Nature and Walking
Giant kauri tree forests, gentle rambles alongside waterfalls, spectacular day walks along clifftop overlooking the Islands and Pacific Ocean. For lovers of nature and a good walk, Bay of Islands and surrounds have conservation areas and walking tracks to suit all ages and levels of fitness. Kerikeri town itself boasts 5 waterfalls within a short distance of the historic Kororipo Heritage Park! Here’s a selection of our favourites. For a comprehensive list and information and maps for the more challenging tracks, head on over to the Department of Recreation’s Tracks and Walks site.
Image below: Waiwere Waterfall; Wairoa Stream walking track.
Puketi Forest and Nature Trail
Whilst there are guided tours (and the especially popular dusk and night tours) the famous Puketi forest are less than 20 minutes from our villa and can be enjoyed at any time. For lovers of flora and fauna, the forest present a wonderful array of native plant species, as well as being home to many rare species of native birds. The one hour round trip Nature Trail is highly recommended or equally outstanding is the 15 minute boardwalk at Manginangina Kauri Walk, which has easy access for all ages.
Nearby Puketi kauri tree forest offers both accessible boardwalks as well as day long hikes for more adventurous travellers.
Rainbow Falls & Kerikeri River Track
For those that just want to view the falls, it’s an easy walk down from the recreational park to view from above or below the 27 meter falls. However, our recommendation is to stroll the entire river walk from the historic Kerikeri Basin, alongside the river and past the Wharepuke falls, along the fern sheltered track, past rock pools and finishing at Rainbow falls. Or walk the opposite way, and if you have the energy you can take the Hongi Hika and Kororipo Pa historic walks, which are quite short (but a little uphill) or explore the recently opened Wairoa Stream walking track taking in the ‘little waterfall’ and the stunning Wairere waterfall. The start/end for all these walking tracks is less than 5 minutes away.
Image below: the stunning Rainbow Falls (Waianiwaniwa) rewards walkers at the end of the one hour riverside walk from the Kororipo Heritage Park.
Russell and Coastline Walks
A little further north of Kerikeri lies Opito Bay. From here, Ake Ake walking track takes in an historic Pa (Maori fortification), and the stunning lookout across the Islands to Russell at Tareha Point lookout. Further to the north around Whangaroa Harbour there are more challenging clifftop walking tracks.
Moon Gate Villa is perfectly located to access inland Kauri forest walks, Hokianga Harbour, coastal walks and natural attractions.
Image below: The Ake Ake walking tracks, Opito Bay just north of Kerikeri offer vistas across the Bay of Islands towards Russell.