Matapōuri / Whale Bay

An image of Matapouri Whale Bay.

Stunning coastal views and mature stands of puriri, pohutukawa and kowhai can be seen on the linked headland walkways between Whale Bay and Matapōuri, on the Tutukākā coast.

Dogs are prohibited from walkway, Matapōuri estuary, upstream of both bridges, on conservation land at the northern end of Matapōuri beach and in Bush Reserves.


Whale Bay car park on Matapōuri Road.

Public car parks for Matapōuri on Wehiwehi Road or Morrison Avenue.

What to expect

  • White sand beaches, bush and coast views
  • Steep drops occur in places near the tracks
  • Please leave your dog at home - to protect our wildlife no dogs are permitted in bush reserves, walkway, Matapōuri estuary, upstream of both bridges, on conservation land at the northern end of Matapōuri beach.

Matapōuri Headland Track

Grade:         3
Time:           40 minutes (one-way)
Distance:     1.1 km

This all-weather track can be started from the Whale Bay carpark or from the northern end of Matapōuri Beach. 

A circular walk can be completed via the Morrison Reserve Track or Ridge Track.

Whale Bay Track

Grade:          3
Time:            20 minutes (one-way)
Distance:      530 metres

Whale Bay was an ideal location for Māori to launch their early whaling missions and gives it the name popularly used today.

Starting at the Whale Bay carpark, a stone surfaced track of about 530 metres leads through the bush and down to the bay.

There are a number of fairly steep steps going down to the beach.

The walkway extends a further 50 metres to join the beach at another point, where there are also toilet facilities.

Morrison Reserve Track

Grade:           2
Time:             20 minutes (one-way)
Distance:       525 metres

Starting at the Whale Bay carpark, the track heads towards Whale Bay. The Morrison Reserve Track starts 75 metres on the right.

There is a flight of steps before the track levels out and follows the edge of the bush reserve and new residential development.

The Ridge Track joins from the left near the bottom. The track continues around the edge of the residential area to the end of Ringer Avenue.

Ridge Track

Grade:           2
Time:             15 minutes (one-way)
Distance:       270 metres

Starting at the Whale Bay car park, the Ridge Track branches off the Matapōuri Headland Track, roughly 160 metres along on the right.

It follows a paddock fence down the hill and some steps to eventually join the Morrison Reserve Track.


Whale Bay Walk Parking, 1070 Matapouri Road, Matapōuri 0173  View Map

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