Paekakariki Escarpment Track

Average rating: 5
  • Walking

This new track from Paekakariki to Pukerua Bay runs high above State Highway 1 and the railway, reaching 220 metres above sea level. There are spectacular views, and it is one of the highlights of the Te Araroa Trail. 
Be aware that it is steep, narrow and exposed, and crosses private property. 
Please keep to the marked track and DO NOT enter the rail corridor (you risk a $20,000 fine).
There are seats and interesting interpretive signs along the way but no amenities.

If section walking, please park thoughtfully - please park at the railway station NOT on Ames St. 
Parking is extremely limited and the roadway is narrow. 
The road is an emergency alternate SH1 route and any parking on the street makes this difficult. 
Parking at the railway station is preferred for all track users and provides more direct access to the track.

Initially the track undulates and passes through groves of coastal bush. After 10 minutes there is an open area (old quarry), seating and views worth stopping for. Continue on over a small bridge and a cantilevered section of pathway around a rock face.

From here, the track is over steep terrain, and there are no handrails on the steps. Children should be supervised.
The walk should not be attempted by those without a reasonable level of fitness, or who suffer from vertigo.

Suitable footwear should be worn and carry an extra layer in case the weather turns - it can be exposed up there. 

Begin the steep ascent via steps and a zig zag path and continue up to the highest point of the track ("the Lookout"), before starting a descent down many steps. You will traverse 2 lovely sections of Kohekohe forest before another steep descent then cross 2 swing-bridges. 

The track continues beside private property and the rail corridor. Continue along the old (now closed) Muri Station and go through Muri Park and onto Sea Vista Drive, cutting through the walkway to Pukerua Bay Railway Station. 

Section walkers should park in the Pukerua Bay Railway Station carpark and enter the track from there - there is not enough room to park safely at the end of Muri Rd.

From there, cross the railway track at the safe crossing point then proceed up a slight incline to Te Motu Rd, turn right and walk right to the end where you will cross the footbridge over SH1, then once on the western side of SH1 walk south a further 250m to the start of the next section.

Stay on the right-hand side of Beach Road, and at the end cross the railway lines. Immediately turn right on to the footpath alongside SH1. Follow the signed route through the trees until it comes back out onto the footpath. After about 50 metres, take the stairs under the bridge and onto the Escarpment Track – DO NOT cross SH1. 

Conditions: Open

 Conditions of the agreement giving public access to the land are that no horses, dogs, bikes or motorised vehicles are permitted.

Please do not jeopardise the future of the track by ignoring these requirements. 
Keep to the track; do not walk on to farmland, or the rail tracks.

Potential hazards:

  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold
  • Weather extremes
  • Few water sources No water sources on track - take with you
  • Steep stairs - unsuitable for those with vertigo or cardio illness.

How to get here

Northern Start: Beach Rd, Paekakariki
Southern End: Pukerua Bay shops on SH1
Alternative Track: Centennial Highway

Map of Track

Page last updated: Apr 13, 2020, 10:30 AM