Wharekai-Te Kaau Walk

Wharekai-Te Kaau Walk - Jackson Bay

Wharekai-Te Kaau Walk

Jackson Bay



2 Rankers Reviews

2 Face-to-Face

28 Walking

2 Haast

Your Nature Guide

Marios Gavalas's avatar

Marios Gavalas

Author And Researcher

Nau mai, haere mai

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!



The end of the road


1.6 km return | 40 minutes return

The journey is also the destination. Ocean Beach is a rocky, driftwood strewn beach, hemmed in at high tide with large rollers smashing into the rocks.

Walk from sheltered Jackson Bay to the rocky shore at Ocean Beach. Interpretation panels tell stories about tidal pools and the life of the rocky shore. Please leave shellfish untouched for others to see.


Jackson Bay is 48 km from Haast Junction. After the Waitoto River the scenery steps up a notch. This is a drive on a grand scale - a road to nowhere.

The track is signposted from the DoC information building around the left-hand corner from the fish and chips caravan. Head right up the industrial looking access road to the parking area.


The walk traverses a low saddle to Ocean Beach.

European History

In 1874, hopes were up for establishing another thriving settlement on the West Coast - this time right at the southern accessible extremity at Jackson Bay. With fish, forest and minerals, on paper it looked good.

By 1877 400 hopeful immigrants had set up camp, many blissfully unaware of the practicalities and hardships of breaking in land. Let alone in one of the most isolated, tempestuous and harsh places of an outpost.

Without a wharf and with prodigious rainfall, even growing crops, let alone selling them, proved too hard and many left. A few hardy souls stuck it out. Their descendant live on here.


Feature Value Info


South IslandWest CoastHaast


  • Walking
  • Free



Nils Poppenborg's avatar

Nils Poppenborg


Ranking: 10/10

Best fish n chips ever!! Easy to walk, fantastic bay and great view, possibly dolphins and penguins.

Reviewed over 7 years ago

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Daniela Borter's avatar

Daniela Borter


Ranking: 10/10

Very beautiful track.

Reviewed over 9 years ago

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