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Mahia Peninsula Track, Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve

The Wairoa Coast from Kinikini Road, Mahia Peninsula. Photo: Petra Dawson
Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve
Total Ascent
Kinikini Road, 7km south of Mahia Beach
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Situated near the heart of the peninsula, Mahia Peninsula Scenic Reserve represents one of the last pieces of lowland coastal forest remaining on the east coast.Hikers are taken through the reserve via a 3.5km loop track. If you decide to walk the easier, anticlockwise route, the initial steep section leads straight up to the lookout that affords an impressive overview of the land stretching to Hawke’s Bay.

From the lookout the trail winds into the valley and is hidden by the lush dense bush composed of a large variety of plants including an abundance of rewarewa, kohekohe, tawa, rimu, matai, karaka, cabbage tree and lancewood. Gradually descending, you reach the bottom of the valley where you need to make multiple crossings of the meandering stream. This is the only tricky part of an otherwise well arranged track.

Approximately two thirds of the way along, there’s a clearing with a picnic table surrounded by a rich nikau stand. It’s a peaceful spot to relax before commencing the final ascent back to the gate. After leaving the reserve, consider staying on Kinikini Road and continuing towards Long Point, formerly known for its nearby whaling station. The road offers numerous outlooks over the dramatic slopes descending to the sea.