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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
(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).
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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