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Auckland Council

Te Ara Moana kayak trail

Te Ara Moana - the sea-going pathway - is a self-guided five-day sea kayak tour. You will paddle 50km along Auckland’s south eastern coastline, with stopovers at five regional parks.

About Te Ara Moana

Te Ara Moana is one of many sea routes used by early Māori to transport goods and food in their waka between settlements.

The iwi of Tāmaki Makaurau still maintain strong ties with the Hauraki Gulf, Tīkapa Moana / Firth of Thames and Te Ara Moana.

The sea route is between Ōmana Regional Park and Waharau Regional Park and includes overnight stays in beachfront camping grounds.

As you paddle along the coastline, you'll encounter natural wonders, wildlife and learn about our early history.

Te Ara Moana Sea Kayak Trail

 

Start your journey

Before heading out to sea, you'll need to plan your journey and book accommodation at our regional parks. You don't need to book the trail.

Our suggested journey takes five days and departs from Ōmana Regional Park. You will cover around 50km of coastline before arriving at Waharau Regional Park.

Day one: Ōmana Regional Park to Duder Regional Park

You'll start your journey at Ōmana Regional Park and paddle 11km along the coast to Duder Regional Park.

At Duder Regional Park, take a walk along the pōhutukawa-fringed Whakakaiwhara Peninsula.

You can camp at Te Wharau (Malua Bay) Campground, located on the eastern side of the Whakakaiwhara Peninsula.

The campground is an archaeological site so please camp lightly.

Day two: Duder Regional Park to Waitawa Regional Park

Day two is a 14km paddle to Waitawa Regional Park, which runs along the traditional boundary line between Te Urikaraka (Ngāti Paoa) and Ngāti Kohua (Ngai Tai – Te Waiohua). This stretch of land holds deep significance for local Māori.

You can stay overnight at the Waitawa Bay Campground, which has a small shelter, water supply, and toilets.

Day three: Waitawa Bay Regional Park to Tawhitokino Regional Park

On day three you will paddle 10km past Te Iwirahirahi Point, Ruakura Bay and Waiti Bay before reaching your final destination, Tawhitokino Regional Park.

Once you arrive you can walk back to Waiti Bay, depending on the tides.

This park and campground are accessible only by foot or boat. The campground is located at the south-eastern end of the beach and has toilets, water supply and a simple shelter for cooking only.

Day four: Tawhitokino Regional Park to Tāpapakanga Regional Park

On day four, you will paddle 8km into the Firth of Thames and past Orere Point before arriving at Tāpapakanga Regional Park.

You can stay at the remote Waikaha Stream Campground (accessible by kayak only) or the popular Beachfront Campground near the park hub (Ashby Beach).

Day five: Tāpapakanga Regional Park to Waharau Regional Park

The last section of the trail is an 8km paddle to Waharau Regional Park.

You can stay overnight at Waharau Tainui Campground. To get to the campground, you will need to carry your kayak for approximately 470m at high tide.

Get a copy of the itinerary and map

Book your campground site

You will need to book your campground site before you start your journey.

You can book at:

Book a carpark

You can park your vehicle at Ōmana Regional Park or Waharau Regional Park, but you will need to book a carpark space.

For more information, call 09 301 0101.

Kayak safety code

You are responsible for your own safety at sea.

Before you go, you should read:

You must tell someone about your sea journey. Follow the Coastguard's rules for reporting your trip.

You should wear a lifejacket at all times, and make sure to take at least two forms of communication with you in a watertight container, like a cellphone or radio.

Improve your skills or refresh by taking a sea kayak safety course.

In an emergency

In an emergency, call 111 and ask for police.

To contact a park ranger, call 09 301 0101.

Useful radio channels

​Channel ​Description
​16 ​Maritime distress. Repeat "Mayday, mayday, mayday" followed by your vessel description and location, until you get a response.
21 ​Continuous weather for inner Gulf and Waitematā Harbour.
80, 82 ​Waitematā Harbour and Haraki Gulf Coastguard radio.

Protecting Te Ara Moana

  • Tread lightly. Protect native flora and fauna.
  • Keep to tracks where they exist.
  • Keep gear clean to prevent the spread of weeds and animal pests.
  • Do not damage vegetation when tying up boats.
  • Avoid the nesting areas of endangered New Zealand dotterels along the shoreline.
  • Use gates, not fences, and leave gates as you find them. Only drive vehicles on designated roads.
  • Take all rubbish with you. Carry bags for storing your rubbish and pick up any you find.
  • Conserve waterways by not polluting them with soap, detergents or food scraps.
  • Use toilets provided.
  • Always seek permission to access private land.
  • Only use portable fuel stoves for cooking.
  • Open fires are prohibited.