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Okura Bush Walk – A Hidden Jewel

Okura Bush Walk

Auckland, New Zealand

One way – 7.4km, 1hr 45 mins

If you live locally and haven’t made it to ‘Okura Bush Walk’….get out there! It is a hidden, little jewel of a trail where you feel like you’re wandering along a scenic coastline and bush track far removed from suburbia.

We started at the Stillwater end where the entrance is just by Stillwater Campground. The trail starts with a peaceful, grassy track that leads out through a protected bird nesting area to Stillwater “beach”. If you’d like to walk around the rocks from here to Karepiro Bay you’ll need to plan for low tide. Otherwise, you can take the marked trail which follows a steepish route over the headland. This option offers expansive views of Karepiro Bay and the Hauraki Gulf but in my opinion ambling around the coastline’s marine reserve is the more interesting route.

At the northern end of Karepiro Bay sits the restored historic Dacre Cottage.  Dacre Cottage is a small, brick building built in the 1850s by Henry Dacre who was the son of a retired sea captain that bought the Weiti block in 1848. This is a picture-perfect spot for a drink break or quick snack and although the building is closed up it’s worth a short stop.

Walking towards the end of Karepiro Bay there are some challenging stairs that will give your lungs a work-out. These lead to the top of the cliff where you’ll be rewarded with some amazing sea views. Make sure you take the time to look back and appreciate your surroundings. It’s an honest excuse to stop too! 😉

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Te Araroa Series: Orewa to Stillwater

Orewa to Stillwater

Section 25 – Orewa to Stillwater, Auckland

13km – 3 hrs

This portion of Te Araroa starts from the southern end of Orewa Beach south of the bridge on Te Ara Tahuna – the Orewa Estuary walkway and winds up at Stillwater Boating Club in Stillwater. Starting out early we followed the footpath along the pleasant, popular shoreline of Orewa estuary before leaving the walkway and weaving through the new, cookie-cutter suburb of Millwater which eventually comes out at the Silverdale Centre shops. 

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Cape Byron Track – Near collision with a kangaroo in Byron Bay

Cape Byron Track

Cape Byron Track

Length: 3.7km
Allow 2hrs

Byron Bay is a chilled beach town in the far north-eastern corner of New South Wales, Australia. It is well known for its relaxed surfing culture and the original hippie/alternative lifestyle which harmoniously mingle here. The Cape Byron Lighthouse stands proud on the headland overlooking the township and is an icon of Byron Bay. One of the best ways to experience Byron Bay’s beauty and see why it is so popular with visitors is by strolling the Cape Byron Track.

The Cape Byron Track loops around the headland which is the eastern most point of Australia’s mainland. It passes by several stunning beaches, weaves through rainforest and if you’re lucky or unlucky enough (depending on your viewpoint and the creature) you might literally run into some interesting Australian wildlife. The culmination of the Cape Byron track is the historical 1901 lighthouse at the top of the point.

The track starts on a wooden boardwalk at the bottom of The Pass before heading through a short bush stretch to stunning Watego’s Beach. I ran into a few lizards here..including this rather large fellow below. There is a cafe here if you are keen for a bite and the banana bread is reputedly one of the best in Australia!

Cape Byron Track

Do you think she knows she has a friend?

 

Cape Byron Track

Watego’s Beach

After Watego’s beach the track starts to ascend through the rainforest and then reaches a paved path that leads to the eastern most point of Australian mainland. It then continues up at a steeper incline to the Cape Byron Lighthouse. It was during this last stretch that I nearly got taken out by a small kangaroo bounding across the path literally half a step in front of me. Not having a clue what it was I just about fell backwards down the steps in my hurry to move away. He then jumped back on the path for a gracious photo opportunity and now that I could actually see what it was I was stoked! One of those moments when you just ❤Australia.

Tallows Beach at dusk

Notes:
-Walk starts at the Captain Cook carpark on Lighthouse Rd.
-Wear proper shoes and take water.
-Take your wallet if you want to take advantage of the cafes.
-There is a maritime museum in the base of the lighthouse which is open from 10am to 4pm daily

For more info on gorgeous Byron Bay visit here.

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