Big Omaha Trail
November, 8:45am. Duration: 6.75 hours.
$32 - includes bus, morning tea and BBQ lunch.
Grade 4
Limited to 30

Co-guide on this trip, Ian Macdonald, has a vision of this walk forming part of a greater walking/cycling track running from Matakana to Pakiri, and possibly beyond. This walk is approximately 8km of that trail, taking in private land, public roads and council reserve. The walk is a continuation of a process to assess the viability and merits of the proposed trail so we hope you’ll enjoy the adventure.

Beginning at the crest of the Pakiri ridge line, we have the chance to take in expansive views from Whangarei Heads to Auckland. The outer Hauraki Gulf looks majestic from this viewpoint and we’ll take a bit of time to name the islands and headlands, and enjoy the beauty.

Then it’s downhill on the ‘paper road’ that runs to Schollum Road. Enjoy some good-fun bush crashing as 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 that you can really 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 guide, Ian Macdonald. Ian’s property features kauri groves, large puriri and a host of other natives, and we’ll show you where the proposed trail will run along Ian’s border on the paper road. Our lunch stop will be in Ian’s front yard with more beautiful views and 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 are hoping to stop in at the newly-opened Sawmill Brewery to sample their delicious craft beer range (the brewery is not open to the public at the time of writing but should be by November).

This walk definitely has an adventurous element to it and, while pretty rough in some places, is downhill most of the way. There are glorious views and lush bush, and you’ll get to be one of the pioneers of this trail which could become a public walkway/cycleway in the future. It’s going to be an adventure and it’s going to be fun so we look forward to leading you across the Big Omaha Trail.