Akeake Point Historic Reserve

Akeake Point Historic Reserve covers the high ridgeline between Opito Bay and Tareha Point. When the first missionaries arrived in Kerikeri around 1820, it was occupied by Ngati Rehia iwi, led by the rangatira, Tareha. There was a pā at Pukewahau to the northwest and one at Tareha Point on the peninsula's tip overlooking the junction of Kerikeri Inlet and Te Puna Inlet. Today, the area is covered in regenerating native forest and is a haven for Brown Kiwi.

The reserve has several connected short tracks. They provide access to Lizard Bay on Te Puna Inlet, the historic pā site, and a viewing platform at Tareha Point. The tracks can be done as a loop with several side trips. Allow about an hour for the whole combination, plus time to take in the views.

From the east end of Opito Bay, you will see a sign marking a right of way between a couple of houses. It is a short 50-metre stepped climb to the ridgeline. From there, you can walk down to the beach at Lizard Bay or along the ridge towards Tareha pā and Point. The track along the ridge is mostly through attractive maturing kanuka and manuka, the first growth of recovering native forest.

After a short distance, there is a fork in the track and head left to the pā and point. As you approach the point, much of the pā has been obscured by forest regrowth, but there is an obvious defensive ditch with a short bridge. Tareha Point is about 70 metres above where Te Puna Inlet connects with Kerikeri Inlet and the Bay of Islands to the east. The Purerua Peninsula is particularly prominent on the north side of Te Puna Inlet.

Return along the track to the fork, then continue to the left, high above Kerikeri Inlet. This section is narrow in places with steep drops, so take extra. In early summer, flowering kamahi are a feature in this section, and there are more superb views of the inlet along the track before it meets the end of Opito Bay Road. From there, it is a couple of minutes down to the beach.

10 images

We're on Instagram

Follow Trip Ideas for more great content like this