Zion Hill Track
Karekare Regional Park
Dogs: Only on northern section of the beach
38km from Auckland CBD
3 Hours Loop
This is a great medium sized walk featuring a diverse range of landscapes including wetlands, beach, coastal forests and cliffs. Starting from the Karekare beach carpark you head back onto the road and turn right until you reach a grass clearing 50 metres up the road. From here you walk through some nice coastal forest, keep an eye out for the Zion Hill Track sign on your right. Take this track. On your way up the hill make sure you take advantage of the many great lookout spots, to take a break and enjoy the views of Karekare beach.
About an hour in you will come to a fork in the road, one leading further up Zion Hill and another down to the base of the cliff into the wetlands. We took the right hand turn down to the beach, this makes for a shorter walk however you can take the left track for a longer hike if you wish. The track to the beach makes a steep descent through some muddy parts and amazing forest. From the base of this track you will come to some wooden walkways designed to keep you dry (this probably won't happen, basically you will get wet) weaving towards the sand dunes. Take a moment to look up towards the cliff face mirrored onto the water below as you follow the beach side of the wetland across sand dunes until you reach a tunnel dubbed tunnel point. Follow this track towards the beach and back to the Karekare car park.
Location: Karekare Beach, Beach Valley Rd, Piha