Trail Info


Trail type: Walking
Direction: One way

Walking Duration: 5 hrs
Distance: 19.2 km
Can be done in parts with varying distances.

Fitness: Low
Walking Difficulty: Easy

Dog Friendly: No

Things to know:
No dogs. The walkway is closed from 1 July to 30 September every year for the lambing season. Be prepared for changes in the weather. If walking along the beach, check tide times. Get local advice on track and weather conditions. Take warm clothes, includ

This walkway uses the Kapuni to Auckland gas pipeline route for 11 km. The laying of the pipeline involved an immense amount of heavy construction work and these operations opened up walking access to the dramatic forest and coastal country of the region. The entire walkway is across private land.

Note: It is no longer possible to walk the Whitecliffs Walkway from Pukearuhe to Tongaporutu as the northern end of the track from Clifton Road end at Tongaporutu to the stock tunnel entrance is currently closed.

There are three walking options along the Whitecliffs Walkway:

  • Pukearuhe to Wai Pingao Stream, returning to Pukearuhe via the beach (low tide only): 3 - 4 hr / 6.5 km. Warning: active cliff erosion along the beach section - extreme caution required as rocks may continue to fall. 
  • Pukearuhe to Mt Messenger: 6 - 7 hr / 11 km
  • Pukearuhe to the stock tunnel (return the same way): 3 - 4 hr one way/11km (22km return)

The walkway crosses open farmland to Mt Davidson, where it enters Ngati Tama land. It then follows the pipeline route along the ridge tops before descending to the Wai Pingao Stream. 

Here you can divert from the main track and return to Pukearuhe by following the stream to the coast and walking south along the beach (tide permitting). There is a large active cliff slip just south of the Wai Pingao Stream - beware of falling rocks and take extreme caution along the beach.

The walkway continues across the Wai Pingao Stream bridge before climbing to the Parininihi Ridge high point and descending to the junction with the Mt Messenger Track.

Turn right to climb toward the summit of Mt Messenger before descending to the track exit at SH3.  

The Whitecliffs Walkway continues along the cliff tops to the historic stock tunnel (cattle used to be brought along the beach to here at Tongaporutu on their way north). Here the track ends and you must return the same way. It is not safe to go through the tunnel as it is collapsing.

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How to get here

Whitecliffs Walkway begins at the Pukearuhe boat ramp (please park to allow access to ramp and farmers property) which is located at the end of Pukearuhe Road, north of Urenui.

Credit photo & content to NZ Walking Access Commission

View official site


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