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Tracks & Walks

Tracks & Walks

Waitangi Bay Beach

  • Easy 3-4 hours
  • Set out from Waitangi

Waitangi Bay beach offers a great beach walk which is suitable for any weather except during high seas.

You will enjoy white sand beaches, Red Bluff, periodically the odd seal, seabirds, including the Giant Petrels, are often seen, as are Chatham Island Oystercatchers. 

Te One - Waitangi Bay Beach 

  • Easy 1.5-2 hour walk
  • Set out from Te One

Enter Waitangi Bay Beach from Te One to enjoy a great beach walk suitable at any time except in high seas.

If you head off to your left you will find yourself in Waitangi or you can head off to your right towards Red Bluff.

Seabirds, including Giant Petrels, are often seen, as are Chatham Island Oystercatchers. 

Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve


Ocean Mail Scenic reserve includes the wetlands of the Te Whanga Lagoon, Lake Wharemanu, Lake Kaimoumi and the beach & coastal dunes at Kaiangaroa. A short track to the dunes gives views of the beach and sea.

  • A variety of walks from an easy 10 minutes to a full day
  • Set Out From Ocean Mail Beach

The Reserve & Highlights

Ocean Mail Scenic Reserve covers 831 ha of peat dome and wetland north of Te Whanga Lagoon.  It also extends over the road to Kaiangaroa to include 4 km of coastal dunes. Highlights:

  • Peat and wetlands
  • Dunes
  • Te Whanga Lagoon
  • Lake Wharemanu
  • Lake Kaimouni
  • Ocean Beach

A very short track from the stile takes you to the dune edge and views of the beach and sea.  Care is needed getting down on to the beach due to erosion and you will see evidence of the replanting currently being undertaken by DOC and community group.s.

A sign and cattle stop indicate each end of the reserve on the north road to Kaiangaroa, 12 km from the Wharekauri turn off.

Around 2 km into the reserve, a vehicle track to the north takes you to a stile over the fence from which the beach can be accessed.

Good views of the reserve are seen from the roadside which is elevated.

Henga Scenic Reserve (2 walks)

  • Easy 1.5 hour walk incorporating the limestone outcropts and coastal dunes
  • Easy 30 minute walk of the lower loop
  • Set out from Henga

The Henga Scenic Reserve & Highlights

The 170 ha Henga Scenic Reserve features spectacular regeneration by kopi (karaka) and mahoe, limestone outcrops and extensive dunes with endemic plants, providing spectacular views over Petre Bay.

Henga Scenic Reserve is located on Chatham Island's west coast.  

Proceed north from Waitangi township and take the North Road until just past the airport, then turn off at the Henga Lodge driveway on the left.

Public entry is provided by walking from the car park in front of the lodge to the northern lawn where the track starts.

From the entrance into the reserve at the Henga Lodge, enter the bush and head west. A walk of around 45 min will take you out to the limestone outcrops and on to the coastal dunes, then it's along the dunes towards the south and then back through the bush in a wide loop to return to the starting point. There's also a short loop that stays within the lower forest, taking about 30 min to complete.

J. M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve 


One of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand.  

Local Moriori practiced the art of tree-carving which are still evident on the Rakau forest.  These carvings are often referred to as ‘dendroglyphs’

J.M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve

  • Easy walk - 10 min
  • Entry at Hapupu

The Hapupu Reserve & Highlights

One of only two national historic reserves in New Zealand, the J.M. Barker (Hapupu) National Historic Reserve protects Moriori rakau momori (tree carvings). There is a 10-minute bush walk through part of the reserve. The forest comprises mature kopi forest with a dense understorey of mahoe saplings. Rakau momori have been carved on the trunks of many kopi trees, some of which can be seen on the bush walk.

To get there, head north from Waitangi on the North Road, turn right at the signposted turn-off 6 km from Kaingaroa. The reserve is at the end of the road adjacent to the old Hapupu airstrip. 

TVNZ Video Of The Hapupu Reserve

This is a 4 minute video created by TVNZ showing you the Moriori Tree Carvings.  Clicking on the link will take you to their website.

Nikau Bush Walk

  • Short Walk - 1 hour
  • Entry 1.5km north of Blind Jim's Creek

Particularly stunning in December and January when the Nikau are flowering, the Nikau Bush Walk is an attractive and easy walk of about an hour.

Head 1.5 kilometres north of Blind Jim's Creek and you will spot a roadside sign marking access to the reserve. To reach the entrance, walk uphill for a kilometre following the fenceline marked with orange triangles to an entrance stile and sign.

Nikau Bush Conservation Area contains 19 hectares of lowland broadleaved forest. Regeneration has been prolific since the reserve was fenced.  A short track follows a loop.

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