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Waikareao Estuary Walk

Home  »  North Island Walks  »  Tauranga  »  Waikareao Estuary Walk – Walk detail

Waikareao Estuary Walk is an easy 10km loop walk that will take you around 2 hours.

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.

Quick Facts

        • Location: Tauranga, North Island, New Zealand
        • Distance: 10 km
        • Time needed: 2 Hours
        • Difficulty: Very Easy
        • Wheelchair Access: No
        • Route: Round Trip Loop Walk
        • Elevation: Unknown
        • Wet Feet: No
        • Toilets: Yes
        • Dogs: Leash only
        • Mobile Coverage: Yes
        • Last Updated: July, 2020
  • Track Highlights

    The walk around Waikareao estuary is a mixture of boardwalks gravel and sealed footpath, you will walk the boardwalks through tidal mangrove and marshland. The small island you can see out in the middle of Waikareao estuary is Motuopae, it is a sacred burial ground so keep off. The Waikareao walk is very close to Tauranga city you can walk there in 30 minutes. If you can walk around in the early morning you will not be disappointed with the morning chorus.

  • Track Quality

    Excellent flat walking track, I have passed women pushing prams. Wooden boardwalks are great too.

  • Hazards


  • Transport

    You can walk from Tauranga city centre.

  • Water


  • Driving Instructions


  • Shops or Restaurants nearby

    You are only a five minute drive from Tauranga CBD with restaurants and cafe

  • Area & Track History


  • Best Things To Do near this walk

    Best things to do in Tauranga

  • Map location of Waikareao Estuary Walk

    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: Start Of Waikareao Walk

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.

Point 2: Coach Drive

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.

Point 3: Waihi Road

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.

Point 4: Chapel Street

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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