- 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
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’.
There are no lifeguards at Rings, Kuaotunu, Otama and Opito Beaches.
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
Do you want to know where the public toilets are on the Coromandel Peninsula?
Public toilets and boat ramps are Public Toilet Locations.
Use the cleaning stations at track entrances to prevent the spread of kauri dieback on your footwear.
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.
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.
Make time to explore the Otane Reserve is protected by the natural dune system, separating the beach from the road and farm land beyond.
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).
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDE
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