This page contains information about the Whananaki Coastal walkway and the Bougainville Memorial walkway on the coast north of Whangarei.
9/11/2012 2:11 p.m.
What is the Whananaki Coastal walkway?
The Whananaki Coastal Walkway is now managed by Council and has recently been upgraded at its northern end, making it an easier walk. The Bougainville Memorial Walkway and monument can be accessed from the Coastal Walkway.
Both walkways are well marked and maintained.
The Whananaki Coastal Walkway can be accessed from the south or north. From the south, limited parking is available on McAuslin Road at Sandy Bay. Please park respectfully.
From Whananaki South, parking is available on Pukekawa Road. Vehicles with good ground clearance can park a short distance along this unformed road.
The Capitaine Bougainville memorial monument is about 2 kms south of Whananaki South and is only accessible by foot.
What's special about Whananaki
The Whananaki Coastal Walkway is one of the longer walks in the district with unparalleled coastal scenery for much of the way.
The monument is a destination, standing alone on the peninsular cliff top in memory of the freighter Capitaine Bougainville which caught fire and sank off this coast in September 1975.
It was carrying meat and dairy products to Sydney with 29 crew and 8 passengers on board. 16 people died in the mountainous waves and cold, as lifeboats capsized. The survivors came ashore on the Whananaki South beach and the monument names those who were lost.
|Whananaki Coastal Walkway
||3 hours (one way)
||5.85 km |
|Bougainville Memorial Walkway
||20 minutes (additional)
||1180 metres |
Approaching from the south (McAuslin Road) the walk follows an easy grade metal track for the first 3.5km, then it becomes a grass surface.
At the pine plantation, the Bougainville Memorial Walkway is signposted off to the right. A grass path winds through the trees for 1km to the monument.
At low tide, it is possible to continue along the path (with a slight scramble down the rocks onto the beach below) and join Pukekawa Road and the Whananaki Coastal Walkway, 630m to the north.
From the north, car parking is marked at the end of Pukekawa Road for vehicles with good ground clearance. The Whananaki Coastal Walkway rises up on the right and is a grass track at this point.
An alternative route to reach the Bougainville monument is to walk along the beach for a short distance at low tide then up the rocks where marked by an orange waymarker post, through the pine plantation to the monument above.
Dress to allow for rapid changes in the weather and good footwear is recommended.
What to expect
- fantastic coastal scenery, remote and exposed.
- fairly good walking surfaces but grades and length make this a walk for people with a reasonable levels of fitness.
- the beach part of the track is accessible at low tide only.
- gates are locked along this walkway. Stiles are available to cross fences.
To view the Whananaki Coastal Walkway map, follow the link below.
Whananaki Coastal walkway map [179kb]