A hike around the headlands

Walk Waiheke Island’s scenic Headlands coastal path.

Waiheke’s Te Ara Hura trail network measures 100km but most hikers choose to break it into bite-sized portions or day trips.

One of the most spectacular sections is the elevated coastal path that hugs the headlands from Matiatia Bay to Oneroa Bay.

The Auckland-Waiheke ferry drops you pretty much on the trail’s doorstep, so it’s a great choice for day-trippers. You’ll find it marked on the left as you exit the terminal.

The only thing you need to factor in is the tide. The track is not accessible at Matiatia 1.5 hours each side of high tide.

The path climbs through grasslands to the historic Mokemoke Pā site and the higher you get the more spectacular the views of the boat traffic and Hauraki Gulf.

There are secret coves that are perfect for a picnic or a dip, magnificent pōhutukawa trees to admire and enough ups and downs to get the heart pumping.

This is tempered with frequent stops to admire the beautiful views and multi-million-dollar homes that look out over Cable and Owhanake Bays.

From the ferry terminal, it takes approximately 40 minutes to walk to Cable Bay (not to be confused with the winery!) and then another 30 minutes to descend to Owhanake Bay and reach the turn-off to Korora Road.

On a hot day, it’s not a bad idea to wear your bathing costume and stop for a swim at Cable Bay before ascending a lot of steps, but thankfully this tree-covered incline provides some shade, which makes it more manageable.

The walk continues to Island Bay, but once there you’ll need to backtrack because the track from here is currently closed. Instead take the turn off to Korora Road which leads to Oneroa Bay and the village where you can cool down with a well-deserved ice cream, or a chilled glass of Waiheke rosé.

All up, the walk takes around two hours, so it’s a great use of an afternoon. It’s also one of the Good team’s absolute favourite walks!

Don’t forget to carry water with you and wear a hat and sunscreen as there is no escaping UV rays on this hike.

Track notes
Matiatia Bay to Oneroa Bay – the Mokemoke Pā headland walk
2 hours
Mostly narrow dirt track

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