“A trail with spectacular coastal scenery and luxuriant bush right down to the beaches.”
— Alan Eskrick
Weather in this area is notorious for changing rapidly. Carry warm gear in case you get caught out.
The Heaphy River mouth is an exciting place. The river surges out through a narrow gap into the sea; incoming waves halt the flow and the churning of salt and fresh waters is spectacular.
The 16.2 km of track south to Kohaihai is through forest although beach running is possible in some places. Some of the small streams are not bridged and can be dangerous after heavy rain. The forest has rata and karaka trees, many vines, and groves of nikau palms. Be careful of the stinging nettle that grows in some places.
Just beyond Katipo Creek is Crayfish (Koura) Point. Formerly there was no high tide track over the point, but the Dept of Conservation has now blasted a track over the bluff so the route is no longer weather and tide dependent.
From Scotts Beach, the track begins climbing over Kohaihai Saddle and down through wind-blasted shrubs to a bridge across the Kohaihai River. The track follows the riverbank for 400m to Kohaihai carpark where there is a shelter and phone.
DOC has put a lot of work into upgrading the track surface so it is not now difficult, however, it is a run that should be on everyone's bucket list for the scenery.