New Zealand Walk: Mo­tukiore Is­land Track

Walking New Zealand - - Contents -

Mo­tukiore Is­land is a 5-ha recre­ation re­serve sit­ting in the mid­dle of Parua Bay, ap­prox­i­mately 8 km east of Whangarei, 400 m east of the end of Man­ganese Point. Mo­tukiore Is­land has a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory, be­ing both an im­por­tant van­tage point for Maori in pre­his­toric times, and a fo­cus of early Euro­pean in­dus­try in Whangarei Har­bour.

Al­low about two and a half hours for the re­turn trip and al­low no more than three hours ei­ther side of low tide to safely com­plete the walk. The Mo­tukiore Is­land Track is about 2 kilo­me­tres in length and is graded as a walk­ing track.

The Mo­tukiore Is­land track leads from the grass car park by the Pines Golf Club to Mo­tukiore Is­land via the low tide cause­way.

Mo­tukiore is only an is­land at high tide - cross­ing over to the is­land is not pos­si­ble around high tide.

The track me­an­ders around the coast­line to the cause­way. You walk over gravel along a rocky shore­line and through man­grove swamp. (It is al­most in­evitable at any stage of the tide that your shoes will get wet).

Ma­ture Po­hutukawa trees are sprin­kled amongst the grassy pad­docks, and the birdlife is abun­dant around Mo­tukiore Is­land. Terns and oys­ter­catch­ers are fre­quent visi­tors.

Af­ter a fi­nal short climb to the pa site and the house site on Mo­tukiore Is­land, your ef­forts are re­warded with out­stand­ing views of Whangarei Har­bour’s coast­line and of Mount Manaia. All so sur­pris­ingly close to town.

Look­ing to­wards the open sea, you can ad­mire the im­pres­sive Mount Manaia and Whangarei Heads on your left. Straight ahead, you can see the nar­row en­trance to Whangarei Har­bour with Reo­tahi on the left and New Zealand’s only oil re­fin­ery at Mars­den Point on the right.

Get­ting to Mo­tukiore Is­land:

From the Whangarei city cen­tre, take Whangarei Heads Road and fol­low the road to­wards Whangarei Heads. The Mo­tukiore car park is sign­posted from the bound­ary of the Pines Golf Club just be­fore Parua Bay.

The road is ex­tremely busy, es­pe­cially dur­ing rush hour in the morn­ings and af­ter­noons with com­muter traf­fic. Lim­ited park­ing is avail­able at the grass car park.

Mo­tukiore Is­land is a lit­tle gem so near the Whangarei city cen­tre with his­toric and ar­chae­o­log­i­cal sites to ex­plore and of­fers a per­fect van­tage point to en­joy scenic views of the Whangarei Har­bour.

The is­land was pur­chased by the Crown for the Hau­raki Gulf Mar­itime Park in 1974. Since 1987 Mo­tukiore has been man­aged by the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion.

Above: View of Mo­tukiore Is­land avail­able to get there only at low tide.

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