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Mt Zion Hill Walking Track

Home  »  North Island Walks  »  Piha  »  Mt Zion Hill Walking Track – Walk detail

Mt Zion Hill Track walk is a medium 7.8k walk taking around 3 hours and 40 mins to complete. Great coastal views, walk through the old abandon tram tunnel and along the old tram track, awesome hike.

Please note: this track has been CLOSED by Auckland Council due to Kauri Dieback. It’s not due to open again until 2021/22. For further information on this terrible disease please refer to this website: www.kauridieback.co.nz

Quick Facts

        • Location: Piha
        • Distance: 7.80 kms
        • Time needed: 3 Hours 40 minutes
        • Difficulty: Medium
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip
        • Elevation: 265m
        • Wet Feet: Yes
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: No
        • Mobile Coverage: No
        • Last Updated: November, 2019
  • Track Highlights

    Great costal views,  walk through the old abandon tram tunnel and along the old tram track.

  • Track Quality

    Dirt track up to Mt Zion and down to the wetlands, from the wetlands you can ether walk along the sandy beach or walk along the old tram track.

  • Hazards

    Track can be very slippery after rain

  • Transport


  • Water

    The Pararaha Creek is good for drinking, so long as noone is swimming in it.

  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    Click here to see a huge list of great Auckland Restaurants

  • Area & Track History

    Piha and Whatipu go back a long way, in the late 1800 this area was very popular for the whaling and sealing ships when new masts were needed to repair the ships. In the early 1900, saw mills were built along the coast to harvest the hundreds of Kauri trees.  Between Piha and Whatipu a tram line was built up the coast along the wetlands.  A tunnel was cut through a small ride to keep away from the black sand hill.  At the Piha end of the beach, the track was built into the cliff face to get around Whatipu point, if you look around, you can still see the old rusting rock bolts that held the sleepers to the cliff.  When you walk south along the ridge from Mt Zion, you can look down to the wetlands and just make out the track.

  • Best Things To Do near this walk

  • Map location of Mt Zion Hill Walking Track

    Map of walk

Points of interest along the walk

In the map above, if you zoom in on the walk, you’ll see all the following track points and their location. Each point has photos along with a description about each one.

Point 1: Mt Zion Walk – Start

At Karekare Beach, pull into the car park on the right, lots of parking and toilets across the road. Walk back onto the road, turn right, walk over the bridge and turn hard right into the grassy picnic spot.

Point 2: Mt Zion Track

Follow the track for 15 minutes to the beach; the first sign on your left is to the caves, 40 min return.  Keep going, walk through the trees till you reach the next grassy spot, there is a toilet on your left.  As well as the track to Mt Zion.

Point 3: Mt Zion Track

Push through the bushes and up you walk.  Not too bad a climb, a little rough to start with.  About half way up the hill, there is a chair for you to sit down on and enjoy the fantastic views. Panatahai Island out to the west and back to the starting point you can see the surf life saving club and the creek you walk back up to reach your car.

Point 4: Mt Zion Track

Mt Zion 50 min, 236 mt climb. Mt Zion turn off nothing to see, good sign post.  Turn right onto the Hill track.  From here on it is downhill all the way, good views the wetlands and the beach, you can just make out the old tram track running up through the wet lands, so keep looking to your right.  It can be a little slippery if wet, take care.

Point 5: Mt Zion Track

Feel like a cool dip?  From the creek out to the sand hills, the track winds it relaxing way through small gully’s full of palm trees. Very green and peaceful.

Point 6: Mt Zion Track

(45 min – 1.6km) Buck Taylor track  turn off. Keep going downhill, it gets a little steep here and very slippery for the next 10 minutes.

Point 7: Mt Zion Track

As you drop down steeply keep looking out to the coast, you can just see the black sand hill and your track back to the car.

Point 8: Mt Zion Track

(30m min. 900m) Turnoff to Muir track is to the left and right will take you to the beach. Follow the track to the big black sand hill to the west. You might get your feet wet if there has been any rain in the last day or too. The track is sandy so take off your boots. There is a sign post just before you climb the sand hill, when you are standing on the top, walk to the right with the ocean over on your left shoulder. Once on the sand hill look back, to the Pararaha valley and the hill you walk down, (to the left of the photo).

Point 9: Mt Zion Track

(1 H.30 min.3.6Ks )

To Karekare beach.  Standing on top of the sand hill, look nor, nor, west . 900ms towards the big clump of trees that is where the tunnel is located.  And a good camp spot. Walk between the swamp and the sand hills.  More so to the sand hills you should meet up with the goat track leading to the tunnel.  If not, head for the trees you can’t go wrong, you will only have to walk over the sand hills.  Nothing wrong with that. Keeping the cliff face on your right shoulder at all times.  Keep an eye out for rabbits and pheasant there are a few around.

Point 10: Mt Zion Track

Here is a great place to camp, the toilets are reasonable clean, the ground is flat and grassy and out of the wind. Some shade if needed but no drinking water. Walk through the tunnel and follow the old raised tram track along the cliff face back to the beach. You might see were the park ranger has ridden along on his 4×4 bike.

Point 11: Mt Zion Track

When you reach this point, look out to the sea then turn right. Keep the ocean on your left shoulder. If the wind is blowing a little on the strong side, it will blow sand in to your face, especially if the tide is in. If the tide is out walk out towards the waves to get away from the sand.

Point 12: Mt Zion Track

Almost there, walk up to Watchman rock, when you reach the creek do not cross it, turn to the right and walk up the creek. Crossing over at the grassy area. And back to the Karekare car park.

All walks in Piha…

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Karekare 0772, New Zealand

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