Road. Turn right into Waiheke Road following it to Tin Boat Reserve (Fourth Avenue Reserve) and playground. Take the track to Pah Road and, at the junction of Pah and Seaview Roads, follow the Jacob's Ladder Walkway back to the beach. Turn left onto the beach, heading towards the Seventh Avenue Accessway Reserve and climb the 187 steps to reach Seaview Road. Turn left into Seaview Road and back to the Pah Road junction. Walk along Pah Road and down the path through Tin Boat Reserve to Onetangi Beach.

 
Alternative routes

Option one

The Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society of New Zealand offers a looped track through Onetangi Reserve. This private scenic reserve, which is open to the public, has five entry and exit points, and consists of mature pohutukawa, taraire, nikau palms, rimu, miro, matai, groves of kauri and grand viewing points. The forest is a site of ecological significance with a high level of species diversity.

Option two

From the intersection of Waiheke Road and Victoria Road North, walk up the hill and enter the walkway through Victoria Reserve to Marine View Road that takes you through a nikau grove. Turn right at the top and walk to the Eden Terrace corner opposite the old Crocker's General Store, and then right again at Onetangi Road to head down the beach. Allow an extra half an hour.

 


Walk 8: Orapiu, Pearl Bay

Classification

Tramping track and route.

 
Duration

Two hours.

 
Map

Walk 8: Orapiu, Pearl Bay map.

 
What to expect

This walk offers views to Ponui Island, Coromandel Peninsula and the eastern Auckland mainland. Te Matuku Bay and Otakawhe Bay are part of a marine reserve where no fishing is allowed. Keep your dog under control, particularly on steep sections of the tracks. There are toilets and a wharf at Orapiu Bay.   There is no public transport to this location.

 
Route

At Orapiu Wharf, follow the signs around the coast to Otakawhe Bay onto Pearl Bay at the southern end of Te Matuku Bay. Follow Hunterville Road, an unformed road, and return to Orapiu Bay.

 
Alternative route

Park your car at the junction of Nepean Avenue and Hunterville Road and follow the walkway to Pearl Bay. This will halve the time of the walk. You can also walk from here to Orapiu Wharf.

Ferry Walk one - Matiatia, Church Bay, Oneroa Walk two - Matiatia, Owhanake, Oneroa Walk three - Oneroa, Blackpool Walk four - Hekerua, Palm Beach Walk five - Rocky Bay's Te Whau loop Walk six - Rocky Bay (featuring Whakanewha) Walk seven - Onetangi Walk eight - Orapiu, Pearl Bay