Paihia to Opua to Russell Coastal Loop
ElevationAscent: 568' 173 m
Descent: -570' -174 m
High: 204' 62 m
Low: 0' 0 m
GradeAvg Grade: 2% (1°)
Max Grade: 10% (5°)
“A loop run with two ferry rides around the Bay of Islands.”— Kristen Arendt
Ferry timetables and fare information can be found here.
Starting from Paihia, head south on the the Paihia to Opua Walkway, A well-maintained track that follows along the water. From Paihia, it heads along the beach and then passes a helicopter pad before crossing a bridge at the Te Haumi Stream. Once over this bridge, the trail enters the bush on the left. After the bridge, keep an eye open for the Te Araroa Pathway sign.
From here, the trail is well-marked and rolling. This section of the walkway has pleasant views over Veronica Channel toward Russell. After a few more small ups and downs, and a nice boardwalk section, the track ends at Opua.
Stop by the general store for snacks or refreshments before taking the ferry from Opua to Okiato on the Russell Peninsula. The ferry schedule can be found here.
Once the ferry docks in Okiato, continue on the Okiato to Russell Walkway. This varied and scenic walkway winds from Okiato to Russell through native bush and along wetland flats.
From the ferry terminal at Okiato, this scenic walkway follows a well-marked and well-maintained track all the way to Orongo Bay and then on to the town of Russell. The track passes through a variety of terrain ranging from dense native bush, to wetland flats, to a pleasant boardwalk that winds along the edge of the water.
Once you reach the town of Russell, simply catch one of the passenger ferries to return to Paihia.
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Flora & Fauna, History & Background
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