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Day walk

Day exploring beyond Whitianga, Rings Beach, Kuaotunu, Otama Beach, Opito Bay

  • 3 minutes

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Awesome short walk taking in views of the Coromandel Peninsula with the promise of ice cream afterwards in Kuaotunu
  • Dog friendly option (on leash only)
  • Glorious glimmering white sandy remote beaches
  • Family friendly – engage kids in the outdoor activities
Selfie moment with Mum at Kuaotunu beach reserve, Coromandel, New Zealand
Selfie moment with Mum at Kuaotunu beach reserve

BEGINNINGS – MATARANGI BLUFF WALK & RINGS BEACH

Start the day with a short drive to Matarangi and lace up the walking boots. Enjoy a spectacular short walk with the reward of sweeping views of Matarangi, Kuaotunu and the wider Coromandel Peninsula. The walk is family friendly although there are a number of steps. Take your time and soak up the views through the regenerating kauri forest planted by Kauri 2000. The steps are spaced with enough distance between each rise to little legs to recover.

  • Length: 2 km (option of an additional 510 metres to cellphone tower & historic pa site)
  • Duration: 40 minutes

The walk follows the saddle between Matarangi and Rings beach with the option of extending the walk to Rings Beach. Kids will enjoy walking the easy flat gravel ‘road’ returning to the car park on Goldfields Drive, Matarangi. Walkers have the choice of returning on the same track to the carpark on Goldfields Drive, Matarangi (1 km one way walk) or following the signs to Rings Beach and returning via ‘Bluff Road’.

SAFETY

There are no lifeguards at Rings, Kuaotunu, Otama and Opito Beaches.

Rings Beach former Bluff Road pedestrian access narrowest point, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Rings Beach former Bluff Road pedestrian access narrowest point
TIP

Public toilets are located at Matarangi – Boat Ramp, Omara Reserve. There are no public toilets at Rings Beach.

  • Kids will be intrigued by the road closure due to unstable cliff faces and rock fall
  • Pack your swim gear and take a dip at Rings Beach
TIP

Do you want to know where the public toilets are on the Coromandel Peninsula?

Public toilets and boat ramps are Public Toilet Locations.

 

SAFETY

Use the cleaning stations at track entrances to prevent the spread of kauri dieback on your footwear.

Rings Beach, rock pools with safe paddling areas for kids, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Rings Beach, rock pools with safe paddling areas for kids

GETTING THERE

You can start the walk from Rings Beach. Rings Beach is accessible by vehicle from Kuaotunu from the eastern end of Bluff Road. Dogs are not allowed off the lead on any of the tracks.

MATARANGI BLUFF ROAD WALK EXTENSION

Follow the signs to Rings Beach. Rings Beach is a curved, glorious little bay with an estuary and rock pools at low tide. Return to Matarangi along the upper ‘road’ route. The former public road experienced a number of rock falls and is closed to vehicular traffic with notices warning pedestrians of rock fall hazards.

Max, travel dog admiring views from Matarangi Bluff walk lookout over Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Max, travel dog admiring views from Matarangi Bluff walk lookout over Coromandel Peninsula
Kuaotunu Beach, northern end, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
Kuaotunu Beach, northern end, Coromandel Peninsula

BLACK JACK ROAD

  • Lunch in Kuaotunu – ice cream or pizza or picnic in the reserve with its swing and estuary
  • Follow the road to one of Cormandal’s exquisite white sand beaches, Otama Beach. The magic half moon crescent is fringed with dunes, picturesque rocks at either end and inviting white sand. The beach is usually not crowded with people.
  • Otama Beach is dog friendly throughout the day (toilets)

OTAMA BEACH – THINGS TO DO

Otama Beach is a great example of natural dunes protecting the wetlands and land beyond the foreshore. Otama Beach, northeast coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, is 20 km north of Whitianga.

Otama Beach, a crowded summer day, Coromandel, New Zealand
Otama Beach, a crowded summer day
TIP

Make time to explore the Otane Reserve is protected by the natural dune system, separating the beach from the road and farm land beyond.

Otama Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand @idlepursuits
Otama Beach @idlepursuits

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE OTAMA RESERVE & FLORA AND FAUNA?

Otama Wetland is 26 hectares with a viewing platform and a short walking trial. The Otama Sand Dunes Recreation Reserve is 15.51 hectares. Otama Beach Recreation Reserve (13.79 hectares). The wetlands are part of Otama Reserve Volunteer Group. There are majestic pohutukawa trees along the edge of the beach providing shady spots for a picnic. There are rocks to peer in at low tide and an estuary with a tempting low bridge to water bomb into the tidal river (check water level before jumping).

Otama Beach

  • Toilets
  • Dog friendly
  • No public water supply

OPITO BAY – THINGS TO DO

Opito Bay is experiencing a surge of new development with holiday homes popping up in new subdivisions. The beach is sheltered from the ocean swells by Great Mercury Island.  There are pohutukawa trees for shade and the shallow beach is a popular spot with the locals. There is a boat ramp for recreational boaties to launch and a popular quiet bay.

Coromandel coast is well known for its pohutukawa trees, beautiful year round and majestic in bloom, New Zealand
Coromandel coast is well known for its pohutukawa trees, beautiful year round and majestic in bloom
Opito beach take the weight off your feet, Coromandel, New Zealand
Opito beach take the weight off your feet

OPITO POINT HEADLAND PA WALK

Opito Bay is significant for the local Ngati Hei, with occupation at Opito Point headland Pa reaching back to the 14th century.  The pa site is accessible via 196 steps at the southeast end of the beach. Access to the pā is via a staircase-track at the east end of Opito beach. More about the track to this pā. The Opito Point Pa Walk is approximately 10 minutes walk from the beach carpark. While there are no visible building remains there is substantial earthen works outlining stitches and rampants.

There is a walking track to Crayfish Bay. (approximately 10 minutes one way). No dogs allowed due to crossing farmland.

INTERESTING FACT

Handcrafted solar evaporated sea salt is produced from harvested Opito Bay seawater. Opito Bay Salt Co is an authentic boutique salt production.

OPITO BAY – SURF

Protected by Great Magnetic Island Opito Bay is a local favourite for newbie surfers, check out Opito Surf Forecast – The latest sea state, swell and wind forecasts and local tide information. Opito Bay is a beach break on a sandy beach. Check surf lessons – Coromandel for details of upcoming surf lessons as well as hiring of boards and equipment. There is an active surf club during the summer months.

This day trip is suitable for families and kids with plenty of variety from rockpools, short walks and the opportunity to learn to surf at Opito Bay. For more ideas what to do and see in Whitianga check out Whitianga travel guide – Best Bits.

Opito Bay, New Zealand @Aziz TN
Opito Bay @Aziz TN
Naturalised Queen Anne's lace flowers Opito Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand
Naturalised Queen Anne's lace flowers Opito Beach

THE END OF THE DAY IN OPITO BAY

There are no hotels or motels or even campgrounds in Opito so when looking for accommodation, holiday homes are the only option if you want to stay longer.

ROAD CONDITIONS – OTAMA BAY & OPITO BAY

The road is narrow, winding and at times single lane. Parts of the road are gravel. Care is needed and drive to the conditions. There is no public transport to either Otama or Opito and the road conditions are not suitable for cycling due to poor visibility around the sharp corners.

Otama Beach, New Zealand @Pseudopanax
Otama Beach @Pseudopanax

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE

Best Bits travel guide is published by nzjane.com. Owned and managed by PacificJane Ltd.

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