Te Paki Coastal Track

Te Paki Coastal Track

Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach

86%

Details

8 Rankers Reviews

8 Face-to-Face

334 Walking

18 Kaitaia

Information

7.2 km one-way | 3 hours one-way

The vast dune systems evident around Cape Maria van Diemen and Te Paki Stream are the product of sand accretion. Sediment transported to the coast by the rivers from the central North Island volcanoes has been blown up the coast by the prevailing winds. It has accumulated to form the dunes, some over 150 metres high, which are awash with vibrant and varied colours.

The dunes around Herangi Hill at the base of Cape Maria van Diemen are a colourful composition of reds, ochres, peach, white and golden sands. The mantle of caked sand is mottled with rock, shells of the flax snail and tufts of orange pingao.

This is another world.

Timing

At the southern end of Te Werahi Beach is Te Werahi Stream, which should preferably be crossed at low tide, but can be crossed at mid tide.

Access

This track is the middle in a trio of walks - all on the Te Paki Coastal Track.
1. Cape Reinga to Te Werahi Beach
2. Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach
3. Twilight Beach to Te Paki Stream.

The start of the first track is signposted to Te Werahi Beach from the carpark at Cape Reinga.

Alternatively you can start the walk from Te Paki Stream carpark, which is 4km down Te Paki Stream Road, 17km before Cape Reinga.

You can also join the walk via the Te Werahi Gate to Te Werahi Beach track.

Track

The Te Paki Coastal Track is a 48 km 3 day tramp traversing New Zealand’s northernmost tip.

The descriptions here have broken the tramp into bite size chunks, with Cape Reinga at the fulcrum.

This is the second in a trio of walks starting at Cape Reinga.
1. Cape Reinga to Te Werahi Beach
2. Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach
3. Twilight Beach to Te Paki Stream.

At the southern end of Te Werahi Beach is Te Werahi Stream, which should preferably be crossed at low tide, but can be crossed at mid tide.

Large orange triangles on posts indicate the track over the Herangi Hill dunes to the signposted Cape Maria van Diemen turnoff (45 minutes).

This 1½ hour detour drops down the southern side of a large sand bowl for 20 minutes before climbing a steep grass bank along a formed but unmarked track to the light station (25 minutes). Return to the main track by the same route.

It’s a further 45 minutes along an old vehicle track through low vegetation to the north-western end of Twilight Beach (Te Paengarehia).

Twilight Beach takes 40 minutes to walk.

Fauna

The almost extinct land snail Placostylus ambagiosus is prevalent in the area, but populations have been ravaged by wild pigs. Fossilised shells have been found in the dunes near Cape Maria Van Diemen. The species occurs only in the Solomon Islands and Fiji, suggesting the connection of these landmasses by land bridges to New Zealand in times of lower sea level.

Polynesian History

To Maori the area around Cape Reinga is sacred. After journeying up Ninety Mile Beach, a spirit will climb a high hill called Haumu and bid farewell to the land of the living. It drinks from the stream called Te-wai-o-ngunguru (‘Waters of the Underworld’) and travels down the exposed root of the legendary pohutukawa at Cape Reinga. From there it travels to the Manawa-Tahi (Three Kings Islands), meaning ‘last breath’, and on to Hawaiki.

European History

Cape Maria van Diemen was named by Abel Tasman on January 5th 1643 to honour the wife of the Governor of Batavia.

Twilight Beach was named after the wreck of the schooner Twilight on 25th March 1871, with the loss of two lives. In 1966 the collier Kaitawa also sunk nearby. All 29 crew members drowned. Wreckage from the wheelhouse was later retrieved from the beach. The beach was formerly known as Rahu Bay.

Details

Feature Value Info

Location

North IslandNorthlandKaitaia

Categories

  • Walking
  • Free

Contact

Reviews

Laura Leoekloek's avatar

Laura Leoekloek

Netherlands

Ranking: 10/10

We were there early and there was nobody else. Perfect!

Reviewed almost 3 years ago and experienced in October 2016

Conservation Campsite Pass

Save up to 70% on campsite fees! Support conservation and experience the natural beauty of NZ. 78 Department of Conservation campsites, one convenient pass.

Get the Pass

Ludovic Boiteux's avatar

Ludovic Boiteux

France

Ranking: 9/10

This track is around five hours. During the walk, we cross the beach, bush and a kind of desert landscape. This track was really full of diversity. I recommend it.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Top Ranked NZ Deals Pass

Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.

Get deals pass

Theo Pargemin's avatar

Theo Pargemin

France

Ranking: 9/10

A great walk! It goes through dunes, native bushes, incredible beaches..... just do it!

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Clement Delrue's avatar

Clement Delrue

France

Ranking: 7/10

Lots of different landscapes during a five hour walk.

Reviewed over 3 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Avoid Camping Fines!

Each camping location is approved by a regional council in NZ. So if it shows on the map, you’re allowed to stay.

The Rankers Camping NZ app, is also in association with…

Raylene Luison's avatar

Raylene Luison

Canada

Ranking: 9/10

Awesome four hour hike at the most northern point of New Zealand! Hiked through sand dunes, forests, over mountains, beaches and farmland. Awesome views!!

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in February 2016

Theresa Huelk's avatar

Theresa Huelk

Germany

Ranking: 7/10

Unfortunately, we got lost and never found Twilight Beach. The signs are really confusing and the walk not as easy as expected. But the landscape was awesome and still worth it.

Reviewed almost 4 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Camping NZ App Icon

Camping NZ App

Every camping site on your iPhone™, iPad™ or Android™ phone or tablet. Avoid camping penalties using this council approved app. Featuring offline maps.

Download from the App Store Download Android app on Google Play

Sarah_rae's avatar

Sarah_rae

United Kingdom

Ranking: 9/10

Lots of information at the boards - very well maintained path - toilets - good facilities, all free.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in March 2009

Bettina illmann's avatar

Bettina illmann

Germany

Ranking: 10/10

Short but good walks, food facilities, beautiful scenery - sand dunes were incredible, walking and jumping around, lots of fun.

Reviewed about 10 years ago and experienced in November 2009

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner