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The Māhia Peninsula Scenic Reserve is a "must do" activity when visiting Māhia Peninsula. The reserve is 7kms south of Māhia Beach along the Kinikini Road. It is one of the last tracks of lowland coastal forest remaining on the East Coast. It was initially established by the Gisborne Royal Forest and Bird Protection Society in 1981 when the land was finally classified as a "Scenic Reserve". The total area is 374 hectares. The highest point on the reserve is the trig station, Te Kapu, which is 397m above sea level. This spot offers spectacular views of the peninsula. The main purpose of the Reserve is to preserve and protect the native forest. Fences have been erected and noxious animal control programmes are continually under way.

The track is in good condition with steps up hills and trail markers, but it can be slippery when it is wet. In places branches lay across the path and have to be walked over or under. The path crosses numerous streams and in the winter stones in the stream have to be used as stepping stones to cross the streams. In one place after crossing the stream it is difficult to find the path again. Sturdy footwear is required and a moderate level of fitness. We have been advised by many people that walking around the track anticlockwise is easier than walking it clockwise. The loop track is about 3.5kms long and should take about 2.5 hrs to complete.

Dogs, firearms and camping are prohibited in this area, and the NZ Environmental Care Code is expected to be followed: "Toitu te whenua" "leave the land undisturbed". The vegetation is a mixture of tawa, kohekohe, podocarps (rimu, matai and kahikatea) and hard woods. Rewarewa (NZ Honeysuckle) is a common sight, distinctive in its shape and characterised by dull red flower clusters which appear during November and December. A healthy sub-canopy compliments these trees and is typified by tarata, karaka, mahoe, ngaio, cabbage trees and lancewood. An added attraction is the abundant bird life. The fantail and native pigeon are supplemented by numerous other species using the reserve as an important food source. Halfway along the track is a clearing, complete with picnic table beside a sparkling stream, an ideal spot for a picnic or just a rest.


From Wairoa take State Highway 2 towards Gisborne. At Nuhaka, go straight ahead to Opoutama and Māhia. At Opoutama turn right over the railway line towards Māhia. At Māhia veer right onto Moana Drive then right along Newcastle Street. Follow the road around to Taylor's Bay. At the end of the road there is an unsealed road that is marked NO EXIT.


Where to find the iSITE

Physical Address: 9 Paul Street, Wairoa 4108
Postal Address: PO Box 54, Wairoa 4160, Hawke’s Bay
Opening Hours:
Weekdays 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Weekends and public holidays 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
CLOSED Christmas Day

Contact us

0800 HAWKES BAY (429537 229)
and press 3 for Wairoa

+64 6 838 7440
+64 6 838 3901

9 Paul Street, Wairoa 4108
PO Box 54, Wairoa 4160, Hawke’s Bay
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