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Author And Researcher
I'm Marios, delivering the best of Aotearoa's nature walks to your device.
I've personally walked hundreds of New Zealand's tracks and spent months in libraries uncovering interesting information on New Zealand/Aotearoa. And you'll find a slice of that research on this page - enjoy!
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From the southern side of Scotts Point there are quintessential views of Ninety Mile Beach. The beach is masked by a haze of spray in the far distance, while the rolling crests of folding waves retreat to the horizon. Matapia Island stands out to sea.
This track is the third in a trio of walks - all on the Te Paki Coastal Track.
1. Cape Reinga to Te Werahi Beach
2. Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach
3. Twilight Beach to Te Paki Stream.
You can start the walk from Te Paki Stream carpark, which is 4km down Te Paki Stream Road, 17km before Cape Reinga. This would do the walk described here in reverse.
You can also join the walk via the Te Werahi Gate to Te Werahi Beach track.
The Te Paki Coastal Track is a 48 km, 3 day tramp traversing New Zealand’s northernmost tip.
The descriptions here have broken the tramp into bite size chunks, with Cape Reinga at the fulcrum.
This is the third in a trio of walks starting at Cape Reinga.
1.Cape Reinga to Te Werahi Beach
2.Te Werahi Beach to Twilight Beach
3. Twilight Beach to Te Paki Stream.
Twilight Beach takes 40 minutes to walk.
At the south-eastern end an old vehicle track crosses Scotts Point for 1½ hours through low vegetation. Take care following the orange marker posts as there is a network of tracks excavated through the mantle of thin peat soils to the bedrock below. Tracks are wide and firm.
The final 10 minutes over Scotts Point to Kahokawa Beach, at the northernmost tip of Ninety Mile Beach, drops via wooden steps.
It takes around 1 hour to walk Ninety Mile Beach along firm sand to reach Te Paki Stream (Kauaeparaoa Stream), from where it is a further 1 hour to reach the carpark. You will have to walk along the bed of the shallow sandy stream.
Beware of vehicles on Ninety Mile Beach and Te Paki Stream, which is the main northern access point for vehicles using the beach.
Around 5 million years ago, the Aupori Peninsula, including Te Paki, was a series of islets, an archipelago separated by shallow seas. With the onset and waning of Ice Ages, sea levels fluctuated and large sandspits formed, sculpted by the prevailing south-westerly winds. Te Paki thus became joined to the greater North Island landmass, but still retains an island character. It feels like a different land.
To Maori, Ninety Mile Beach is known as Te-Oneroa-a-Tohe, meaning ‘the Long Beach of Tohe’. According to Maori mythology, a spirit will travel north with a token of its home in hand. This will be deposited at Te Arai in the form of twigs, seaweed or a sprig of leaves. The spirit then climbs a high hill called Haumu and bids farewell to the land of the living, before travelling down the exposed root of the legendary pohutukawa at Cape Reinga. From there it travels to the Three Kings Islands and Hawaiki.
Twilight Beach was named after the wreck of the schooner Twilight on 25th March 1871, with the loss of two lives. In 1966 the collier Kaitawa also sunk nearby. All 29 crew members drowned. Wreckage from the wheelhouse was later retrieved from the beach. The beach was formerly known as Rahu Bay.
The source of the name of Ninety Mile Beach is a mystery, however one theory refers to Scotts Point. It is named after an early European settler, who grazed sheep near present day Ahipara, at the southern end of the beach. In autumn, he would drive them up the beach to Scotts Point to graze. As he was the only Pakeha man in those days to travel the beach, he was often asked of its length. His response of “Ninety Miles” became commonly used and the misnomer has stuck.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Kaitaia
This place is worth a look. Take one of the hiking routes where you will see all sorts of landscapes in only 20km. Remember all kinds of clothing! The weather changes quickly.
Walk for free! Clean!
Astonishing views and some historical information along the way.
A spectacular view over the coast!
End of the world feeling.
Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍