Time: 40 min one way
This track provides one of the best opportunities to see Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife in its natural environment as you meander through planted and remnant bush along a gravel and boardwalk track.
Tūī, tieke/saddleback and korimako/bellbird are common, but sharp eyes might also sight popōkatea/whitehead, hihi/stitchbird, toutouwai/north island robin and, if you are lucky, kōkako.
This track includes several sets of steps, so baby buggies can be awkward unless you are happy to do a little lifting.
Time: 10 min one way
This track runs along a rocky coastline to Hobbs Beach (named after the family who farmed the island for many years). The sandy beach is good for swimming and picnicking.
There are good views back to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, and walkers are often entertained by kererū/New Zealand pigeon swooping through the air in their impressive display flights. Look out for kororā/little penguin boxes at the side of the track. These are often occupied during the spring, and visitors may gently lift the inspection lids to observe the nesting birds.
Time: 30-40 min one way
This track climbs a short distance up from Hobbs Beach to join a boardwalk that continues steadily upwards, through some of the oldest bush on the island, including massive pōhutukawa and a large pūriri tree. Most of Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife can be seen here – watch out in particular for the tiny titiponamu/rifleman and elusive kōkako.
A 15-minute detour to the Kawerau pā site offers panoramic views back to the mainland. The boardwalk has many steps.
The boardwalk has many steps so this track isn’t suitable for baby buggies.
Time: 25 minutes one way
This vehicle track runs along the spine of the island roughly north-west to south-east. Those walking the Kawerau Track can take the Totara Track to join Ridge Road near its northern end. A mowed grass track runs parallel to Ridge Road for much of its length, offering pleasant walking through regenerating bush.
There are several tracks leading off to the east or west coasts for those looking to explore further. At the southern end, near the lighthouse, the grass track crosses a steep hill from which, on clear days, there are good views of surrounding islands and the Hauraki Gulf.
Time: 2 hr one way
The first section of this longer walk winds around the northern end of the island, where flax is the dominant planting and, in spring, kakariki/red-crowned parakeets are often found feeding. Most of the track is on high ground, and there are several good viewpoints out over the rocky shoreline and across to Wooded Island. The track continues past the site of Papakura pā and Northeast Bay, both important sites of early Māori occupation.
There is a side loop here to the Silvester wetlands, a great spot for bird watching. If you are lucky you may see pūweto/spotless crake.
The next section along East Coast Track to the lighthouse is beautiful, with views out to Coromandel and Great Barrier Island/Aotea. Both these sections include steep areas and walkers need to have a good level of fitness.
The many tracks and paths around the island provide lots of opportunities for round trip walks. Here we suggest a few which begin and end at the wharf: