Hawke's Bay Trails for Cycling and Walking

Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation (DOC) is charged with ensuring our natural and historic heritage is preserved for generations to come. If you would like information on how and where you can enjoy public conservation places please select the following link.

For specific information regarding DOC and the areas not to be missed in Hawke's Bay please select the following link.

Napier City Walks

Bluff Hill Walk

Start opposite Ocean Spa, go up the stairs beside Te Pania Hotel, go straight up to Brewster St, take path to Clyde Rd, continue up to Gladstone Rd, then onto Childers Ave. Go down the stairs beside Napier Girls High School, across Coote Rd, then up to Thompson Rd. At top of the hill, turn right into Lighthouse Rd, walk into Sturms Gully. From here, there are two pathways to choose, take your pick and venture up to Bluff Hill and enjoy the scenic views across the Port of Napier. Cross the grassy slope and walk the pathway to Hornsey Rd, and down onto Breakwater Rd which will lead you past the Port and back to the start.

Duration: 60 minutes.
Safety Note: Hilly terrains.

Ahuriri Estuary Walking Track

Start on Humber St car park, off Pandora Road. Follow the track and board walk across the estuary. This estuary supports an interdependent community of wading birds, fish, mud dwellers and aquatic plant life. The board-walk stretches out across the water for good viewing. Take your binoculars. The walk can be extended by following the southern side of the estuary at low tide past plantings of ngaio, karaka and eucalyptus passing through several land reclamations undertaken by the Napier Harbour Board between 1931 and 1989.

Distance: 2.8 km
Duration 45 minutes for shorter walk and 4kms or 1hr for longer walk.

Rotary Pathway - Awatoto - Napier

The walk can be started either from the Napier i-SITE Visitors Centre on Marine Parade or opposite Ravensdown Fertilizer Works on State Highway 2. Enjoy the sea breeze and sea views as you walk out of or into Napier. The walk is suitable for all levels of fitness.

Distance: 9 km (one way), 18 km (return)
Time Duration: 1½ hours one way or 3 hours return.
Safety Note: Beware of vehicles coming out of factory areas.

Rotary Pathway Westshore Esplande - Bayview - Napier

The walk commences at The Esplanade and continues on a flat pathway through to Bay View. Suitable for all levels of fitness. Enjoy the sea views and the scenic views of the Napier Airport and out to Whirinaki Beach.

Duration: 1 hour

Rotary Pathway Pakowhai State Highway 2 - Hastings

Start at Pakowhai Park on Pakowhai Road and walk along side the stock bank of the Ngaruroro River. Scenic views of orchards and surrounding cattle pastures can be absorbed through the walk. The pathway ends on the opposite side of the Hohepa Home on State Highway 2.

Distance: 7 km (one way)
Duration: 1½ hrs one way

Rotary Pathway Pettigrew Green Arean - Awatoto

Entrance onto the Stop Banks Walk is along the fence line facing the Pettigrew Green Arena, opposite EIT, Gloucester St, and Taradale. The walk runs parallel to the Tutaekuri River and is quite secluded and finishes at Awatoto. This walk is appropriate for all levels of fitness.

Distance: 6 km
Time Duration: 60 minutes
Safety Note: Slippery when wet. Unlevelled ground with a dirt track.

Park Island Walkway

There are several walks in this area all of which are well marked. There is a map at the entrance to Park Island, off Westminister Ave, indicating points of interest in the area. These walks are suitable for all levels of fitness.

Distance: 5 km.
Time Duration: 45 minutes
Safety Note: Slippery when wet.

Otatara Pa Site Walk - Taradale

There are two tracks to this great walk. Track one starts from the Springfield Rd car park, and the Track two entrance is off Churchill Dr, Taradale. Otatara Pa Historic Reserve contains two of the largest and most ancient Maori Pa sites in the Hawke’s Bay area. Point of interest: The area is wahi tapu (sacred places). Hikurangi and Otatara contain burial sites. No food is to be consumed on the Pa site.

Duration: 60 minutes.
Safety Note: Entrance onto Springfield Rd is off a busy Highway.

Walks North West of Napier - Puketitiri Road

Spooners Hill Loop Track

Northwest of Lake Tutira 1 ½ hour drive north of Napier

The main entrance to Bellbird Scenic Reserve is signposted 9.2km up Pohukura Road opposite a small parking bay. There is another lower entrance to the reserve 1.8km below, at the junction with Toi Flat Road and the entrance of Opouahi Farm. On entering the reserve the track is signposted to the left. This track is best completed in a loop, although you will have to retrace your steps for the first 30 minutes to avoid descending to Toi Flat Road and walking back along the road. The track is marked with orange triangles. Good shoes are recommended.

Duration: 2 hours return

Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve Walk - Mahia

2 hours drive north of Napier

Located 7kns south of Mahia Beach up Kirikiri Road. Walk through the gate and start at the beginning of the track which is well sign posted. You can either walk the whole track or just to the Look Out which has a seat to rest on. If only going to the Look Out, return on the same track back to the start. The walk is highly recommended, with hilly terrains in some parts. Suitable for moderate to high level of fitness.

Distance: 3.5 km
Time Duration: 1½ to 2 hours
Safety Note: Watch vegetation shrubs as it gives away easily in parts, path is narrow in some places, and has some steep stairs. Slippery when wet and unsuitable to walk on. Unsuitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs.

Morere Springs Reserve

2 hours drive north of Napier

At Morere Hot Springs there is diverse native bush with 4 tracks varying in difficulty and time taken from 10 minutes to 2.5 hours. Access for those not entering Morere Hot springs is 1km north of the Springs via Tunanui Road

William Hartree Memorial Scenic Reserve

45 minutes drive from Napier

Drive along Puketitiri Road. Keep a look out for the directional roadside sign 6 km past Patoka on the left. The network of tracks ranging from 20 minutes to a one hour walk gives a good insight into the varied regenerating vegetation.

Time Duration: 20 min to 1 hr

Hutchinson Scenic Reserve

1 hour drive from Napier

Drive to Puketitiri along Puketitiri Road. The reserve entrance and picnic area is adjacent to the DOC Puketitiri Field Centre. There is a pleasant 20 minutes grassed loop walk through open forest and clearings, including groves of cabbage trees

Time Duration: 20 min

Ball's Clearing Scenic Reserve

1 hour drive from Napier

Drive along Puketitiri Road 5kms past Puketitiri onto Pakaututu Road. Balls Clearing Scenic Reserve is signposted on the Right hand side. This features fine examples of dense virgin podocarp forest best seen from the network of walking tracks that vary in time from 10 to 40 minutes. Photography, bird watching and natural history studies are appropriate activities here. Picnic shelters are provided at the reserve entrance as well as a large grassed area, toilets and water. Please note that no fires or camping are allowed.

Time Duration: 10 - 40 min

Little Bush

1 hour drive from Napier

Just before Puketitiri settlement turn onto Little Bush Road. Little Bush refers to the smaller area of native forest remaining from the extensive earlier firing. This contrasts with Ball’s Clearing Forest which was earlier referred to as Big Bush. It is a private reserve, open to the public at all times. A 45 minute circular track passes through the regenerating forest of abundant ferns, climbers and native orchids. The low forest canopy enables rewarding bird watching. The more common birds are tui and piwakawaka (fantail) but also present are korimako (bellbird) and kereru (wood pigeon).

Time Duration: 45 min

Mangaturutu Hot Springs/Te Puia Lodge/Mangatainoka Hot Springs

1½hour drive from Napier

Drive past Puketitiri settlement, follow the signs to the hot springs, along Pakaututu Road and the Makahu Road. Mangaturutu Hot springs are a short walk from the road way. Mangatainoka Hot Springs are a further 3 ½ hour one way walk from the road end past Te Puma Lodge in the Kaweka Forest. Fantastic one day walk along the Mohaka River through beech forest with a welcome hot dip at the end. You can stay at Te Puia lodge.

Blowhard Bush - Napier Taihape Road

1 hour drive from Napier

Take the Napier- Taihape Road, Drive for about 1 hour, and turn right on Lawrence Rd to carpark. This reserve is 63 hectares of forest amongst last limestone creating unique rock formations and caves. There are various walks in the reserve ranging from ½ hour to 2 ½ hours. See Blowhard Bush Reserve Brochure available at Napier i-SITE.

Havelock North and Areas South of Napier

Te Mata Peak Walkway - Havelock North

25 minutes drive from Napier

Starting from the Te Mata Peak end is recommended. Te Mata Peak is one of the prominent points of the Hawke’s Bay region, being 399 metres above sea level. Through this walk you will encounter the beautiful views of the Heretaunga Plains, Hawke Bay as far as Mahia and residential areas of Havelock North, Hastings and Napier. Mt Ruapehu is visible on a clear day. The walk is best suited for people with moderate to high fitness level.

Distance: 2 km
Duration: 60 minutes
Safety Note: Hilly terrains. Brochure Available Napier i-SITE Visitor centre.

Redwoods Walk - Havelock North

Lovely scenic walk below Te Mata Peak to Redwoods. Enjoy nature and the beautiful views out to the Heretaunga Plains. The walk is suitable for moderate –high level of fitness.

Duration: 60 minutes
Safety Note: Slippery when wet. Hilly terrains. Unlevelled ground, dirt tracks. Suitable footwear required.

Tainui Reserve Walk - Havelock North

The walk commences at Keith Sands Rd, but you can also enter and exit this walkway from Tainui Drive and Hikanui Drive. The track runs through Tainui Reserve in Havelock North, and through a series of steep gullies. There are at least 5 exits on this walk way with clear signage on display. Moderate to high level of fitness is required.

Duration: 45 minutes
Safety Note: Slippery if wet or damp

Rotary Pathway: Clive - east Clive - River Road

Starts at Clive on Ferry Road after the bridge. Easy flat walking for all levels of fitness, Follow the Rotary Pathway along the Clive Stopbank to East Clive and then along the stopbanks of the Tukituki River passing by orchards, vineyards and farmland to River Road. 14kms one way.

Duration: 3 hours

Cape Kidnappers Walk

25 minutes drive from Napier

Drive on SH2 to Clive and turn left on Mill Road. Follow the signs to Cape Kidnappers. Park at Clifton opposite the cafe. Take an enjoyable scenic walk or trip along the remote coastline. On the way to the Cape you will view towering cliffs which expose the many rock types and fault lines which underlie Hawke's Bay. The cliffs are made up of sandstone, river gravel, pumice and silt, originally deposited between 300,000 to 1 million years ago. Enjoy close-up views of nesting gannets at the Plateau and Black Reef colonies. Easy walk along the beach with a steep 20 minute climb to the plateau which is closed between end of June and Labour Weekend in October.

This walk is along a beach and can only be attempted during low tide. Ensure you check the Cape Kidnappers tidal times and leave yourself enough time to safely return. It's best to:
• departing from Clifton to the Cape: leave at least 3 hours after high tide
• returning from the Cape to Clifton: leave the cape no later than 1 hour 30 minutes after low tide.

Occasionally, high tides and big seas block access along the beach.
The cliffs along the beach are unstable and slips can occur - do not attempt to climb these, and rest or picnic away from the cliffs.
Be prepared
Ensure you take:
• plenty of drinking water
• a water/windproof jacket, a hat and gloves, sunscreen and wear warm, layered clothing
• sturdy footwear such as tramping boots
• head torch
• communication device.

Duration: 4-5 hours return.
Safety Note: Check the tides with the Napier i-SITE Visitor before departing

Maraetotara Falls Walk

Maraetotara Road 45 minutes drive from Napier

Starts just 2.4km up Maraetotara Road off Waimarama Road where there is a white archway on a small parking area on the right hand side of the road. In 1922 the Havelock North Borough Council built a dam on top of Maraetotara Falls to create a head for a hydro-electric power station. A tree-shaded walk leads 10 minutes upstream to the falls and 20 minutes downstream through limestone scenery, past the old turbine house and a surge tower. Swimming hole in summertime.

Duration: 10-20 minutes one way

Mohi Bush Scenic Reserve

50 minutes drive south Napier

Turn from Waimarama Road onto Maraetotara Road and follow it 16km, then turn into Waipoapoa Road. Mohi Bush is signposted 2.2km on the right. Enter through the vehicle gate to the picnic shelter, toilet, information panel and parking area. The tracks are well signposted.

Duration: Short Loop: 30min. Long Loop 1hr 15min

Waipawa and Waipukurau - Riverbank Walks

50 minutes drive from Napier

Great riverbank walks that are of easy to medium grade. The Waipawa Riverbank Walk starts from the Waipawa Camping Ground. Follow the riverbank along as far as you want. Walkers may choose to take either the McGreevy St, Guy St, Bennett St or Shanley St Exit ways from the riverbank walk to make shorter versions of their walk. Return along Bibby St to Victoria St, then Harker St to return to the start point of the Camping ground. The longest route to Shanley St Exit would take about 1 hour. The Waipukurau Riverbank Walk starts from the Waipukurau Holiday Park and the riverbank extends either east or west. The eastern walk heading towards the transfer station is a 1¼ hour round trip, returning via Mt Herbert Road to the Holiday Park. The western end of the riverbank is safer to return via the same route taken, as Highway 2 would be the circuit Trip.

Duration: 1 hour or 1¼ hours

Sunrise Hut - Ruahine Forest Park

1 ¼ hour drive from Napier

Take SH50 South towards Ongaonga, before you reach Ongaonga turn right onto Whakarara Road and then turn left on North Block Road. Follow the signs through farmland to carpark. Track commences over the sty and is well marked. This track is one of the most popular in the Ruahines with a high quality walk through beech forest onto the tops. Climb for 2-3 hours to Sunrise Hut where you can stay overnight.. Suitable warm clothing and good boots necessary. Brochure available at Napier i-SITE Visitor centre.

Walks North of Napier - SH2 Road to Gisborne

Tangoio Falls Walk

45 minutes drive north of Napier

Starts 27km drive north of Napier in the direction of Gisborne, signposted on the right hand side. There is a small parking lot with some nearby picnic tables and shelters, and an explanatory sign about the reserve at the beginning of the path. For the first 20 minutes of so, you walk along a bubbling stream through a thick forest. The path is well-defined and fairly wide. You’ll come across the Te Ana Falls, which is the shorter but more forceful of the two waterfalls in the park. From there, you return to the path and head uphill for another 20 minutes to reach an overlook that provides a view of Tangoio Falls across a valley. If you wish to take a longer hike, you can continue walking on the trail all the way to White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve. This takes about another hour. The longer hike passes through a native white pine forest and provides nice scenery.

Duration: Waterfalls return approx. 40 minutes, Walkway to White Pine Bush approx. 1.5 hours one way.

White Pine Bush Scenic Reserve

45 minutes drive north of Napier

This walk is situated on State Highway 2 between Napier and Wairoa, on the left hand side 2 kms north of Tangoio Falls track. There is 19 hectares of native Kahikatea (White Pine) forest and beautiful nikau palm groves. There is a short 650 metre loop track, which takes in much of what the reserve has to offer and also a longer loop with some huge specimens of Kahikatea.

Duration: 20 minutes short loop, 45 mins long loop. Short loop is sealed and wheelchair accessible.
Safety Note: Slippery when wet, recommend good footwear

Waipatiki Scenic Reserve

40 minutes drive north of Napier

This walk is situated just before Waipatitki Beach 32 kms north of Napier. Take SH2 north and turn left at the sign to Waipatiki Beach on Tongoio Road then left onto Waipatiki Rd and drive 4kms further to the parking spot. Steep 20 min uphill climb through kahikatea and nikau palm groves. At the signpost take the high route to Aropaoanui Rd through kanuka forest and putuputuweta. After 20mins you can go up to Aropaoanui rd or left back down to the car park.

Duration 1 ¼hrs return

Waipapa Waterfall Track

1 hour drive north of Napier

This track is to be found 13km down Aropaoanui Road, right off SH2 29km North of Napier. At the valley floor turn right over two bridges, access is through private property. The unsealed road may be slippery and muddy after periods of rain. During the walk there are dramatic views to Napier’s Bluff Hill and Cape Kidnappers. The Waipapa Falls are 5m high and drop into a swimming hole behind the beach.

Duration: 2 hours return

Lake Tutira

45 minutes drive north of Napier

Maori lived seasonally at Lake Tutira and there are remains of 6 pa sites here. There is a basic campsite and numerous walks around the lake.

Duration: Short loop 1 ¼ hours, Long loop 4 hours

Shine Falls

northwest from Lake Tutira, 1 ½ hours north of Napier

At the Tutira store turn left onto Matahorua Rd and then after 5.5 kms veer right at the junction with Pohokura Road. Heays Access Road is signposted on the left after another 5.5km and you’ll reach the car parking and picnic area after a further 7.5km on the roadside. The track is marked with orange triangles and is suitable for all fitness levels. It leads to Hawke’s Bays highest Waterfall which drops 58m down limestone cliffs into a plunge which is suitable for swimming on a hot summer’s day!

Duration: 1.5 hours return; see Boundary Stream Brochure available at Napier i-SITE Visitor Centre

Bell Rock Loop Track

northwest from Lake Tutira, 1 ½ hours north of Napier

Turn left at the Tutira Store onto Matahorua Rd. The start of the track is signposted on Pohokura Road, 12km from the junction with Matahorua Road (Bell Rock and Maungaharuru Range are signposted), or 8.2km from the junction with Waitara Road. It is best to choose a clear day for this walk, because the extensive views are so impressive. A certain level of fitness and good shoes are required for this track. This track features a variety of vegetation and seasonal bird activities. The track climbs through mixed beech and podocarp to a forest dominated by gnarled beech and mountain holly trees and panoramic views the low canopy provides opportunities to view large numbers of tui, bellbird and kereru. Spectacular bell shaped rocks can be viewed close up.

Distance: 5.3 km
Duration: 3hr return.

Boundary Stream

northwest of Lake Tutira, 1 ½ hours drive north of Napier

Boundary Stream is part of the Nature Restoration project to protect native wildlife, flora and fauna. Same directions as for Bell Rock above. Boundary stream walks are clearly signposted on Pohokura Road. There are various walks around the Boundary Stream area. A variety of forest types, birdlife and viewpoints. Gentle land contours are ideal for a wide spectrum of visitors; particularly primary school children .You’ll find Kamahi, tawa, red and black beech forests, and a variety of birds including robin, whitehead and bellbird.

Duration: Walks range from 40 minutes to 5 hours.

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