Maunganui Bluff rises to nearly 500 metres above sea level and protrudes from a tumultuous sea in sheer cliffs. Views from the summit stretch endlessly in all directions. To the south, the white capped breakers of Ripiro Beach retreat to a blur on the salt laden horizon. To the north lie the low former dunes of the Waipoua coast and to the east the Tutamoe Range.
From S.H.12 south of Aranga, turn into unsealed Aranga Coast Road and follow it 6km to the beach. The start of the track is signposted on the right by a small parking bay.
For 20 minutes the narrow track passes through dense thickets of flax, before entering coastal forest. It climbs steadily for 30 minutes and is marked with orange triangles. It then follows a fenceline for 10 minutes before veering left up a vehicle track for 10 minutes to the trig at the summit.
Maunganui Bluff rises to nearly 500 metres above sea level and protrudes from a tumultuous sea in sheer cliffs. Hardy flax clings in clefts, but little other vegetation can gain hold. On the lee side of the bluff is a verdant coastal forest of nikau, puriri, taraire and kohekohe.
Large puriri grow on the high cliff frontage. Hebe speciosa still grows in its natural environment on the slopes and snow grass, usually confined to the South Island, flourishes on the northern coastline.
Maori say Maunganui Bluff looks towards Kaipara and used it as a vantage point. Ngati Whatua, whose southern boundary once lay in the vicinity of the bluff, used smoke signals from the highest point as an early warning system to communicate to more southerly tribes the danger of impeding attack.
Around the beginning of the 1800s, when Ngapuhi passed down the coast, chiefs Murupaenga and Taoho, who lived near present-day Baylys Beach, were warned of Hongi Hika’s approaching war party. They were able to defeat them by ambush.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Dargaville
2 hours 30 minutes return. Easy walk with a beautiful view of the top. Really recommended.
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Really great walk between beach and mountain. Really great view!
Access savings worth hundreds of $$ on Top Ranked NZ Accommodation and Activities for just $1 per day.
Great views, well maintained track, clean beaches.
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A great experience for those fit enough to attempt it.
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 😍