Whananaki coastal walkway

A photo of a couple enjoying the view at Daisy Bay, Tutukaka.

Enjoy fantastic coastal scenery on this six hour return walk between the picturesque seaside village of Whananaki and Sandy Bay on the Tūtūkākā Coast.

Walk across the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere, visit a monument to the Capitaine Bougainville shipping tragedy, and take in views out to the Poor Knights Islands and rolling farmland.  


Whananaki North, at the reserve on Whananaki North Rd, just past the Whananaki Beach Store.

Whananaki South, at the end of Pukekawa Road.

Sandy Bay, on McAuslin Road.

What to expect

  • Fairly good walking surfaces, but grades and length make this a walk for people with a reasonable level 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.
  • Dress to allow for rapid changes in the weather and good footwear is recommended

Whananaki coastal walkway

Grade:        3
Time:          3 hours (one-way)
Distance:    5.85 km

From the Sandy Bay end, the walk follows an easy grade metal track for the first 3.5 km, then it becomes a grass surface.

From Whananaki North, cross the footbridge and continue down Whananaki South Rd, turning left onto Te Ara o Tunua Road, then right onto Pukekawa Road before heading south parallel to the beach.  

Capitaine Bougainville Memorial

About 2 kms from the Whananaki end of the track is a monument in memory of the 16 people who lost their lives when the freighter Capitaine Bougainville caught fire and sank off this coast in September 1975. 

It was carrying meat and dairy products to Sydney and had 29 crew and 8 passengers. As lifeboats capsized, 16 people died in the mountainous waves and cold. The survivors came ashore at Whananaki and the monument remembers those who were lost.

The memorial is accessible at low tide only via a short signposted detour to the main track. Walk to the end of the north point of Oruaea Bay, then follow a steep path up to the monument. 

A photo of the Bougainville Memorial on the Whananaki Coastal Walkway.


81-89 Te Araroa Trail, Whananaki South Road, Hikurangi 0181  View Map

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