Looking for a demanding but rewarding coastal walk through some beautiful country side with stunning ocean and beach views, then Sandy Bay to Whananaki South Walkway is just what you are looking for.
Sandy Bay is a popular surf and swimming beach located around 45 minutes from Whangarei in New Zealand's Northland Region, the drive takes you past the beautiful Tutukaka Harbour and Matapouri Bay another popular Northland Beach.
The walk can be taken from Sandy Bay or from Whananaki South Beach, we started from Sandy Bay, here the track starts at the very end of McAustin Road a short distance past the beach carpark, there is only parking at the end of the road for around five cars or park at the beach and a short climb up the gravel road.
Over the fence style the track is a well formed gravel access road as this is through a working farm the first lookout is a short distance up the hill with a fantastic view south to Whale Bay Matapouri and looking north to the Whananaki Tidal inlet.
From the lookout the track winds down a long way into a very deep gully and follows the contours of the steep country side to Sheltered Bay here you can walk down to a stony beach and explore the coastline below, care must be taken to keep to the desinated walkway as there is private property all through this area.
The road follows the steep countryside for a short distance more before emerging at the second look out with beautiful ocean and headland views North to Whananaki Beach, from here there are no more ocean views until you reach Whananaki South Beach, but the steep and rugged country side more than makes up for the lack of ocean views.
Towards the end of the track at Whananaki Beach end there is a side track that takes you out to the Bougainville Memorial this marks the lives that were lost on september 3, 1975 when the 3614 tonne cargo boat caught fire just of the coastline forcing the crew to abandon ship 16 people lost there lives that day.
The Sandy Bay to Whananaki South Beach walkway will take around 1.5 to 2.0 hours one way depending on your fitness, the walk is moderate but maybe demanding in the heat of summer as the distance is long with some steep climbs so take plenty of water with you.
Sandy Bay to Whananaki Walkway