You can start the Waikareao Estuary walk anywhere along the track, walk from the busy Tauranga shopping center, or from any of the paths that join the walkway. The walk around Waikareao Estuary is a mixture of boardwalks, gravel, and sealed footpaths. There is an abundance of birdlife to watch and listen to on this walk. After the relaxing walk you can call into one of three excellent cafes to replenish the lost energy.
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.
I like to start this walk from Maxwell Road, it is only 200m from a very good French cafe with excellent coffee and cakes. This walk is very easy to follow, just walk along the estuary on the gravel track.
The Waikareao Walk has a short section of regrowth native bush, or more like scrub. But this is where you will hear the native birds singing to their heart content if you get there early enough. Coach Drive Park is the one and only toilet stop.
This section of the Waikareao is a lot more interesting, mud crabs running around the mangroves, and trying not to get your toe stuck in between the boards on the boardwalk. There are a couple of tracks running off to the right, these tracks go back up into the built-up area, so keep to the left and follow the estuary. When you meet up with Waihi Road, turn to the left and walk over the road bridge and back onto the other side of the channel.
All you do now is walk through the short section of park then down the track and alongside the loud motorway to Chapel Street. This section of track is narrow and uneven, but the boys are working on it slowly. At Chapel St keep to the left and walk through the petrol station, stay on the footpath and walk past my favourite cafe on the right, this is a good little shopping center. As you walk over the bridge you should see your car over to your left.
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