The coastal views encompass many Hauraki Gulf islands including Pakihi, Ponui and Waiheke Islands. The multitude of islands and the distant Coromandel Range enclose the sea views and give the impression of looking at a large lake. Chenier ridges of shell shelter extensive salt marshes to the south of the headland.
From Clevedon, follow North Road 10km. Duder Regional Park is signposted on the right, 1km before Umupuia Beach. The start of the track is signposted from the carpark, which also has toilets nearby.
The walk is a combination of two tracks. The Farm Loop is indicated by red banded marker poles and the Whakakaiwhara Pa Walk is shown by blue banded marker poles. The walks cross open pasture and follow established farm tracks excavated into the hillside. These tend to collect water after periods of rain.
Shortly after leaving the carpark, head left and climb to the trig station. The track then hugs the ridge and after 45 minutes meets the junction with the Whakakaiwhara Pa Walk. This takes 1 hour return and funnels to a knife blade ridge at the pa site on the extremity of the headland.
The return walk follows the Farm Loop over a metalled farm road for the final 15 minutes. There is a 15-minute-return detour through the coastal forest to some sandy bays at the feet of the cliffs. Head left on reaching sea level and double back along the coast.
The peninsula forming today’s park was the first landing place in the Waitemata Harbour of the Tainui Canoe. The headland pa commanded extensive views for the Ngai Tai residents of the Hauraki Gulf coastline and offshore islands. The pa was named Whaka-kai-whara, which means ‘eat the bracts of the kiekie vine’.
Near the top of the site is a defensive ditch, used to protect the dwellings and kumara storage pits. These well-preserved hollows litter the highest points of the headland.
In 1866, Thomas Duder purchased 243 hectares of land from Ngai Tai and farmed it. Pockets of native forest are fenced from grazing stock and include young kauri. A ring of pohutukawa surround the peninsula.
North Island ▷ Auckland Region ▷ Clevedon
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