Stage 3 - Te Wahapu Rd to Orongo Bay
35 mins (1.3km)
Some steps. Good level of fitness and footwear required.
Re-enter the Track 60 metres to the right across Te Wahapu Road to descend very steeply through pine and native bush. This is a public reserve leading to the foreshore of Orongo Bay. A view of the sea opens up from a high point revealing oyster farm activity in the bay. Descending the cliff edge staircase one arrives at a saltmarsh traversed by boardwalk. Fernbirds and other reed-dwelling birds may be spotted here.
The boardwalked track follows the mangrove lined foreshore along the queen’s chain to arrive at the Aucks Road carpark. Close by is historical Orongo Bay Homestead which started its life in 1860 as the home of the American Consular Agent but is now an award winning boutique accommodation.
Out in the bay there is a natural hotspring rising from the seabed but only visible by boat. Take time to listen for the calls of the Weka, a shrill whistle repeated many times and for the harsh grating voices of the Caspian Terns which gather in this shallow bay.