Bay of Islands Walking Weekend
Rakaumangamanga – Cape Brett Lighthouse Overnight Walk - Walk 15
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 pā 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.
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. The views and effort are hard to beat. This sold out last year so be sure to book early.
Friday 16th October - 8.00 am
Return Saturday 17th October – 2pm pick up Deep Water Cove
Duration 28 hours – walking time 3 hours each way
Distance - 6km each way
Grade - hard
Cost $220 - includes dinner, breakfast, lunch, accommodation, guides and water taxis
Maximum walkers - 20
Category – not suitable for children, but we have had some fit kids on this so speak to us first.
All walks depart from the Russell Bowling Club in Russell. There are many walks to book on - so look at all the walks you can do over the 3 days. The walks are all guided and the guides are knowledgeable and passionate about the region.