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Day walks

Day walks, escape from the city unforgettable walks in New Zealand

  • 2 minutes

Bird watching hot spot Tiritiri Matangi Island Kawerau loop

Discover an Auckland city escape to Tiritiri Matangi Island and listen to bird song in the Hauraki Gulf.

TiriTiri Track, New Zealand @raincoatboy.woobiboy
TiriTiri Track @raincoatboy.woobiboy



  • Tiritiri Matangi Island is a stunning wildlife sanctuary for New Zealand’s native birds, and an important conservation project.

Your Auckland escape starts with a ferry ride to Tiritiri Matangi Island from Auckland Fullers ferry terminal. Plenty of time to absorb harbour views, yachts in full flutter and relax on the 70 minute ferry ride. Discover the outdoors nestled on an island in the Hauraki Gulf. Auckland’s backyard offers a world apart from the urban sophistication of a city.

Enjoy the company of volunteer guides for the initial part of the route. Purchased with your ferry ticket the infectious enthusiasm of passionate volunteers helps visitors identify bird species and evidence of their presence. The walk starts at Hobbs Beach. Look for nesting penguins on the beach foreshore. The stepped boardwalk climbs into an original stand of puriri and pohutukawa forest.


Look for tiny riflemen titipounamu weighing only 6 grams.

The Kawarau Track, joins up with the Wattle track providing you with excellent opportunities to see Tiritiri Matangi’s prolific birdlife. DOC outlines the bird species you are likely to hear and observe

  • Tūī, tieke/saddleback and korimako/bellbird are common, but sharp eyes might also sight popōkatea/whitehead, hihi/stitchbird, toutouwai/north island robin and, if you are lucky, kōkako.
  • Walk towards the lighthouse at the southern end for beautiful views across the Hauraki Gulf to the Coromandel Peninsula.From the lighthouse area, connect with the Wattle Track. This track is one of the best places on the island to see birdlife in action – see tui, saddlebacks, bellbirds, and even whiteheads, stitchbirds and kōkako. Stroll through regenerating bush, along a gravelled board-walked track, with some sets of steps. The track will connect to the Wharf Track, taking you back to the ferry.
New Zealand Native Endangered Kokako on Tiritiri Matangi Island Wildlife Sanctuary, New Zealand
New Zealand Native Endangered Kokako on Tiritiri Matangi Island Wildlife Sanctuary
Tieke Saddleback on Tiritir Matangi island, New Zealand
Tieke Saddleback on Tiritir Matangi island

Kawerau Track loop (3 hr) – wharf – Hobbs Beach – Kawerau Track – Ridge Track – lighthouse – Wattle Track – wharf

  • Length: 5 km loop track
  • Start/Finish: Tiritiri Ferry Wharf

TIP: Check ferry timetable as it’s only way back to Auckland.




TIP: Discover another Auckland day walk nearby, Rangitoto Summit Loop and Coast to coast check Ultimate North Island day walks for details. This walk is part of the Unforgettable walks in New Zealand series. See Department of Conservation brochure for route map details.



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