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.