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If you l‍‍‍ike to walk/ tramp, cross train, Mangarakau is the place to base yourself while you explore the west coast of Golden Bay, Kahurangi National Park and the Wanganui inlet.


Knuckle Hill NZMS M25

After driving across the Banjo Creek Bridge (on your way to The Outpost) you will wind your way up a long hill. Once on the top look for a sign on the left that says “Knuckle Hill”.  Park your car - this is where you begin walking to the top of Knuckle Hill climbing to a height of 506m.  The distance is 5km one way. There are great views over Westhaven, Farewell Spit, sometimes even Mt Taranaki/Mt Egmont on a clear day.


This is an excellent tramp for a fine winter’s day.  The first 3.5km is the old logging road and can be mountain biked over.  Some enthusiasts have biked to the top!


Kaituna Track NZMS M25

This tramp is 17.4 km one way.  After driving across the Banjo Creek you will wind your way up a long hill.  Once on the top you will see a wonderful view of the entrance to Wanganui (Westhaven) Inlet.  Enjoy the view.  Look for a sign that says “Knuckle Hill”.  You can park off the road on the side of this track.  Start walking from here. You will initially be following the old logging road for about 4.3 km. From the end of the old logging road the next 13.1 km of track you will follow are lightly marked to the top of Knuckle Hill.  You need to allow up to 7 or 8 hours in total, depending on fitness.  There are some steep bits and two river crossings which may be very swift or deep after heavy rain.  

DoC publish trip notes about this track.  This used to be the part of the way to the Tai Tapu goldfields.


Patarau to Anatori or reverse NZMS M25This coastal walk is 8.4 km one way.  It is best to use two vehicles, (unless you want to walk both ways). We recommend that you leave one vehicle at the Patarau River mouth.  To get there you turn right out of The Outpost and drive about 10kms to the Patarau River bridge.  Cross it, turn right and drive to the beach.  Leave one car there, all pile into the other car and drive to the Anatori River mouth.  Those doing the walk can now enjoy a very beautiful coastal walk back to the vehicle at the Patarau River mouth.  This beach walk is best at low tide.  Anatori River to Sandhill Creek is approx 4 km.  Sandhill Creek to Patarau River is 4.4 km.  You may like to swim in rock pools at low tide and picnic on the way.  There are some very impressive rock formations.   

Lake Otuhie, Echo Point, Botanical Society.

Turimawiwi River to Kahurangi Lighthouse NZMS L25/M25

After leaving the Turimawiwi River you can walk 3.4 km to the Anaweka River and another 3.2 km more to Big River (fordable 1 hr either side of low tide when not in flood or discoloured).  Another 2.8 km more will take you to the DoC house which is spacious and was once the home of the lighthouse keeper.  The lighthouse is just over another km further on and a nice easy stroll the next morning for that special photograph to show that you have made it. For more data on the lighthouse see http://www.lig‍‍‍


Kahurangi Lighthouse to Heaphy River NZMS L25/L26

Only 30 km but very, very tough and only to be undertaken by the fittest and most resourceful of trampers.  It is written up in the New Zealand Geographic Number 14 April June 1992, and we would advise you to read this article if you are thinking of attempting the tramp.  Sometimes an eight hour day produced 4 km of progress for these adventurous and exhausted trampers.  There will be times when you will need to wait for the tide to recede before you can continue and ropes will be needed to scale cliffs where the beach is impassable.  This is a challenge not to be attempted lightly.


Lake Otuhie

This walk is a free Department of Conservation walk. It is well signposted but closed at lambing time. Go south from Kahurangi Outpost over the Paturau Bridge and on to the Sandhill Creek bridge which has a shut gate at the end of it. The track begins to the left. Please leave all gates as you find them and do not bring dogs.



1) Check out the hall (or the notice board) for numerous short walks through the Mangarakau Swamp Reserve. Walk quietly and listen for the birdsong. Bitterns can be heard booming in spring and most of the summer months.


2) The “Lookout Tree” takes 10 minutes to reach from the right back corner of The Outpost land. Hop over the boundy, veer right and cross the creek. Veer left to find the first red marker tape. Follow the red tape markers uphill to a big rata tree for a fantastic view over the swampland and beyond. From this tree there is a magnificent view over Mangarakau that was well known to many Mangarakau pupils when this was a school and the surrounding bushland a wonderful playground. If you decide to climb on the lookout tree you do so at your own risk. There are no handrails on a tree.

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"So you see! Th‍‍‍ere's no end to the things you might know, depending how far beyond Zebra you go."

Dr. Seuss


Anatori River to Turimawiwi River NZMS M25

From the Anatori River mouth you walk along the beach for 6.3 km (o‍‍‍ne way) to the Turimawiwi River.  This walk must be done at low tide to get past the Kaipuke Cliffs.  It is a very scenic walk and another step closer to the Kahurangi lighthouse.

sand dunes, Puna Paua,