Walking Tracks, Bush Trails & Adventures

Below is a collection of beautiful Bay of Plenty and Waikato walking trails, tracks, and adventures. These walks are organised from flat, easy, and Tauranga local, to more heart thumping climbs up steps and steep bush tracks. It’s worth the effort. The pure oxygen, bush and birdlife will inspire you reach higher summits as you enjoy the waterfalls along the way.

To help you prepare your body for any physical activity (including gardening) go to the Daily Spine Fit exercises video page on our web site or click here.

Easy Walking Tracks

These walks are flat, local to Tauranga and if you are re-emerging from your winter slumber a great place to start as you build your walking stamina. Starting easy helps avoid injuries as well as wearing in new or old shoes.

  1. Harbour Drive: 1 hour. Very flat on footpaths and well-maintained tracks. Great first thing in the morning – the sun comes up over port and glistens off the harbour waters.  
  2. Beach Walks: any duration, take your shoes off and let your feet enjoy a massage, plus, walking with your feet in the water is very grounding.
  3. Waikereo Walkway: less than two hours (circular round trip). Has many great walking features including well maintained paths, harbourside sections, bush coverage and boardwalk aspects. 
  4. Mount Base Track: 40 minutes (you can add Pilot Bay or beach section to make it longer – depends where you can get a car park … right!). 
  5. Lakes Tauriko: 30 – 90 minutes. Lots of flat options and variations (to start with). 
  6. 17th Ave to Greerton: unsure – I’ve yet to try it but many clients thoroughly enjoy this walking track. Please let me know if you do it – thanks. 

Common Sense Walking Guide

  1. Know where you are going, the condition of the track, and the expected weather forecast. Use the links provided and look at a map and/or print it out.
  2. Go with a friend or group – it’s way more fun this way. If by yourself, let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
  3. Wear comfortable and appropriate shoes. This helps reduce injury, for example, twisted ankles and a host of things that cause sore feet. Tip: have a fresh pair of shoes (and clothing) waiting in the car for when you return.
  4. Wear appropriate clothing (including hats, sunscreen, and sunglasses). Layers work best as you can easily put on or take off. If you are walking at higher altitudes make sure you consider wind chill. Hypothermia catches out even the most experienced explorer. See tip above.
  5. Stay hydrated by carrying water with you – and/or snacks depending on the intensity of the walk. Good preparation includes drinking water before you start your walk.
  6. Stop, stretch, breath, and rest – it’s not a race. This helps you maintain energy for the last section of the walk and gives you time to appreciate the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells of your surrounds.
  7. Finally, recover well. Hydrate, stretch, rebalance blood sugars, and let the experience sink in – well done.

Medium Walks

These walks will provide more of a challenge on your fitness. Be sure to have points 5, 6, & 7 included in your walk preparation.

1. Mount Summit Track – 40 – 60 minutes return.

There are three tracks that take you to the summit. You can go up the southern side which starts at the Pilot Bay boat ramp. The other two tracks start from the Mount Surf Club and splits half way up. At this point, turn left for a heart thumping stair climb, or right for a gentler meander up the Matakana side of the Mount. Either way, fantastic views and a good test of fitness. Click here for Mauao map and guide brochure.

2. Stairs and Steeper Pathways at the Lakes Tauriko – 60 plus minutes

There are many options here including lookouts, views from hill tops, and boardwalks around the manmade lakes. There are also stairs for those of you how wish to build up stamina for the more challenging walks.These walks are through suberben streets which has a feel all of its own.

Click here for information on the Lakes Recreation areas and walkway.

3. Otanewainuku Tracks – two options. Both tracks have you walking under bush canopy the whole way which makes it a wonderful walk in the heat of the summer. Click here for details on both tracks.

1. Lookout Track – 1.5hrs return. Take the track that pasts the Doc hut. Has some steeper parts and ends with a fantastic lookout on a sunny day.

2. Waterfall Track – 2hrs return. Take the track on the opposite side of the road from the Doc hut. Mainly flat bush walk as pictured opposite.

4. Lindemann Loop Katikati – 4 – 5hrs return.

A fantastic bush walk with a challenging half section followed by a meander home past four waterfalls. This is a circular track. From the start (pictured opposite) take the left hand side track. This track is steeper and best tackled at the start of the walk. Note the length of time walking hence be sure to have water, snacks, warm clothing (due to altitude), and good footware. Click here for more information.

Challenging Walks

These walks require good preparation in both fitness and adherence to all of the points made in the “common sense walking guide”.

1. Wairere Falls, Matamata – just 60 minutes return but don’t be fooled.

Just up and over the Kaimai hills is the Wairere Falls track. This walk is worth the effort of the short drive. From the car park follow the track along the river, over a lovely bridge, to the foot of the stair case where the fun begins. Find a rythm and maintain it to the first lookout – you’re now 65% of the way to the top. Enjoy the view from the platform and then follow the path around and up to the lookout. Click here for more information.

2. Mount TeAroha, TeAroha – 4 5hrs return.

This is a very decent challenge and a great goal for the end of the summer. Most of the track is covered in bush canopy making it a good walk to do on a warm/hot summers day. However, you are ascending to the summit for the whole walk up to the trig with some hands and knees climbing as well. Along the way there are fantastic views over the Waikato basin and at the top you are treated to the great vista of the Waikato, Coromandel, and Bay of Plenty. Click here for more information.

3. Tongariro Crossing, National Park – 7-9hrs one way.

I have yet to complete this walk as weather conditions have twice thwarted me. It is vital you are well prepared for the crossing. You will have to know the weather forecast, have plenty of water, snacks, and extra layers of clothing due to the potentially fast changing temperatures at altitude. Otherwise, it is another decent challenge to attempt in February, March, April when conditions are more settled. Let me know how you go on your next visit. Click here for more information.

I look forward to hearing all about your experiences on these walks. Remember to enjoy the journey and don’t forget how important it is to have a balanced functioning spine.

Go well – If you’re walking, you’re winning.


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