Please note:

All walks depart from the Russell Bowling Club

The stated walk time is for meeting at the Russell Bowling Club

1 Okiato to Orongo

Basics

$30 – Friday 29th Sept 1:00 pm

Please note: This walk is part of the Full Circle Walk

3 Hours walking with a 45 minute refreshment stop.

6 kms GRADE: medium

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Take a short bus ride out to Okiato, the site of New Zealand’s first capital. Hike back through flat coastal wetland, climb through a mixture of regenerating and magical old native forest, step by step up the valley with points of interest to view where you have been and where you are going. Descend to the stunning mangrove boardwalk of Orongo Bay where you will be transported back to the Russell Bowling Club and for fresh whitebait fritters.  The bar is also open.

Category: Dog and family friendly. (All dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.) Max. Walkers: 15

2 Full Circle

Basics

$35 – Sat 30th Sept 8:30 am 

Please note: The Okiato to Orongo Bay walk is part of this walk

6 Hours – 17 kms GRADE: hard

Category: Dog and family friendly. (All dogs must be kept on a lead at all times.) Max. Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Catch the passenger ferry from Russell to Paihia, stroll around the many points, beaches and bays with the matching changes of flora and fauna all the way to Opua.  The inner bay landscape now hides history, lost to age in progress, army camps, boat building sites.  There you catch the car ferry for a 5 minute crossing to Okiato, the site of New Zealand’s first capital.  From Okiato you walk on boardwalks, encounter some challenging terrain and then settle into more stunning mangrove boardwalks, before following a small stretch of road back into Russell. Perhaps you’ll recognise the birdsong, do keep an eye out for Weka between Okiato and Russell.  Stop for a refreshment at Opua Store and Russell Garage.

3 We’re working on it!

Basics
Details
Map

4 Tapeka

Basics

$20 – Sat 30th Sept 8:30 am & Sun 1st Sept 9:30 am 

5 Hours – 6 kms GRADE: medium

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

With one eye on the tide take a coastal perspective from Russell, ramble round the rocks, along beaches of historical significance and bush walks out to the high point of Tapeka for stunning extensive views over the outer bay and consider the arrival of Polynesian and European seafarers, past and present. Then walk along “one mans path” up to Te Maiki, Flagstaff Hill with time to discuss the famous flagpole and infamous battles while overlooking the now peaceful township of Russell.

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 20

Video

5 Omata Vineyard

Basics

$70 – Friday 29th Sept 3pm OR Sat 30th Sept 11am

Friday, arrive about 5pm at Omata Vineyard for pizza and wine tasting.  

Saturday, arrive about 1pm.  For platters and wine tasting

Once at Omata you will be there for about 1.5hours before taking a bus home

2.5 Hour walk, plus 1.5 hours at Omata – 7.5 kms GRADE: hard

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Detials

2  Omata Vineyard Walks to choose from. 

Friday afternoon/evening we have a walk that takes you to the vineyard for wine tasting and delicious wood fired homemade pizza! 

Saturday walk to the vineyard for a daytime experience of wine tasting and sumptuous platters!   Its’ a hard choice!!

This is a walk for those who like a small reward at the end (read a few glasses of wine and some good food!)

Gather at the Russell Bowling Club for what is normally a very light hearted walk. Alex and Donna as the guides always notice the enthusiasm start to build. Fair enough too, the walk is by no means a stroll in the park, but the destination what we were all heading for and well worth it!

Head through the township, past some significant heritage buildings, then up ‘that hill’ which signifies the real start of the walk. From there it is an easy pleasant walk down to sea level and through the mangrove boardwalk, stopping briefly to learn about the fascinating history of Tikitikiioure and its mining heritage. The stories of manual labour hardship and a hillside village that was, at its time, larger then Russell township.  (Russell was not all about whalers and wenches!)

Thankful that we live in a day and age where manually chipping away at the mineshaft is behind us, we stroll round beautiful Orongo Bay taking in the extensive oyster farm operations. One more steep climb up and over, through well-established native bush. Plenty of bird life and a cheery atmosphere to keep you well entertained; your glass of wine will be well appreciated.

After a couple of hours of talk talk walk walk, you come to the beautiful grounds of Omata Vineyard. Met by Bruce the resident viticulturist who humorously and skilfully presents a taster of all the wines Omata Estate have in their stable. Noting that everyone is famished, Bruce lays on homemade pizzas fired up in his Pizza Oven or platters depending on which walk you choose –which you can wash down with a lovely glass of wine.

Category:No dogs, Children at your discretion. Max. Walkers: 20

Video

6 Urupukapuka Island

Basics

$50 – Sat 30th Sept 8:30 am OR Sun 1st Oct 8:30 am 

6 Hours – 11 kms GRADE: fairly hard

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Travel by commercial launch to Otehei Bay, getting a feel for the Bay of Islands as you venture into the inner islands where you will disembark at Urupukapuka Island.  Urupukapuka Island has great historical archaeological significance and is the largest island in the Bay with spectacular views of the Bay of Islands.   The forest holds treasures of Project Island Song. North Island robin and saddleback are the jewels amongst the abundent tui and fantail population.  From sheltered bays, ancient pa, a wildlife hide and created wetland, climb through regenerating Manuka forest to scintillating views along the impressive seaward coastline, while tucking into your lunch.  Looping around the island with one view to Zane Grey’s campsite and the other out to the waters he fished, return for some refreshment from the restaurant before catching your vessel back to Russell.

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 20

7 Moturua & Motuarohia Islands

Basics

$90 – Sat 30th Sept 7:30 am OR Sun 1st Oct 7:30 am 

Walks are 4 hours and 4 hours on the boat, total duration 8 Hours

Approx 5 km walking

GRADE: fairly hard

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Travel aboard the R Tucker Thompson, which is a total experience in itself – this amazing olde tall ship with its fantastic crew is a real treat and a perfect way to travel to your destination in the Bay of Islands.

Sail past the place where Capt. Cook anchored in 1769 just before we land barefooted on Motuarohia Is.  Hear some history of Cook, the firing of a cannon and the theft of kumara from the locals. Learn of the ghastly murder of the whole family of Robertons who farmed there. Re-join the ship for the short voyage to Moturua.  More murders happened here…lots more.  Stand where the French, under the command of Marian du Fresne set up their hospital and find out why he never sailed again…anywhere!  More murders to punish Maori for something they didn’t do. Not that lot anyway. See where the WW 11 Bay of Island mine field was operated from and the history of an alcoholic survivor in a Kentucky rest home

Marvel, (or not) at stories of a Royal visit in 1974 as told by caretakers who survived it!  Skirt around an early Maori midden from the 1300’s and imagine the human bones it contains. Do not dig for them! Visit the bay where the Clendon family farmed and find out how far some cattle can swim. 

Observe the feathered wild life, Saddlebacks, Tui, Fantails, Nth Island robin, (which is the latest release on the islands), and the very endangered dotterel who insist on nesting near the  high tide mark which further endangers its existence. Be amazed at the 9 week survival story of the gallant hunted mouse, who (thankfully) was eventually murdered too. 

The views, lagoons, beaches and bush leave you breathless on every step of the journey.  This day trip is truly entertaining with its stories and majestic in its beauty.

A full day with some of the best the bay has to offer.

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 20

Video

8 Whangamumu

Basics

$40 – Sat 30th Sept 07:30 am 

6 Hours – 5 kms 

GRADE: medium

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Take a 30 minute bus ride from Russell to the roadside entrance. Get kitted up and comfortable, head across the Tongatapu wetland to start a 40 minute climb to above the tranquil harbour of Whangamumu. A popular anchorage known by coastal travellers as a safe port in a storm.   Descend to the beach and take opportunity to visit the remains of a whaling station abandoned in 1932. There will be a small amount of water to paddle through – so be prepared to get wet feet!  Have lunch amongst the quiet of empty industry.   A short walk to a picturesque waterfall, refill the drink bottle, then make your way back to the main beach, dry feet,  boots on and settle in for the steady climb then a leisurely descent to your bus. 

Category: Family friendly. Max. Walkers: 20

9 Pukehuiabook here3

Basics

$40 – Sat 30th 07:30 am 

7 Hours – Distance is 8 kms GRADE: hard

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

A forty minute bus ride out will let your breakfast settle as you journey to Rawhiti and the start of your walk.

Pukehuia is a significant maunga or mountain, on the landscape of the southern arm of the Bay of islands , Ipipiri. The first hour is spent ascending to the high point with frequent stops for rests and photographs. The stop at the top is an opportunity to bunch the group up again and fill the water bottles – prefect for that ultimate photo of the Bay of Islands.

The hard yards complete the rest of the walk journeys down a south facing ridge with young kauri grove mingled with mature podocarp and broadleaf forming the canopy.

Witness the recovery from pest control efforts , enjoy views of distant    Mimiwhangata and the horizontal Poor Knights

Joining up with the Whangamumu Track options to spend time above the harbour before turning your back to the ocean and descending down the old farm track to Tongatapu Wetland, a local restoration project of replanting. Time to search for the elusive fern bird until your bus arrives

Category: Suitable for children 10 years or over.

Max. Walkers: 20

10 Deep Water Covebook here3

Basics

$98  – Fri 29th Sept 07:00 am OR Sat 30th 07:00 am

Duration 5 Hours

Distance is 6 kms 

GRADE: hard

Category: A good level of Fitness Required.  NB: In case of bad weather the walk will change to Pukehuia.

Max. Walkers: 20 

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

An early morning water taxi ride through the montage of islands to the edge of the bay and Cape Brett peninsula. Scramble ashore at the Old Landing, step by step up to the last lighthouse keepers house. Hear the stories as you settle in for a hard climb up past the lighthouse, with many photo stops along the way. Once cresting the last of many teasing peaks navigate your way through salt burnt tussock country, windswept stunted Manuka and glimpses of mature forest for a well-earned lunch break looking back over your trail. Re energised wander down through significant canopy forests, evidence of Maori habitation before descending to the old fishing village of Deep Water Cove and your water taxi ride home to Russell.

Category: A good level of Fitness Required. NB: In case of bad weather the walk will change to Pukehuia.

Max. Walkers: 20

11 Opua Forest book here3

Basics

$40 – Sat 30th Sept  08:30 am 

3 Hour walk

GRADE: fairly hard

Max. Walkers: 15 

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

This walk is for all the tree huggers out there. You will take a short bus ride to the Opua Forest where you will start walking amongst the majestic kauri. Be in awe of these amazing trees. The viewpoint is in the crown of the trees.

Backtrack the road a bit to the ridge line track, which will take you to the School Road lookout.

On the way through this regenerating forest you will be amazed by the variety of trees you see. A bush lovers delight.

The view at the lookout takes in most of the Bay. Waitangi, Russell, Te Haumi,  and Opua are close by. Piercy Island, the home of “the hole in the rock”, calls from afar.

From the lookout, it’s all downhill to the ferry at Paihia.

Feel free to wander at your leisure around Paihia  or back to the base for a social drink together.

12 Haruru Falls kayak and walkbook here3

Basics

$70 – Sat 30th Sept 09:30 am 

Duration – arrive back in Russell at 3.45pm.  There is approximately 2 hours of kayaking and 2 hours of walk, the extra time is 30mins each way on the ferry and lunch.

Ticket includes ferry and kayak.

Grade – Easy to Medium.

Category: Family Friendly. Max. Walkers: 20.

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Catch a ferry from Russell to Waitangi.   Enjoy the scenic walk along the Waitangi River to Haruru Falls.  Enjoy your lunch at Haruru Falls before your kayak back.  The kayak is a relaxing paddle down the sheltered waters of the historic Waitangi River, experience the amazing unique horseshoe shaped Haruru waterfall with a chance of exploring the fascinating mangrove forest. Your guides will share with you fauna, flora, local history and Maori legends while being your personal photographers. Catch a ferry back to Russell from Waitangi. No experience required, suitable for all.

13 Tour of Russell

Basics

$10 – Sat 30th Sept 9:30am OR Sun 1st Oct 9:30am 

1 Hour – 2 kms. GRADE: easy

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Based in Russell, this short tour is rich in history and historical sites. A fascinating guided walk through town leads you to buildings of archaeological significance: Christ Church (the oldest existing church in New Zealand today), Russell Museum and finishing at Pompallier Mission with option of a tour of Pompallier.

14 Club Walkbook here3

Basics

Free – Fri 29th 3:30 pm 

4 Hour – 2 kms GRADE: easy

Category: Suitable for children 10 yrs or over. Max. Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

An introduction to the heart of the Russell community. Visit the Boating club, threatening to float away with sea level rising; The Russell Bowling club the family club with whanau cooks serve sit and talk. The Swordfish club – the oldest game fishing club in New Zealand and RSA with its own history of fighting for survival. Take in the photographic history and hear the stories behind the memorabilia which help keep our town alive.  Once you have visited each club and appraised each menu you can return for dinner and a cosy night in with the locals.

book here315 Rakaumangamanga – Cape Brett Lighthouse Overnight Walk

 

Basics

$190  – Fri 29th Sept 6:00 am 

– includes dinner, breakfast, accommodation, track fees, guides and water taxis

8 Hour – 16 kms **This is an overnight trip!** 

GRADE: hard

Category: Family Friendly. Max. Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

You are going to want a good breakfast to take this on, for those who want to walk all day. 

Water taxi out to Rawhiti, with a wet feet landing, boots on and the the start of the Cape Brett Walkway. This must be one of the best hikes in New Zealand – a must do!  A difficult but totally rewarding walk.  You will see evidence of the pest control operation, crossing over a pest proof fence, the regrowth of plant species, presence of Fantail, Wood Pigeon, Pied Tit and Tui.  Once you have finished the first hour and conquered Pukehuia, snack and rest then enjoy the ridge walk out along the entire Cape Brett Peninsula. With views over the bay behind you enjoy the sights to the south Te Toroa, Whangaruru and the Poor Knights. With a pack full of your daily requirements you will arrive at the lighthouse keepers accommodation just in time for sunset.

All the ingredients will be delivered for a typical tramper’s feast, not flash but filling. 

The house is comfortable with bunk rooms, and the kitchen has cooking facilities and is fitted out  with long wooden tables – the perfect spot to swap tramping stories.

Next morning – breakfast and coffee looking out over the Pacific Ocean – it is truly paradise.

Ease your way down the steps to the water and hop aboard a water taxi for an extreme ride back to Russell. Alternative option due to weather, pack up and return to Deep Water Cove to meet taxi.

Things you need to know;

What you will carry on the walk – all your own gear – lunch, drinking water for the walk, sleeping bag and clothing, plate, knife, fork, spoon and cup.

What will be transported on the boats – water for whilst at the hut, dinner and breakfast food.

If the weather is not good an alternative day trip will be offered – with a partial refund or a full refund.

16 Whaling history town walkbook here3

Basics

$10 Sat 8th 11:30 am & Sun 9th 11:30 am Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

1 Hour GRADE: easy

Category: Family Friendly. Max. Walkers: 20

 

Details

A walk and talk lead by Lindsay Alexander around town. Lindsay will captivate you and take you back in time – you can see the ships in the bay, hear the shouts of the men and almost smell the bustling streets.  Included is a stop at Christ Church to learn about some of the characters buried there and a visit to Russell’s museum which houses a refurbished whaling boat. Lindsay has been researching the Bay of Islands’ whaling history for six years and has published books on the subject.

17 Paihia lookout & Sunday lunchbook here3

Basics

$40 – Sun 1st Oct at 10am 

3 Hours (incl brunch) GRADE: medium

Category: Family Friendly. Max. Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

 

Details

Ferry from Russell to Paihia, where you walk starts 700m from the centre of Paihia.  This is a pleasant walk that is 4km (2km each way)  through regenerating native forest to a view point overlooking the bay. From the viewpoint you can see the Bay from Opua to Waitangi and over the Russell peninsula to Urupukapuka Island and Cape Brett in the distance.  Meander back down to Charlottes Kitchen which is situated on the end of the Paihia Wharf for one of their superb lunches.  The perfect way to finish the Bay of Islands Walking Weekend.

18 Project Island Songbook here3

Basics

$90  – Sat 30th Sept 06:00 

There is 21km of trail on the island and you will be walking and exploring 11km of them over a  9 hours period. This gives you an amazing experience on the island as you get to enjoy the islands hidden treasures, enjoy some kai and of course enjoy the wildlife.

9 hours walking on the island including stops to enjoy the island, enjoy some kai and of course enjoy the wildlife.

Saturday 30th Sept

Start; 6am Price $90.00 (jncludes all boat transfers)

Maximum 30 walkers Distance; 11 km Grade; hard

Enjoy 9 hours walking on the island including stops to enjoy the island, enjoy some kai and of course enjoy the wildlife. Back at HQ for 4.30pm

Part of the fee goes towards Project Island Song

Grade hard.

Maximum 30 people, family friendly.

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Photo credit Darren Markin

 

Details

Urupukapuka Bird Song – New this year, travelling on Albatross V tugboat, also new this year.

Spend all day on Urupukapuka Island focusing predominantly on encounters with newly released birds, while walking the entire network of tracks.   Walk among regenerating native bush and trees, take in stunning sea views. Listen to the birdsong and spot reintroduced tieke (saddleback), toutouwai (North Island robin), pōpokatea (whitehead) pāteke (brown teal) and many other species.

From near dawn to late afternoon, walk the 11km of walking tracks, this is for hardened walkers capable of covering the variety of habitats and challenging terrain with some beautiful beaches and bird watching stations.

So what is Project Island Song? – Project Island Song is a partnership between community conservation group the Guardians of the Bay of Islands, local Rawhiti hapu (Ngati Kuta and Patukeha) and the Department of Conservation.   Project Island Song’s vision is the ecological restoration of the pest-free islands of Ipipiri in the eastern Bay of Islands to create an archipelago of sanctuaries that celebrates the native subtropical habitat, lush with vegetation and alive with birdsong.

There will be 3 guides all with expert knowledge of the island, birds and flora.

You will be transferred to and from the island by Albatross V – departing Russell Wharf

There is 21km of trail on the island and you will be walking and exploring 10 – 12km of them over a  9 hours period. This gives you an amazing experience on the island as you get to enjoy the islands hidden treasures, enjoy some kai and of course enjoy the wildlife.

Video

19 Night time walkbook here3

Basics

$15 – Friday 29th Sept 19:30 

2 hours. 2km
Grade Medium

Maximum 20 people, family friendly.

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

A short walk through the streets of Russell, an introduction to the wildlife and of the efforts of the community to enhance the flora and fauna of the peninsula. Then listen for the evening chorus of tui and weka, before with torch in hand you venture down the trail into the forest to listen for kiwi and ruru. Along the way visit the glow worms, before enjoying the stars from Maiki hill and views of Russell at night

Geocaching in Russell 

Basics

This is a free activity there are no charges.

Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. The Bay of Islands Walking Weekend will launch its own, brand new, Geocache adventure. Prizes and prestige waits for the first to complete the journey. More details can be found at The Duke of Marlborough Tavern – the Bay of Islands Walking Weekend headquarters.