The BIGGER Big Omaha Trail
Friday 8 November, 8am. Duration: 7.5 hours.
$39 - includes bus, lunch pack and afternoon tea.
Limited to 25
This walk is adventurous, long (approx. 16km), has a very steep uphill section at the beginning, but is downhill for all of the second half. You will need to be very fit, in good health and have proper footwear. You will also need plenty of water, hat, layers, snacks and the usual things you would pack for a serious day hike. This is the walk for all of you who have told me that our Grade 5 walks aren’t really Grade 5 and they are too easy. See you there.
This trail incorporates glorious views and lush bush, and you’ll get to be one of the pioneers of this trail which could become one of NZ’s great walkways/cycleways in the future. It’s going to be hard work but bloody good fun so we look forward to leading you across the Big Omaha Trail.
Big Omaha local, Ian Macdonald, has a vision of this walk forming part of a greater walking/cycling track running from Matakana to Pakiri, and possibly beyond. Approximately 16km of that trail, this walk takes in private land, public roads and council reserve. The walk continues a process to assess the viability and merits of the proposed trail so we hope you’ll enjoy the adventure.
Beginning at Pakiri Beach carpark, we walk along the beach and enter the public reserve at the southern end of the beach. We then have a BIG, STEEP uphill hike to the crest of Kiri’s pa site, although, out of respect, we will skirt around the pa site itself. The views from here are spectacular and a bit of recovery time is a must so we’ll take a pause for water and pics.
Next up, we walk along the ridge line to meet M Greenwood Rd, walk up the road to meet Pakiri Rd and follow this to the top of Pakiri Hill. We need to be careful on this stretch of road and watch for traffic but we rejoin the paper road, just before the crest of the hill and get to enjoy more amazing views across the outer Gulf, and the site of one of the world’s early experiments using radio astronomy.
Upon reaching the top of Pakiri Hill, we need to walk approx. 5km of Rodney Rd, heading south. At this stage, there is no alternative to using the road, and although we like to get ‘off piste’ as much as possible, the views from the entire length of Rodney Rd are just glorious. You won’t be disappointed and we’ll take time to name the islands and headlands, and enjoy the beauty.
We then connect up with the ‘paper road’ that runs downhill to Schollum Road. Yes, it’s all pretty much downhill from here – yay! We follow the trail through foliage that is chest-high and dense in some places, but it is secluded and beautiful. The fantails love to escort us as we work our way through groves of trees and open, grassy patches with views over Omaha Bay.
We’ll take in a snack and photo stop on this section so you can soak up the spectacular views east and south, before arriving at the top of Schollum Road. There are more gorgeous views over Whangateau, Omaha and Matakana as we walk down Schollum Road and take in some local history as we go.
Then it’s a quick dart over Leigh Road and into Upper Whangateau Road where we walk to the property of our host, Ian Macdonald. Ian’s property features kauri groves, large puriri and a host of other natives, and he’ll show you where the proposed trail will run along his border on the paper road. This is our afternoon tea stop and will include tea/coffee/cake. Ian might give us a short presentation about the plan for the Omaha Trail.
The final leg of the journey takes us down the slope and over the paddocks of the neighbouring farm, with views over the Omaha river, and along a country lane to rejoin our bus. As an addition to the walk, on our way back to Warkworth, we will stop at the Sawmill Brewery to sample their delicious craft beer range.