Please note:

All walks depart from the Russell Bowling Club

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

If you have any trouble booking or have any queries please call Steph on 021 122 9307
1 Okiato to Orongo
Basics

$30 

Fri 12th October – 1pm

Duration – 3 Hours walking

Distance – 6 kms 

(includes transport costs and fresh whitebait fritters)

Grade – medium Max.

Walkers – 15 Category – Family friendly

Please note; This walk is part of the Full Circle Walk.

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 – Closed Off

It is with regret we have had to close this walk for 2018 due to a track washout.

It

Basics

$35

Sat 13th October 8:30 am

Duration – 6 Hours Distance – 17 kms

(includes both ferries)

Grade – hard Max.

Walkers – 20 Category – Family friendly.

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

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details
Leaving Russell you head towards Okiato, which is the site of New Zealand’s first capital. Walking along the stunning mangrove boardwalks and then into the bush where the terrain is more challenging before settling onto more coastal boardwalks before catching the car ferry in Okiato for a 5 minute ferry ride to Opua. Plenty of birdsong on this section off the walk, and do keep an eye out for Weka. The picturesque walk from Opua to Paihia takes you around many points, beaches and bays with the matching changes of flora and fauna all the way to Opua. Catching the Bay Belle passenger ferry from Paihia back to Russell. You have done it! The Full Circle Walk!
3 Paroa Bay surprise
Basics
$40

Sat 13th Oct, 9am

Sun 14th Oct, 9am

Duration – 5 hours Distance – up to 6km

Grade- Medium to hard Cost – $40 (includes wine tasting)

Category – Suitable for 10 years +

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

We can’t tell you everything , otherwise it won’t be a surprise! As you walk, you will enjoy bush, views of the Bay of Islands, and a beautiful waterfall. Oops, too much information!

The walk is less than 6km, medium to hard grade, but the hard grade is optional! All will be explained on the day! There are bees to pass and ropes to use – but don’t be put off!

Did we tell you that the walk finishes with wine tasting at Paroa Bay Wineyard? Shhh. Keep it to yourself! After all, it’s a surprise!

Limited numbers on this walk, which is over private land. You won’t be able to walk it any other time of the year! Enjoy!

Wine tasting included – bring lunch and water for the walk.

4 Meet the locals

– Sunrise and breakfast

Basics

$25

Sunday 14th October, 6.30 meet at bowling club – sharp! We don’t want to miss the sunrise.

Duration – 5Hours

Distance 5 kms

Grade – medium Max. Walkers – 12 Category – Family friendly.

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

An early start to the day to meet the locals. Have breakfast together to watch the sun rising over the Cape Brett Peninsula before embarking on a mystery tour of Tapeka and Russell. On the way you’ll meet some interesting characters, have some beautiful views and get to places you can only get to via the Bay of Islands Walking Weekend.

Video
5 Omata Vineyard
Basics

$70

Friday 12th October 3pm.

Arrive about 5pm at Omata Vineyard for wood fired pizza and wine tasting.

Sat 13th October 11am

Arrive about 1pm. For gourmet platters and wine tasting

Duration – 2 Hours plus 1.5 hours at the vineyard, before taking the bus home Distance 5 kms 

– includes food, wine tasting and transport back

Grade: medium to hard. A couple of steep hills

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Omata Estate is a boutique vineyard situated in a stunning location on a sheltered hilltop with wonderful views across the vines to the bay. Their lovely old wooden hexagonal restaurant, brick paths, terraced and sunny garden are reminiscent of an old French vineyard, which creates a perfect atmosphere to sit back, relax and enjoy a glass of wine with a gourmet platter or delicious wood fired pizza.

There are two Omata Vineyard Walks to choose from. Both include wine tasting and beautiful food. 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! It’s 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 in a perfect setting!)

Gather at the Russell Bowling Club for what is normally a very light hearted walk. Your 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 that we are all heading for is 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 stunning mangrove boardwalk, stopping briefly to learn about the fascinating history of Tikitikioure 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!)

Walkers carry on, thankful that we live in a day and age where manually chipping away at the mineshaft is behind us, and stroll round 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 rather cheery atmosphere to keep you well entertained, but still, 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 Estate Vineyard. Your host will skilfully present a taster of all the wines Omata Estate have in their stable. Noting that everyone is famished. Delicious homemade pizzas fired up in the Pizza Oven or platters depending on which walk you choose –which you can wash down with a lovely glass of wine.

There is nothing more rewarding than doing some good old fashioned exercise before settling down to a glass of wine and some beautiful food.

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

Video
6 Urupukapuka Island
Basics

$60

Sat 13th October 8:00 am

Sun 14th October 8:00 am

Duration – 5 hours walking, 30 minutes each way boat travel.

Distance 11 kms

(includes boat transfers, and tree planting)

Grade: fairly hard

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Urupukapuka Island is the largest island in the Bay of Islands and is a slice of paradise well worth exploring. As well as boasting some of the most spectacular panoramic views imaginable and gorgeous beaches with crystal clear water there are dozens of pristinely preserved archaeological sites on the island, some of which may be up to 1000 years old. From prehistoric Māori pa, villages, gardens, and food storage, right up to early 20th Century buildings used by famous author Zane Grey, there are countless historic sites to explore on Urupukapuka Island. You will travel by commercial launch to Urupukapuka Island, getting a feel for the Bay of Islands as you venture into the inner islands where you will disembark at the stunning Otehei Bay. The walk is 11km on very well maintained trails and there is plenty to see. You will hike through forest which holds treasures of Project Island Song such as the North Island robin, saddleback, which are the jewels amongst the abundant 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. Looping around the island with one view to Zane Grey’s campsite and the other out to the waters he fished, before catching your vessel back to Russell. This year we have something special on the walk – leave your mark on the island by planting a native plant to support Project Island Song – when you return to visit the island in a few years you will be able to go and see what you contributed to this amazing paradise!

7 Moturua Island – R Tucker Thompson

French Connection

Basics

$90

Date – Sunday 14th October, 7.30 am

Duration 8 hours – sailing and walking

Distance – 5 km walking

Grade – Medium

Category: Family friendly. Max Walkers: 30

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. As you set sail there is more talking than walking before you disembark to visit the site of early interaction between Maori and the French. Tangata whenua will guide you over the sacred site where extreme conflict occurred. Back on board the ship to sail to Moturua Island with a local historian introducing the significance of the two locations relating to the 1772 conflict between the Maori and the French when the two French Ships under the command of Marion du Fresne were in the Bay of Islands. Page 5 of 12 Onshore at Moturua Island you walk the ultimate island loop track. Crossing ridges, the track descends to four very different beaches, ranging from soft sand to pebble and stone. As you explore the islands your guide will regal you with stories of the rich history at each of the bays. Moturua Island has brought the birdsong back to life and you can often see kiwi footprints on the sand as you walk. 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. Another cup of tea or perhaps a cold ale or wine from the galley as you journey home.

Video
8 Pukehuia and Whangamumu

– Whaling Walk

Basics

$40

Saturday 13th October 7.30 am

Duration 8 hours

Distance 8 km

Grade hard

(includes transport)

Max Pax 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

This spectacular walk is one of heart stopping vistas and rich history. From Russell you take a forty minute bus ride out to Rawhiti which is 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 through native bush 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 – perfect 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 a 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. You join up with the Whangamumu track which takes you to the Whangamumu Whaling Station which was the only one in the world that caught whales with nets, and it was Northland’s longest running and most successful station. Today the physical remains at Whangamumu represent the last factory based whaling station in Northland. The remaining historic structures include vats or tanks that held whale oil, the slipway on the beach front, and the old boiler. It’s an eerie and intriguing place to visit. You have the option to descend to the relics of the whaling station or spend time above the harbour enjoying the views before turning your back to the ocean and descending down the old farm track to Tongatapu Wetland, a local restoration project of replanting. Always keeping an eye out for the elusive fern bird – often heard but not seen!

Category: Family friendly. Max. Walkers: 20

9 Matateabook here3
Basics

$20

Friday 12th October – 12.30pm

Saturday 13th October – 8.30am

Duration 4 hours

Distance 7 kms

Grade hard

Max Walkers – 20

Category – family friendly

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

This spectacular walk is on private land which is opened for the Walking Weekend. A perfect opportunity to do something you can’t do the rest of the year! You walk from the Walking Weekend HQ to the back eastern corner of town and leaving the road you enter private property with an introduction to a land under transition. Walk through the lush canopy of regenerating coastal forest with distant views along the way… these are snippets to the final spectacular vista of the outer Bay of Islands. Settling down to enjoy your lunch and the views as the guides point out areas of interest at your feet from Moturoa island, the second largest island, the stunning lava formation of the Black Rocks, the distant northern entrance of Tikitiki through compass north to the clump of eastern islands and the magnificent Cape Brett peninsula with the peaks of Rakaumangamanga and Pukehuia. Then descend down through kanuka, manuka and ponga forest to the coast and secluded beaches seldom visited. Clamber around the rocks with pohutukawa arriving at Long Beach, Oneroa, for a wander along stable sand before rising over the hill into town and back to the Club for refreshments.

10 Greater Bay

R Tucker Thompson Overnight Adventurebook here3

Basics

$300

Friday 12th October 09.30am till Saturday 13th October 4.00pm

Duration – 2 days, 1 night – 30 hours

Grade – Medium

– includes food, accommodation, and a fantastic experience!

Max number people – 10

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

The R. Tucker Thompson is an iconic tall ship based in the Bay of Islands. As far as an activity in the Bay of Islands goes – a sail on the R. Tucker Thompson is often voted the best day of any holiday!! As the R Tucker is not on its summer schedule we are lucky enough to be offered this opportunity to use her on the Bay of Islands Walking Weekend as an overnight trip. This is a once in a life opportunity to stay on the R Tucker Thompson – see the stars, go to sleep listening to the kiwi and wake with the dawn chorus. Magical and unique – Go where the wind takes us, help sail the ship and climb the rigging. We can’t plot your journey as we don’t know what the wind and weather will be doing but the Greater Bay overnight expedition will be led with knowledgeable guides who will introduce you to the intricacies of the environment, whilst you explore and enjoy the rich diversity of the Bay. There will definitely be some walking! Walking, watching, listening, participating, conversation with conservation. Contribute to the restoration of these precious islands by assisting with conservation tasks, pull some weeds, plant a tree. There are 10 berths available, one double. All meals are provided on board, the Tucker presents an opportunity to participate and enjoy all the Bay has to offer. All your meals are provided. If you wish to purchase alcohol you can do so on board at reasonable prices, but no BYO. You will need to bring towels and bedding (sleeping bag or duvet. Sheet and pillow)

11a Opua Forest – Short walk

 Papatūānuku Earth Mother Tours book here3

Basics

Friday 12th October

Start time 12.30pm

Return HQ 5:00pm

Duration – walking time – 2hrs

Grade – easy

Cost: $45 (includes transport, ferry and bush snacks and herbal teas)

Max walkers: 11

 Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details
New this year! Experience an exclusive māori cultural guided tour through an amazing native kauri forest.

Leave Russell and catch the ferry to Paihia where you will be met by Stella from Papatūānuku Earth Mother Tours, she will take you on an informative, educational short walk through a native Kauri forest in the Opua State Forest where you will learn how traditional Maori once used the forest to live and support their growing families. She will share her knowledge of the birds the trees and the insects and show you how her ancestors used the different plants and trees to make their clothing, medicines, musical instruments and many other things, she will also show you how things are very different now and how once the forest was trapped to sustain life and now how it needs to be trapped to save the creatures in it. Learn about the community’s mammoth effort in taking out over 11,000 pests and the explosion of native wildlife that followed, particularly the magnificent Northern Green geckos, kiwi, wood pigeons, tomtits, owls, and so much more.

At the end of the walk Stella will be there to serve you a wee snack and give you time to digest all you’ve learnt along you walk! Stella will drop back at the Bay Belle ferry for your return to Russell!

Blog
Read the blog here
11b Opua Forest – Long walk

 Papatūānuku Earth Mother Tours book here3

Basics

Saturday 13th October

Start time 08:30am

Return HQ 2.45pm

Duration – walking time – 5hrs

Grade – Fairly hard

Cost: $50 (includes transport, ferry and bush snacks and herbal teas)

Max walkers: 11

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details
New this year!

Leave Russell and catch the ferry to Paihia where you will be met by Stella from Papatūānuku Earth Mother Tours, she will take you on an informative, educational short walk through a native Kauri forest in the Opua State Forest where you will learn how traditional Maori once used the forest to live and support their growing families. She will share her knowledge of the birds the trees and the insects and show you how her ancestors used the different plants and trees to make their clothing, medicines, musical instruments and many other things, she will also show you how things are very different now and how once the forest was trapped to sustain life and now how it needs to be trapped to save the creatures in it.

Stella will drop you with Brad from Bay Bush Action who will take you on the Oromahoe Traverse, a medium to hard walk, a unique opportunity to walk this ancient trail used by Māori for hundreds of years, that runs right through the heart of the stunning Opua State Forest. Learn about the community’s mammoth effort in taking out over 11,000 pests and the explosion of native wildlife that followed, particularly the magnificent Northern Green geckos, kiwi, wood pigeons, tomtits, owls, and so much more.

At the end of the walk Stella will be there to serve you a wee snack and give you time to digest all you’ve learnt along you walk! Stella will drop back at the Bay Belle ferry for your return to Russell!

Blog
Read the blog here
12 Haruru Falls kayak and walkbook here3
Basics

$70 

Saturday 13th Oct, 9.30am Arrive back in Russell at 3.45pm.

Duration – There is approximately 2 hours of kayaking and 2 hours of walk, the extra time is 30mins each way on the ferry and a break to have lunch.

Grade – Easy to Medium.

Category: Family Friendly.

Max. Walkers: 20. 

(includes ferry and kayak)

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details
Catch a ferry from Russell to Waitangi. To make the most of high tide and kayaking through the mangrove forest you will kayak up the Waitangi River – the kayak is a relaxing paddle up 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. Walking back from the falls you follow the Waitangi inlet, with impressive views peeking out through native bush, walk across bridges and the boardwalk through our beautiful mangrove forest. The ferry will take you back to Russell from Waitangi. No experience required, suitable for all.
13 Tour of Russell
Basics

$10

Fri 12th Oct, 2.00pm

Sun 14th Oct 10.00 am

Duration – 1 hour walk

Distance 2km

GRADE: easy

Category: Family friendly.

Max Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

Based in Russell, this short tour is rich in history. Step back in time and learn about the days when Kororareka was called the Hell Hole of the Pacific. 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

$0

Fri 12th Oct 3:30 pm

Duration – 4 hour

Distance 2km

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, walk between the clubs, stopping for a drink and some fascinating stories. Visit the Boating club, sitting right on the water’s edge, threatening to float way with sea level rising. The Swordfish club located upstairs on the waterfront which is the oldest game fishing club in New Zealand is a must do when you visit the Bay of Islands. The RSA is full of its own history of fighting for survival. And of course, we have the Bowling Club which is an integral part of the community. 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

$180

Friday 12th October – 8.00 am

Return pick up is 2pm Saturday

Duration 28 hours – walking time 3 hours each way

Distance 6km each way

Grade hard

– includes dinner, breakfast, lunch, accommodation, guides and water taxis

Max Pax 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

Details

A new version of our flagship walk. This must be one of the best hikes in New Zealand – a must do! A difficult but totally rewarding walk… enjoy outstanding views of the outer Bay of Islands, north to the Cavalli Islands and south to Whangaruru and beyond to the Poor Knights Islands, while taking in the peace and tranquillity that only isolation can provide. Cape Brett The Guiding light: The light at the end of Cape Brett/Rakaumangamanga has guided and protected visitors to New Zealand for hundreds of years. The light reflecting off the crystalline rocks once helped guide the earliest waka to a safe landfall in this new homeland. For the last 100 years the Cape Brett lighthouse has lit and protected the coast for all seafarers. Starting our day with a boat ride out to Maunganui Bay, which is a gorgeous experience in itself, travelling by water through the Bay of Islands. Walkers begin with a climb from the once established fishing village known as Deep Water Cove, up through forest under restoration and intense pest control. Search for native orchids along the track edges, pass over an extensive pa with terracing and kumara pits concealed under the canopy. As the forest reaches the cliff edge you can rest up and enjoy lunch as you catch your first sight of the challenge ahead. You will see evidence of the pest control operation with the regrowth of plant species, presence of Fantail, Wood Pigeon, Pied Tit and Tui. The walk itself is an introduction to hard yakka with great rewards, gasping for breath from both exertion and extreme views. Upon reaching the iconic lighthouse above Motukokako or Piercy Island, the home of the Hole in the Rock, you will look down on your accommodation for the night. 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. Down at the hut you can unburden your back, empty your pack, make up your bunk, and enjoy whatever refreshments you may have carried out with you while taking in the peace and tranquillity that only isolation can provide. Then as the sun sets through the windows the guides will be busy preparing your evening meal, a tasty treat of Cape Brett bolognaise…. The following morning after an adequate breakfast, a slightly lighter pack and time on your side, trek back over familiar territory with new views back to Maunganui Bay, where your lunch will mysteriously appear ahead of your boat trip back to the Club headquarters. You will need to bring; lunch for first day and water, sleeping bag, pillowcase, plate, bowl, cup, knife, fork, spoon, tramping boots, wet weather gear, any refreshments and of course a sense of humour! Each year it has been challenging with sea conditions to get people picked up at Cape Brett, so we have refined the existing walk to increase the chances of achievement, by catching your boat transport in the calm Deep Water Cove. A little more to carry in your pack made up of supplies for your overnight adventure, balanced by less distance to cover but still saving the best to last.

Blog
Click here to read the blog
16 Whaling history town walkbook here3
Basics

$10

Sat 13th Oct 11:30 am

Sun 14th 11:30 am

Duration – 1 hour

Distance 2km Cost $10

GRADE: easy

Category: Family Friendly.

Max. Walkers: 20

 

Details

Enthralling tales, captivating historian, Russell will never look the same again!

A walk and talk led by Lindsay Alexander around Russell. 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 Page 11 of 12 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 & lunchbook here3
Basics

$40

Sunday 14th Oct, 10.30am

(includes lunch and ferry)

Grade Medium

Category: Family Friendly.

Max. Walkers: 20

Meet at the Russell Bowling Club

 

Details

Ferry from Russell to Paihia, where your walk starts 700m from the centre of Paihia. This is a pleasant walk that is 4km return (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 Night time walkbook here3
Basics
$15 

Friday 12th October 7.30pm

Duration 2 hours

Distance 2km

Grade Medium

Maximum 20 people, family friendly.

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.

Video
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.

Please note:

All walks depart from the Russell Bowling Club

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