Ōrewa Estuary Path

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This loop walk just a short drive or bus ride north of Auckland is perfect for anyone looking to escape the busy city for the day. It is also very popular for cyclist and residents from surrounding suburbs. 

The walk itself isn’t particularly long, but combine it with a swim in the river or at the nearby Ōrewa beach and you’ve got a full day ahead of you!

The walk is almost entirely along the water’s edge. It winds its way through parks, bush trails and even some residential areas. There are some stunning houses to admire, along with gardens, mangroves and farmland. For nature lovers, you will see kauri trees, pohutukawa trees, cabbage trees and flax, as well as plenty of wetland birdlife.

The recommended route is anti-clockwise, starting at the Western Reserve. You’ll find the Estuary Arts Centre here, which is a great way to start or end the walk.

The area was a significant food gathering place for Māori. As a tribute to this history, you will find Māori carvings in benches along the path. These also make wonderful picnic spots with the other ones along the way.

This walk is best done at high tide.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
        • Time needed: 1.5 hour walk
        • Distance: 7.6 km
        • Difficulty: Easy
        • Bikes allowed: Yes
        • Route: Loop
        • Elevation: Mostly flat with one small hill
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: There are toilets at Western Reserve and Millwater (about halfway).
        • Dogs: Yes, sometimes on and sometimes off leash.
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes, very good
        • Last Updated: November, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    This track offers views of the estuary. You will also see Maori carvings and native wildlife.

  • Track Quality

    The track is paved and well-maintained. It is mostly flat.

  • Hazards


  • Transport

    From Central Auckland, take the NX1 bus until Hibiscus Coast Station (about 40 minutes). Then take the 981 bus towards Waiwera. Get off the bus at the Hibiscus Coast Highway/Te Ara Tahuna Estuary Walkway stop.

  • Water

    Drinking water is available at the start of the walk, at Western Reserve.

  • Driving Instructions

    Head north from Auckland on SH1 for 26km, then exit onto Twin Coast Discovery Hwy. Follow this road for another 4.5km. Turn left right after the bridge and you will be in the Western Reserve, where you will find the Estuary Arts Centre and the skatepark.

  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    There are shops and restaurants at Millwater and at Ōrewa beach.

  • Area & Track History

    The estuary was once an important gathering place.

  • Camping & huts on or near the walk

    No camping on this walk

Map of Ōrewa Estuary Path

Here is the map for Ōrewa Estuary Path showing it’s location in New Zealand. You can change the view on the map to satellite if you prefer to see an image of where the walk is instead.

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