Book a small group guided walk with your ferry ticket for an additional $10 per adult or $2.50 per child
Spaces are limited and booking is essential - book online with your ferry ticket to avoid disapointment
Your knowledgeable guides will point out plants and animals along the way, identify archaeological sites and tell you all about the early settlement of the island and it's recent history as a sanctuary.
This is your best opportunity to spot rare native wildlife that you might miss without a guide and give you the best island experience while still allowing time to explore the rest of the island at your leisure.
There are three routes which are used for the guided walks dependent on fitness levels and group interests:
- Wattle Track - 1.5 hours one way
This walk goes through replanted bush where the canopy is still low, which means you have a good chance of seeing birds close up. There are water troughs and sugar water feeding stations, which are popular spots with the birdlife.
- Kawerau Track - 2.5 hours one way
This is a varied walk that takes in the coastline, replanted bush and also an area of original bush which has some very old trees. From the top of the island there are views across the Hauraki Gulf.
- Moana Rua Route / Coast to Coast - 2 hours one way
This walk requires a reasonable level of fitness due to some steep sections along the way. It showcases the island’s position in the Hauraki Gulf, taking in both coastlines as well as replanted bush.
Wattle Track (Tiritiri wharf to lighthouse)
Duration: 40 mins one way
This track provides one of the best opportunities to see Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife in its natural environment as you meander through planted and remnant bush along a gravel and boardwalk track.
Tūī, tieke/saddleback and korimako/bellbird are common, but sharp eyes might also sight popōkatea/whitehead, hihi/stitchbird, toutouwai/north island robin and, if you are lucky, kōkako.
This track includes several sets of steps, so baby buggies can be awkward unless you are happy to do a little lifting.
Hobbs Beach Track (Tiritiri wharf to Hobbs Beach)
Duration: 10 mins one way
Venture along the rocky coastline to Hobbs Beach (named after the family who farmed the island for many years) which has a sandy beach good for swimming and picnicking.
There are good views across to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula, and walkers are often entertained by kererū/New Zealand pigeon swooping through the air in their impressive display flights. Look out for kororā/little penguin boxes at the side of the track. These are often occupied during the winter and spring, and visitors may gently lift the inspection lids to observe the nesting birds.
Kawerau Track (north end of Hobbs Beach to Ridge Road)
Duration: 30-40 mins one way
Hobbs Beach is an ideal place to see our shore birds, torea pango/ variable oystercatcher, tarāpunga/red–billed gull, tara/white fronted tern and also kōtare/kingfisher.
This track climbs a short distance up from Hobbs Beach to join a boardwalk that continues steadily upwards, through some of the oldest bush on the island. There are several massive pōhutukawa and a large pūriri tree, riddled with holes from generations of pūriri moths. Most of Tiritiri Matangi’s birdlife can be seen along this track — watch out in particular for the tiny titipounamu/rifleman and elusive North Island kōkako.
A 15 minute detour to the Tiritiri Matangi Pā site offers panoramic views back to the mainland. The boardwalk has many steps, so baby buggies will require lifting and carrying.
Ngāti Paoa Track, Northeast Bay Track & East Coast Track (Kawerau Track to Northeast Bay to Lighthouse)
Duration: 2 hours one way
The first section of this longer walk winds around the northern end of the island, where flax is the dominant planting, and in spring, kākāriki are often found feeding.
Most of the track is on high ground, and there are several good viewing points out over the rocky shoreline and across to Wooded Island. The track continues past the site of Papakura Pā and Northeast Bay, both important sites of early Māori occupation. The next section along East Coast Track to the lighthouse is beautiful, with views out to Coromandel and Aotea/Great Barrier Island.
Both these sections include steep areas, and walkers need to have a good level of fitness.
Ridge Road/Track (from end of Kawerau Track to Lighthouse)
Duration: 25 minutes one way
This vehicle track runs along the spine of the island roughly north-west to south–east. Those walking the Kawerau Track will join Ridge Road near its northern end. The Cable Track runs parallel to Ridge Road for much of its length, offering pleasant walking through regenerating bush.
There are several tracks leading off to the east or west coasts for those looking to explore further. At the southern end, near the lighthouse, the grass track crosses a steep hill from which, on clear days, there are good views of surrounding islands and the Hauraki Gulf.
3 Hour Loop Track (Kawerau Track to Northeast Bay to Lighthouse)
Duration: 3 hours
Do the three hour loop track that circumnavigates the island, taking in views of Rangitoto, Hauturu/Little Barrier Island and the Coromandel. It is best to take swim gear, beach shoes and sun protection as the trails on the northern end of the island are more exposed.