Te Ara Moana is one of many routes traditionally paddled by Māori to travel between settlements, carry goods for trade and gathering food. To this day the Iwi of Tamaki Makaurau maintain strong ties with the Hauraki Gulf, Tīkapa Moana (Firth of Thames) and Te Ara Moana.
The trail captures enchanting nature and history with a mix of marine and terrestrial locations giving you a sense of adventure and introduces you to the joys of sea kayaking and overnight camping.
This waka (canoe or kayak) trail is already well used by many paddlers, so these notes and the map overleaf are a guide, suggesting paddling times and recommending campgrounds on regional parks.
Please read through the safety information, book your campsite and plan your journey before you set out and don’t forget to tell someone your plans.
Ōmana to Waharau, our way to go
We recommend setting off from Ōmana Regional Park in Maraetai and heading south, over five days. Park your vehicle at Ōmana and make sure it is locked, taking all your valuables with you. Drop a note into the box at the rangers office if you are leaving your car at the park.
If you would like to do the trail in reverse, that's ok too, just make sure you check the tides. There are parking facilities at Waharau Regional Park or a drop off area across the road on the seaward side on Kawera Avenue.
Look out for the brightly coloured orange and blue posts, near the shore marking campgrounds along the way.
Practice makes perfect
If you are not very experienced or a bit cautious, you may like to do parts of the trail first as training for the whole journey. Always paddle with a companion or group.
Coastguard Northern Region: Sea Kayak Module
Improve your skills or refresh by undertaking a Coastguard boating education course.
For further information see, Adventure Smart: Sea Kayaking.
Map and trail break down