Forrest Mallard - July 12, 2021

Cape Brett Track
Northland, New Zealand
Start: Oke Bay
End: Lighthouse, Seaward End, Cape Brett Peninsula
Distance: 10 miles (16 km)
Time: 8 hours
Difficulty: Moderate
Surface: Coastal Trails

Cape Brett Track - New Zealand - Map

The Cape Brett Track traverses rugged terrain for 16 km through native and regenerating bush. Expect dramatic coastal views; steep cliffs and drop-offs to the side of the track are a feature.

The Bay of Islands is aptly named-144 islands strung out between Cape Brett and the Purerua Peninsula in the Northland region of New Zealand’s North island. Made famous in the 1930s byU.S. author and fishing enthusiast Zane Grey, who called it “the angler’s El Dorado,” this region features many walking trails – one of the best is the Cape Brett Track.

Cape Brett Track - New Zealand - Lighthouse

Cape Brett Track begins at Oke Bay and continues along the peninsula’s spine in a northeasterly direction, concluding at an old lighthouse at the peninsula’s seaward end. You can reverse the walk by catching a boat to the lighthouse and walking back toward the mainland. The trail is well-marked and maintained, and can at times be decidedly steep, yet the track’s high point is an easily scalable 1,131 feet (345 m). It passes through a wealth of native and regenerated coastal heathlands, but the real rewards are the many drop-offs and steep cliffs you pass on the way. You will also have (if you begin at Oke Bay) the welcoming sight of the Cape Brett Hut at the trait’s end, with its cooking facilities and twenty-three comfortable bunks.

Cape Brett Track - New Zealand - Aerial View of Lighthouse

Be sure not to touch the electrified fence that was installed across the peninsula in 1995 to prevent encroachment of possums into the peninsula’s fragile coastal flora.


All trampers must pay a track maintenance fee, and a fee to use the Cape Brett Hut.Track fees maintain the track section crossing private land between Rawhiti and Deep Water Cove.

  • Adult: $40
  • Child: $20

There is no charge for the section of track between Deep Water Cove and Cape Brett, or Whangamumu to Te Toroa Bay.

Know Before You Go

  • Pack out all your rubbish including food scraps, to prevent rat infestations.
  • No camping or fires.


Parking is available for a small fee at:

253 Rawhiti Road, Kaingahoa (Julie Witehira)
Kaingahoa Marae, 243 Rawhiti Road, Rawhiti
Hartwells, Kaimarama Bay.


To walk this 16 km undulating track, you need to:

  • be self-sufficient and have have a high degree of fitness and experience
  • take extreme caution as there are many bluffs and steep cliffs
  • remain on the track at all times do not take shortcuts
  • have 8 hours of daylight one way to complete the journey to the old lighthouse settlement
  • wear tramping/hiking boots, especially if the track is wet
  • take plenty of water to drink during the tramp
  • carry a water treatment system if you are staying at the Cape Brett hut as the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed during summer
  • give way to other people when on narrow sections of the track
  • Before tramping in or staying at the hut, check with the DOC Bay of Islands office about the water supply.


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Hi! I'm Forrest Mallard

In 2005, I moved to Quito, Ecuador with $35 in my pocket and a small handful of online clients. Fifteen years and five continents later, there were moments of absolute glamour, as well as a number of brutal rough patches. But I always felt that a horrible day of travel is infinitely more preferable than a great day at the office. Oh the stories I could tell, and I will try to do that here in Tramposaurus Treks. You'll have access to the good times, the horrifying times, and a few well-deserved moments of travel glamour.

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