Tatarahake Cliff Walk

Tatarahake Cliff Walk

Tolaga Bay



1 km return | 30 minutes return

The sands of Tolaga Bay are sprinkled with driftwood, seaweed and other flotsam. Low marram grass covered dunes flank the foreshore and a line of Norfolk Island Pines borders the road.

Out to sea the sheer exposed cliffs show the distinctive bluish grey ‘papa’ rock. Determined scraps of vegetation, cling tightly to the rock in a loosing battle with the sea.


The northern headland walk is accessed by heading north from the township and turning right into Forster Street. At the beach head left to the roadend carpark, from where the track is visible rising up the hill. There are toilet facilities all along the grass reserve between the dunes and the road. The walk up the cliff face at the northern end starts from the sign at the Tatarahake Cliff - Ernest Reeves Reserve.


The steep track is aided by steps. It takes approximately 15 minutes to reach the lookout, with panoramic views over the bay and inland to the pastured hills.


The rock is particularly prone to erosion because the mudstone is easily eroded. Faults, fractures and crevices are exploited by the waves. Summer droughts fry the rock hard and torrential rain then loosens the blocks. Lack of native vegetation and soil hinders the binding of the structure exacerbated by stock grazing the headland. This combination of processes gives rise to the distinctive headlands of the area.


Feature Value Info


North IslandOut EastTolaga Bay


  • Walking
  • Free


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DOC Managed

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 😍

Nick Morrison's avatar

Nick Morrison

Rankers owner