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Whananaki Estuary and Bush, Northland

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Whananaki Estuary and BushBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Chris Taylor

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Out and Back

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush
Plantation/exotic forest
Open farmlands

Beginner - Intermediate

4:00 (Slow)
2:30 (Moderate)
1:45 (Fast)



This track is currently closed: there are signs up and orange barrier netting at the entrance to the TA section of the track (Onekainga track) on Whananaki North road

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A great run for a summer's day. Start from Whananaki South and head north across footbridge. Turn left off bridge and follow track signs along estuary fringe. Track turns right inland towards and then meets up with Whananaki North Road. Turn left and follow road for roughly a km, looking for sign on right where track turns Northward off road. This part of the trail is marked with orange marker posts and runs along the fence line of a farm for a while before turning north-eastwards away from the fence line and into the paddock up a steep hill.

Keep following the orange markers until you hit the bush and the single trail resumes. From this point there is an increase in elevation through the bush until you are rewareded with some stunning views over the bays north of Whananaki. The trail then turns westwards and descends to a small stream. This trail can take you all the way through to Kaikanui Road if you want to extend the run, however, it is obviously possible to turn around at any point. For this version of the run, cross the stream (several times) and then head to the top of the next hill before turning around and going back to the start.

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Features of interest

Whananaki Foot Bridge - apparently the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere at 395 metres long. This is part of the Te Araroa Trail.

Make Up of Run

Untracked / Route only: 10%

Technical Single Track: 66%

Easy Single Track: 14%

Sealed Road: 10%

Route Data


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Travel to Whananaki South. Best way to get there (if not from the area) is to take signposted road from Hikurangi (Valley Road, Marua Road, Whananaki South Road).

    There is a bit of parking near the start and otherwise on the side of the road.

    22 km

    28 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    The trail is fairly well defined in the bush section. Just watch for the orange DOC markers, particularly in the section the crosses the paddock.

    Very patchy.

    Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    Take your own water.

    I ran during the summer and no issues. But sections of the track will be wet and muddy during winter.

    Livestock in the paddock - treat with respect.

  • Post run indulgence

    Hikurangi Four Square
    Good selection of colds drinks :)

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