CAPE TO COVE | Hiking Tour 

Cape Brett to the Dukes Nose

Northland is full of hidden gems, walks that not everyone has discovered yet! You are more than likely to meet only a couple of people as you hike these trails. The walks are special not only for their beauty but for the cultural and historic elements that are unique to this part of the world.

This full walking tour will take you out to stay overnight on at Cape Brett, followed by a must do stop at Urupukapuka Island for a totally different walk. Our final walk is further North and leads you to the Whangaroa Harbour. In between we take in waterfalls, beautiful beaches and other off the beaten tracks.

Good food and wine are a huge part of this experience, as is staying all different types of accommodation from waterfront hotels to some basic, comfortable huts in magical remote areas.


Sunday | Day 1

  • Arrive in Russell, Bay of Islands.
  • Make your own way to our first nights’ accommodation –the Duke of Marlborough Hotel
  • Meet and greet your fellow hikers and you tour leader over an evening meal over the water in Paihia.

Monday | Day 2

  • Walk options – 6km or 17km (minimum of 2 on each)– both walks finish at Cape Brett where we spend the night.
  • Buffet breakfast at the Duke overlooking the Bay, before setting off to Rawhiti or Deepwater Cove to begin the iconic Cape Brett Walk.
  • This walk is one of the New Zealand’s best hikes. A difficult but totally rewarding walk… enjoy outstanding views of the outer Bay of Islands, north to the Cavalli Islands and south to Whangaruru and beyond to the Poor Knights Islands, while taking in the peace and tranquillity that only isolation can provide.
  • Arriving at Cape Brett - The Guiding light: The lighthouse at the end of Cape Brett has guided and protected visitors to New Zealand for hundreds of years. The light reflecting off the crystalline rocks once helped guide the earliest waka to a safe landfall in this new homeland. For the last 100 years the Cape Brett lighthouse has lit and protected the coast for all seafarers.
  • This is your resting spot for the night, in the basic but comfortable hut set right on the tip of the peninsula. The sunsets and sunrises are spectacular. There is no better place to enjoy a glass of wine and dinner and marvel at the surrounds.

Tuesday | Day 3

  • Walking 6km to 17km. After 6km it is optional
  • Sunrise and breakfast! Set off on the 6km trek to Deep Water Cove to be collected by water taxi and transported to Urupukapuka Island.
  • Urupukapuka Island is the largest island in the Bay of Islands and is a slice of paradise well worth exploring. As well as boasting some of the most spectacular panoramic views imaginable and gorgeous beaches with crystal clear water there are dozens of pristinely preserved archaeological sites on the island, some of which may be up to 1000 years old.
  • Relax, swim or walk – or do all three! There is an 11km loop walk around the island but also several shorter ones.
  • You will hike through forest which is full of birdsong with birds such as the North Island robin and saddleback, which are the jewels amongst the abundant tui and fantail population
  • Leaving the island, its back to Russell where you can enjoy another luxurious night at the Duke of Marlborough Hotel, and dine in their award- winning restaurant.

Wednesday | Day 4

  • Walking 7km
  • Buffet breakfast at The Duke.
  • Visit to the famous Stone Store and Kemp House - this beauty was established in 1819, the Kerikeri Mission Station is one of the first places in New Zealand where Māori invited visitors to live among them.
  • Head further North to the coastal drive, Matauri Bay loop road – your first walk of the day will be the beautiful Mahinepua track which is a 2 hour loop track (5km). Finishing with a picnic on the beach at Mahinepua
  • Next stop Whangaroa Harbour – to the Lookout a short steep climb but so rewarding – Ohakiri /St. Paul’s Track. Be in awe of Whangaroa Harbour and surrounds, pristine and peaceful. This area is known as the Fiordland of the North.
  • Drive to Totara North, park the van, and walk2km to the Water Taxi that will take you to the Northern arm of the Whangaroa Harbour only accessible by boat or on foot.
  • Your accommodation is the basic Lane Cove DOC hut located in an idyllic landscape only a few steps from the water. The area has spectacular rock formations and coastal forest. You can enjoy a refreshing swim or simply relax on the deck. Enjoy dinner and a drink in this remote spot of the Whangaroa Harbour.

Thursday | Day 5

  • Walking around 17km
  • Before breakfast, you can head up the Dukes Nose (un guided) – which is a 500 metre steep climb – but you are rewarded with that “I’m on top of the world feeling”. There is nothing that can match those panoramic open views from the top of the “Dukes Nose!” A steep climb your tour leader will advise you of the intricacies of it!
  • After breakfast you will start the 5.6km Wairakau Stream Track – this is a pretty track which climbs over a saddle to an old farm road and then descends through regenerating forest to Wairakau Stream –a perfect place for a freshwater dip. Meandering back to Totara North where you will arrive at the van.
  • Lunch stop at the quirky Totara North Pub.
  • A 40 -minute drive to your next walking destination will take you into the heart of the Puketi forest – subtropical rainforest with a diverse range of forest trees including: puriri, taraire, nikau, and kauri.
  • Settling down for the night and last dinner as a group in Kerikeri.

Friday | Day 6

  • Breakfast - Drive back to your vehicle or drop off at other accommodation in the Bay of Islands or the airport…
  • Of course we can also arrange extra nights and activities in any other areas of Northland including the Bay of Islands with so many adventures to do on and off the water.

cape to cove tour

All Year | $2500

Single room supplement available

Includes accommodation, food (breakfast, lunch, dinner), van transfers, boat transfers, your Tour Manager, and track fees. Alcohol and other beverages are excluded.

STAY LONGER!

We encourage you to stay a while in this amazing part of the world. We can arrange accommodation and activities for you at competitive rates.

  • Day trip on the Tall Ship “R Tucker Thompson”
  • A scenic helicopter ride out to the famous Hole in the Rock.
  • Scuba dive in the marine reserve of Deep Water Cove where HMS Canterbury lies, or the Rainbow Warrior not far away in the Cavalli Islands
  • See the bay from up high – with a Parasail or Skydive
  • Swim with the dolphins
  • Explore the Bay of Islands by yacht, kayak or motor boat
  • Hook a snapper and have it cooked for dinner at a restaurant in town or go for that TROPHY FISH & catch a Marlin!
  • World class golf courses
  • Walk the islands
  • Day trip to Cape Reinga where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean in a spectacular swirl of currents and where Maori spirits begin their final journey.
  • Enjoy a traditional hangi and cultural show
  • Take a vineyard tour with detours to a boutique chocolate factory and cheese factory OR cycle some more!

We are passionate about the region and making sure that visitors have the best experience!