Last Updated: 27th Nov 2023


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Muriwai Beach and Trail

Muriwai, Auckland

Submitted by Reuben McGregor

Last Updated: 27th Nov 2023


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Closed More info

 Closed due to cyclone damage from February.

Please notify us if this has changed.

Grunt Factor: 7 ?

Gnarl Factor: 30 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Urban fringe


Undulating, some big hills

Native bush



Run Makeup


Sealed Road

Easy Single Track

Moderate Single Track

Technical Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +4.5%

Average Downhill Gradient: -4.4%


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Estimated Times to Run







This is a great short loop. Just be aware that Muriwai beach and Maori bay, as well as the reserves, can get very busy in the summer and on weekends. My favourite starting point is in Maori bay car park, as it is half way in terms of elevation, so there is still some up and some down to do from here. However there are several car-parks along the route, some down gravel roads (end of coast road) and some on sealed road (Muriwai beach car park.) If you want to go up first (as I tend to do) start running out the car park the way you entered until you hit Waitea Road, which you will have driven up to get to Maori Bay car park. Cross the road carefully (there are some blind corners here) and head left down the hill. About 50m down the road look out for Quarry Road track on your right and head up the trail into the bush.

You will come to a T junction on the trail - take a left onto the "lookout" track and follow this until you hit the end of the trail and emerge onto Domain Cr sealed road. Turn left and keep your eyes peeled for a left turn down what may seem like someones driveway, as the road peels right. Take the left and immediately turn right down the steps between houses. When you come out onto Motutara Road (sealed again) cross the road carefully and turn right and head up the hill.

You will then turn first left (about 800m up the road) onto Coast Road. Just after the tennis courts on your left you will run across a small dirt car park. In the far left corner run into the entrance to a trail "Coast Road Track". Keep following this track (across a few other tracks leading to the beach) keeping the golf course to your left. After about 1.5k you will come to a dirt car park with an information board at the far left corner. Keep following the path behind the information board all the way over the sand dunes to the beach.

Now you are on the beach turn left and run wherever you want (I find it easiest to run on the wet sand, depending on tide) back towards the Gannet colony. You can follow the beach all the way to the rocks, or on your left there is a small entrance onto a track just behind the sand dunes - it is just under a km after getting onto the beach. Follow this track until you hit the rocks at the other end of the beach and exit the beach to the left into the car park. Turn right and run towards the sea down onto some rocks and up the steps that are at the end of the rocks. Careful at high tide and in big swell also of this part can be wet and you may get sprayed with seawater, but generally it is completely fine. Keep following the trail round to the left (feel free to take some of the right's off to see the garnet colony) until you re-emerge at the car park at Maori bay.

A combination of beach, native bush and road, really packs a lot into a short run.

Safe car parking, can get very busy if the surf is good, as this route goes through Muriwai beach you can also park in Muriwai beach car parking

1 km

3 minutes




Generally good.

Windproof jacket, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map

This is a short run so really not necessary, but there is a Cafe at Muriwai beach called "Sand Dunz"

Parts muddy after rain, and big swell can make parts hazardous. See full description for details

The steps down to Motutara Road can be very slippery in the wet - take care!

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Trail Reviews

Great trail, awesome mix of beach, track, road and bush running. Unfortunately both the gannet walk between Muriwai and Māori bay, and the lookout track are closed due to the Muriwai slips in early 2023, so I had to go a different way at that end.

Hazel Dunn

July 30, 2023

Mid morning Saturday completion. Lots of people around especially at the beach. But beautiful and loved the lookout and quarry track. Thanks!

Gary Richardson

March 14, 2020

Awesome track, definitely a bit confusing in parts but the extra tracks are beautiful and lead to some gorgeous views. This trail covers it all... Bush, views, hills, steps, fields, roads, and beaches.

Amanda Signal

September 29, 2019

Great run on a glorious spring-like August morning! But there are a couple of errors in the description: two "rights" that should actually "lefts"! 'You will come to a T junction on the trail - take a **left** onto the "lookout" track' 'You will then turn first **left** (about 800m up the road) onto Coast Road.'

Alexei Drummond

August 4, 2018

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