Waikare Connection - by Road (Bypass)

  • Walking

Waikare Connection

Two options exist to negotiate the Waikare Inlet through to the start of the Russell Forest Track -  by water or by road.
There is also the option to ferry to Russell (from Paihia, and a chance to explore some of New Zealand's history in Russell) or Okiato (from Opua) and connect with Sheryl Wikaere and travel with her to Waikare - there will be a cost involved and this is unsuitable for bigger groups. 

Kayak up the inlet with Bay Beach Hire (click for info poster), phone 0800 611440 or 021 1894204. This company is based on the beach at Paihia, and if you're going to kayak up to Waikare, Paihia is a better start point than Opua. It's better to travel in a group or two or three, which will reduce costs. The paddle from Paihia to Waikare takes between 3-4hr depending on weather conditions and fitness levels, and should only be done by persons with some experience. Cellphone reception is zero once past Marriott Island so GPS or good map skills are needed.
Pricing - 2 persons $100pp, 3 persons $90pp, 4 persons $80pp, 5 persons $75pp, 6 persons or more $70pp.
Includes kayak hire, pack transport to Waikare, kayak pickup, dry bags, maps, full safety equipment.
Further details at www.baybeachhire.co.nz
From Opua, take the vehicular ferry over the Veronica Channel to Okiato. From there, follow Aucks Rd for 4.5km to its junction to the Russell-Whakapara Rd. Turn right and follow that road for 10km before turning right onto Waikare Rd. A further 7km brings you to Waikare landing, and Waikare Valley Rd directly opposite.

If you want a  more relaxing route between exiting the ferry and joining with the Russell-Whakapara Rd, then turn left into Pipiroa Rd soon after leaving the ferry and link to the “Okiato to Russell Walkway”. This goes through wetland, bush, and around cliffs to rejoin Aucks Rd just before its junction with the Russell-Whakapara Rd.  It is several kilometres longer than walking directly through to the Russell-Whakapara Rd on Aucks Rd, but does take you off-road and is a good coastal meander if you have time. 

Opua Canoe bypass



  • Vehicles on road or track If kayaking, be alert for other water users
  • Poisons & traps
  • Small stream crossings
  • Track exposed to sun, wind or cold


How to get here

Northern Start: Opua Wharf, Opua, Bay of Islands

Southern End: Waikare

Track Elevation

Map of Track

More information

Te Araroa Northland trail notes, including information about accommodation, transport and resupplying

Mountain Safety Council Plan My Trip
Page last updated: Jan 5, 2021, 11:22 AM