About the path
This is a very nice short walk between two popular beaches at Whakanewha Regional Park. It involves some climbing and can be wet and muddy in winter. Good shoes will be useful.
You’ll see the shelly beach where rare dotterel birds breed and encounter some majestic pōhutukawa and pūriri trees. The whole walk is within the Whakanewha Regional Park. The beachfront at Whakanewha is a beautiful, peaceful spot and the pā site you will cross is stunning, with a mix of lush forest and open, grassy ridges.
The beaches by the big pōhutukawa and the campground are great for swimming at full tide. There are several beautiful beachside picnic spots. The path has toilets at both ends, and there is a public BBQ at the Poukaraka Flats campground. This is a great outing for families. This path is all on gravel and grass tracks, wear good shoes in winter when its gets a little wet and muddy. Please note: dogs are prohibited in this part of the park.
Start at the dotterel sculpture on the foreshore then head south on the gravel driveway towards the giant pōhutukawa tree in the middle of the beach. This is a popular picnic and swimming spot. From here, head back past the horse hitching rails and go right up the gentle steps into the bush, this is called the Rua Loop Track.
Near the top of the hill, turn right onto the Pā Loop Track which leads down to the pā site on the headland. There are many kūmara pits here – they look like oblong indentations in the grassy hill. Near the point of the headland, head down the track to the campground. After exploring the campsite and beach, take the more inland part of the Rua Loop Track back up and over the ridge back to the carpark where you started.
Beautiful walk on grass and bush tracks.