Te Henga Walkway & back
Head to Te Henga Walkway carpark, which is on your immediate right, just after the one way bridge approaching Bethells Beach.
This track starts off on a wooden walkway bridge
across the Waiti Stream, that leads to a flat grassy area alongside this stream until it gradually starts to head upwards. Once you gain a bit of height the beach and estuary, below, come into view. Then it’s downwards and through plenty of Kanuka canopy and we come out at O’Neill’s Beach. Also here you see the top of the ridge of the climb ahead. It looks harder than what it is, as the track easily zig zags.
There’s lots of Cabbage trees and flax about too and being Spring the flax show their red flowers and the Cabbage trees their white ones. There is also the occasional shady pocket of trees where you cool down a tad as this walkway is exposed to the elements. As you gain height you get to see how beautiful this beach actually is. Once at the top, it’s a spectacular view. On the right is lush green grassy paddock with the sand dunes beyond. In the opposite direction you have a commanding view of O’Neill’s Beach below and across Erangi Point to Bethells Beach and you can also see Whatipu
Beach peeping out beyond that.
From the top we head down Raetahinga Point through lots of over grown Manuka and gorse. From here it's pretty much hugging the cliffs on the winding track. Some parts of the track are a tad narrow, especially where there have been slips, with a big drop below so you gotta pay attention to your footing. Also there’s the occasional bit of guest-starring mud about, but not much at all really. The views are just spectacular all around you and we find ourselves constantly pausing to soak it all in.
We were totally spoilt for choice when it came to morning tea stop. We just kicked back on a nice grassy spot to enjoy our peanut brownies washed down by a quenching cuppa. There’s also plenty of gannets about looking majestic against the backdrop of the beautiful blue sea. We noticed that there were also heaps of cool little orange butterflies about in the long grass and also the occasional curious sheep too.
After about 3 hours The track exits over a gate and through a farm valley and then a fairly steep climb with some steps to Constable Rd, where we reach the end of this track close to 3 ½ hours from starting out. From here we back tracked down into the valley where we found a shady spot to take a wee
break from the sun and we tucked into some pesto sarnies.
Refuelled we carried on the same way we came but enjoying the views from a different perspective. After about 7 hours we made it back to the carpark, ditched our packs and boots and lay down in the stream to cool down.
Level of Difficulty
Easy, with a few hill climbs
7 Hours -return (Spring 2012)
6 Hours -return to Tirikohua Point & back via O'Neills beach (for swim) & then via estuary of Wainamu Stream (Autumn 2016)