3 hours
30 min

Duration does not include the steep Tatarahake Cliff Lookout Track. 

Information for this trail was last updated February 2024

This easy trail around the Ūawa township encompasses views of the Ūawa River, town and beach. 

The trail is currently marked by bollards with “no motorbikes, horses or cars” signs, and a couple of Nga Haerenga cycle trail signs. Ūawa/Tolaga Bay Township Trails is a holding name until the community settles on the trail name, but before long there will be trail signs with the trail name and distances, as well as an entrance sign, with a trail map. The entrance sign will be at the corner of SH35/Cook Street and Monkhouse Street, where a blessing was held at the start of the trail construction.

Apart from a concrete path from Monkhouse Street to Tolaga Bay Area School, the 2.5m-3m wide trail comprises compacted fine gravel.

Near Tolaga Bay Area School, a section of the trail has been damaged by recent high river levels. Some damage has occurred where heavy machinery has driven over the trail carrying woody debris from the beach. This material has been stockpiled just inland of the trail. Where the trail follows Ūawa River near the river mouth, there has been some planting of native trees.

The walk up to the Tatarahake Cliff Lookout at the northern end of Tolaga Bay Beach is a 10-minute, steep climb including steps. The lookout provides outstanding views of Ūawa township, beach, headland and river, Karaka Bay, inland cropping and farmland, and on a clear day, Hikurangi Maunga. Return the same way.

Tatarahake Cliff Lookout Track (Ernest Reeves Walkway) climbs from the beach to 50m. The Ūawa township trail is flat walking, close to sea and river level.  

Trail fly-through

History of the trail

The Ūawa community has been planning this trail for many years. While the township trail is complete, the proposed Kaitawa Estuary Trail connecting the township with the Tolaga Bay Wharf and Motor Camp, is still in the planning stage.

The aim is to provide the community with a safe off-road connection between the wharf and the township, linking Tolaga Bay Area School, Tolaga Bay shops and amenities, skatepark, golf course and other activities, with Ūawanui a Ruamatua Awa, Tatarahake Beach, Tatarahake Cliff lookout, and Ūawa Parade as some of the points of interest. The community plans to share their historical stories with signboards along the trail.

Tips & Logistics

The township and river part of the Ūawa Trail makes a lovely morning walk, or 20-30 minute cycle ride. The proposed Kaitawa Estuary stage of the trail will link the township to the wharf and motor camp via Hauiti Road. You can start the township trail loop walk at Monkhouse Street, and if you include the steep scramble up to the Tatarahake Cliff Lookout, at the northern end of Tolaga Bay (Tatarakahe) Beach, the walk is about 8.5km.