popular walking tracks in the area
Maramaratotara Bay - Back Bay - Ferry Landing - Return: Turn left from Flaxmill and walk along Purangi Road for approx. 600m. A signpost on the left side of the road indicates the Maramaratotara walkway track. Follow the bush track up, over and down the hill until you reach Back Bay on the other side. This track can be slippery and there are a few tree roots to be careful of. Along the way are some benches to enjoy the views (and take a rest). When you reach Back Bay, follow the walkway around to Whitianga Rock and the historic Maori Pa site, then continue on to the wharf at Ferry Landing. Follow the main road back around back to Flaxmill.
Shakespeare Cliff Lookout - Lonely Bay - Return: Turn right from Flaxmill and walk along the footpath to the end of Flaxmill Bay. Follow the track that runs up to the Lookout Road (via a grassy reserve with stunning views). At the top of the headland is the lookout, along with historical plaques detailing the history of the area. Follow the Lookout Road back down towards Lonely Bay and, if you’re not afraid of coming back up a few steps, walk the steep track down to this secluded shelly beach. Follow the Lookout Road back down to Purangi Road and either turn right for Flaxmill Bay or left to go to on to the Cooks Beach track.
Cathedral Cove Carpark - Cathedral Cove - Return: Drive to Hahei (approx. 10 mins from Flaxmill) and turn left at Grange Road, just past the Hahei shops and follow the road up to the car park where the Cathedral Cove walkway begins (well sign-posted). The main track meanders up and down following the coastline and through some native bush areas, ending in the track down to Cathedral Cove itself. The track is well maintained but rocky in some areas so you’ll need sturdy footwear. Along the way there are side tracks you can explore which take you down to the beautiful Gemstone and Stingray Bays. More Info on Cathedral Cove >>
Hotwater Beach Circuit Walkway: Drive to Hot Water Beach (approx. 15 mins from Flaxmill) and park at Bull Paddock car park (opposite the campground entrance). Follow the walkway sign to the path that runs below the headland, along the stream through groves of Nikau trees, through to the sand dunes and the beach. The thermal springs are on your left here and if the tide is right, you’ll see all the people and steam coming up from the springs. Stroll right along the beach, cross the stream and follow the walkway sign left along the base of the headland on a path that leads to some steep sections and steps before opening up to Pye Place. Walk the footpath back to the shops and follow the sign-posted estuary walk back to Hot Water Beach Road and the car park where you started. More Info on Hotwater Beach >>
Click on the map images below for a larger view of each of the walks.
walking track summaries...
- Map 1 - Maramaratotara Bay Track - Approx. 2.5 km loop, good level of fitness required, allow 1 - 1.5 hours
- Map 2 - Shakespeare Cliff Lookout - Approx. 3 km loop, medium difficulty (some steep areas), allow 1 - 1.5 hours
- Map 3 - Cathedral Cove - Approx. 2.5 km return, medium difficulty (some steep areas and steps), allow 1 - 1.5 hours
- Map 4 - Hotwater Beach Circuit - Approx 2 km loop, medium difficulty (some steep areas), allow 1 hour (or more if you are going to the thermal springs)