About the path
The Mercer Bay Loop Track starts high up above Piha and takes you to Te Ahua headland, the site of an important Māori pā (fortified village), with great views up and down the west coast.
Start at the end of Te Ahua Road, at the site of a former radio station. Take the time to look at the many interpretive signs here. This used to be an outpost of some significance.
The track works best in a clockwise direction, so start at the track entrance at the southern side of the car park. Follow the instructions at cleaning stations to protect the kauri trees in the Waitākere Ranges.
The first section of the track leads down through low regenerating forest.
At the track junction, keep right and head towards the former pā site. If you keep left at the junction, you’ll go down the restored Comans Track, all the way down to Karekare Beach. It is a long climb coming back up from there, so if you have limited time, turn right to the pā site.
Take the track to the lookout point and check out the pou (marker sculpture) that marks the site of the pā. This is an important place for Te Kawerau a Maki, the Māori iwi that has authority over this land, so please stay on the track.
A small lookout platform at the end of the trail provides amazing views to the north and south.
Back on the track, keep to the left and climb up to the coastal route with more amazing views and wind-swept forest. The track takes you back to the northern end of the car park.
This is a beautiful coastal walk high above Piha, great for a family adventure.