This walkway uses the Kapuni to Auckland gas pipeline route for 11 km. The laying of the pipeline involved an immense amount of heavy construction work and these operations opened up walking access to the dramatic forest and coastal country of the region. The entire walkway is across private land.
The walkway is closed from 1 July to 30 September every year for the lambing season.
You can find more information on the walkway here.
Time: Up to eight hours
Distance: 22 km return on same track
Getting there: Whitecliffs Walkway begins at the Pukearuhe boat ramp (please park to allow access to ramp and farmers property) which is located at the end of Pukearuhe Road, north of Urenui.
Note: It is no longer possible to walk the Whitecliffs Walkway from Pukearuhe to Tongaporutu as the northern end of the track from Clifton Road end at Tongaporutu to the stock tunnel entrance is currently closed.
Warning: The beach between the Waipingau Stream mouth and Pukearuhe is accessible only at low tide so please check tide times beforehand. It is advisable that you do not attempt the walk unless you can reach Pukearuhe while the tide is still on its way out. See Tide timetable for Taranaki.
There are three walking options along the Whitecliffs Walkway:
• Pukearuhe to Waipingau Stream, returning to Pukearuhe via the beach (low tide only): 3 - 4 hours / 6.5 km.
• Pukearuhe to Mt Messenger: 6 - 7 hours / 11 km
• Pukearuhe to the stock tunnel (return the same way): 3 - 4 hours one way/11km (22km return)
The walkway crosses open farmland to Mt Davidson, where it enters Ngati Tama land. It then follows the pipeline route along the ridge tops before descending to the Waipingau Stream.
Here you can divert from the main track and return to Pukearuhe by following the stream to the coast and walking south along the beach (tide permitting). There is a large active cliff slip just south of the Waipingau Stream: beware of falling rocks and take extreme caution along the beach.
The walkway continues across the Waipingau Stream bridge before climbing to the Parininihi Ridge high point and descending to the junction with the Mt Messenger Track leading to State Highway 3.
The Whitecliffs Walkway continues along the cliff tops to the historic stock tunnel, where cattle were once brought along the beach on their way north). Here the track ends and you must return the same way. It is not safe to go through the tunnel.