Last Updated: 4th Apr 2024


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Whitford Coastal Trail Loop

Whitford, Auckland

Submitted by Brad Stewart

Last Updated: 4th Apr 2024


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I've done it Done


Grunt Factor: 10 ?

Gnarl Factor: 7 ?








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Trail Map

Type of Run

Front country - easily accessible


Undulating, small hills only

Dog Friendly

Native bush




Run Makeup


Gravel Road

Farm Road / 4WD Track

Easy Single Track

Average Uphill Gradient: +2.2%

Average Downhill Gradient: -3.7%


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Estimated Times to Run







Starting from the Henson Road entrance you will run a significant part of the trail on hard packed DOC style (wide) trails. Really well kept trail and no technical sections at all. I very rarely ever see anyone else out there but if I do they are usually riding horses so beware of the horse poo!

During the first third of the trail you will follow a beautiful Auckland coastline and at low tide, be sure to run out on the beach flats which seem to go forever! And you will see a uniquely different angled view of Rangitoto. There are sections next to the rural roads but it's still DOC style tracks, so will never be on pavement or road.

From Whitford Beach end you follow really well kept 4x4 farm type trail winding through the back end of rural properties overlooking the ocean. You can never really go wrong as it is all self explanatory and "follow your nose" type trails.

The trail winds through some of the most lavish and beautiful estates in Auckland. You will also run by horses, sheep, goats and a few cows but beware, on a still day it gets a bit stinky with the cow poo smell. If you love wildlife you will probably see a range of birdlife on the coastal and bush areas and I've even seen fish life. At the Whitford carpark end there are rare bird nesting areas roped off. 

The Henson Road entrance has parking for only 2-3 cars safely without being on the road (which is rural).The area is very safe and I have never had reason to feel that it was not a safe area.I would not rely on any public transport to get to this point. There are buses from the Howick / Botany region to Beachlands but would not utilise this option as they are not frequent outside of school runs. Henson Road sits roughly between Whitford and Beachlands.

4 km

4 minutes




The only point that I will note is that when you come off the trail (that continues from Whitford Beach access) the road is Potts Road. When the trail hits Potts Road go right then after about 1.5km turn left on to Clifton Road for about 600m then left back on to Henson Road which will lead back to your car.

Perfect throughout.

Short-sleeved thermal top, Windproof jacket, Cellphone, Map

No availability for water refills i.e. no shops, no fresh water running etc

This is an all season country trail

The whole trail is shared with horse riders. I've run this many times and usually sees horses nearly every time.

The Stables Whitford
Whitford Village
Its the only pub nearby unless you venture out to Beachlands which you would visit Franklins. But the Stables is a great little pub with excellent craft beer and snacks. Great location also.

Lime Tree Cafe Whitford
730 Whitford Road, Whitford, Auckland 2571
Excellent setting, private and a real homely feeling. Kid friendly and a great cafe menu - excellent coffee

Trail Legend


Alex Garden

has completed Whitford Coastal Trail Loop 3 times in the last year.

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Trail Reviews

Nice and easy not hilly loop, exactly as per the description. Trail head was easy to find. Quiet trail: I ran it at the weekend and only saw 1 walker and 1 gravel bike the whole time, even on the sections parallel to the road!

Steve Organ

October 1, 2023

Nice easy run unless you're doing it at 05:00 in the morning and it's pitch black. Got a little lost at the last inlet following my watch (lol). Then my lamp went flat and i tripped over the only tree root on the undulating pathway. Nonetheless it was a pleasant outing and will defo do again in daylight to see what i missed. Saw a possum, a rabbit and loads of wildfowl....also loads of horse crap!

Jon Culley

April 29, 2022

A nice easy run (or Sunday walk!) with wide trails.

We parked along Clifton Road and took the well signed entrance there. You might find your pace slows of you start to ogle some of the properties along the way…

Paulo Osorio

October 10, 2021

Very easy running on gravel track the whole way around. The first half of this is nice and flat around the coastline with views out over the harbour. The second half is slightly more undulating, but only small hills that are all runnable. A nice 10km loop!

Ryan Cooke

March 29, 2021

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