2.5 hours
No dogs on this trail
Information for this trail was last updated May 2024

Wander through the 374ha Māhia Peninsula Scenic Reserve to a lookout that offers visitors excellent views of the Wairoa Coast and the reserve.

The loop track takes you through one of the best examples of semi-coastal forest on the North Island's east coast. Tawa and kohekohe forest is varied with stands of nikau, rimu, rewarewa and a fern-flanked, picturesque stream. Yes, you may get your feet wet! Walking around the track anticlockwise is easier than walking clockwise because this way the uphill sections of the track are spread over the distance, rather than having to be tackled in one sustained effort.

A picnic area part-way along the track is a perfect spot to stop and have a break beside the stream.

Be aware that German wasps and their nests are common along this track in summer months. 

The track is clearly marked with orange triangles where necessary. Markers of other colours may be present but these indicate biodiversity work areas and are not walking tracks. Do not follow any markers other than the orange track markers.

Link to Department of Conservation track information

History of the trail

This is a good example of nationally rare, semi-coastal forest that was mostly milled and burned in the 1800s and 1900s to be replaced by pasture. This bush block was also threatened with clearance in the 1970s. The Gisborne Forest and Bird Protection Society pressed for its protection and the land was finally purchased for protection in 1981.

This scenic reserve is ancestral land of Ngati Kahungungu and Rongomaiwahine. Māhia Peninsula (then called Nukutaurua) was an important area of Māori settlement in pre-colonial times. The ancestral canoes Kurahaupō and Tākitimu landed on the peninsula. Māhia Peninsula people claim descent from the 16th-century union of Rongomaiwahine and Kahungunu. The peninsula became a refuge in the 1820s when Hawkes Bay was invaded by armed tribes from the west and north.

Tips & Logistics

This reserve is located 7km south of Māhia Beach up the narrow, winding and unsealed Kinikini Road. Car parks are at the reserve entrance on the left and right of Kinikini Road.