Section 25 – Orewa to Stillwater, Auckland
13km – 3 hrs
This portion of Te Araroa starts from the southern end of Orewa Beach south of the bridge on Te Ara Tahuna – the Orewa Estuary walkway and winds up at Stillwater Boating Club in Stillwater. Starting out early we followed the footpath along the pleasant, popular shoreline of Orewa estuary before leaving the walkway and weaving through the new, cookie-cutter suburb of Millwater which eventually comes out at the Silverdale Centre shops.
At the end of the Silverdale Centre shops you will come across Silverdale Pioneer Village which is an intriguing time trail of buildings from the 1860s to the 1930s that deserves a quick stop. It also has a charming garden which can be a good place to rest those tortured feet.
After a glimpse at pioneer life in the historic village we headed down the hill (Silverdale St) passed a selection of shops and bakeries. At the end of the street is Hibiscus Highway. Don’t try to cross this! Instead turn right and take the underpass beneath the highway. Coming out from the underpass you will see Wade Tavern. This is approximately the 4.5km mark but depending on the time it is a great, comfortable, low key pub that is worth a stop for a drink or meal on the balcony. Especially as there are no options for a drink for quite some time if you are thru walking Te Araroa.
After Wade Tavern the trail turns into over 8km of walking alongside the shoulder of a couple of busy roads. I should have read the notes more carefully but as a local I’d always thought the road down to Stillwater was a quiet road to a sleepy, backwater suburb. Not anymore. Walking with two people and a five month old miniature poodle with countless cars zooming past was not really ideal. But it’s doable. After three hours we finally made our way down to Stillwater Boating Club which has a picturesque view of Weiti estuary, some picnic tables and soft, grassy areas to collapse on. A cute, little spot to end the walk at.
Notes: There is a Macpac outlet store at Silverdale Centre if you are a thru hiker and need any outdoor gear.
Notes: There are no shops in Stillwater
I am planning to walk the whole of Te Araroa over the next five years or so. Please click on the below links to read about other sections I have completed. And if you’d like to be notified of new posts please enter your email address in the box in the right-hand column.
- Te Araroa trail overview
- Section 19 – Te Arai Beach Walk
- Section 20 – Te Hikoi O Te Kiri (Mt Tamahanga)
- Section 22 – Puhoi Track
- Section 26 – Akarana Trail, North Shore Coastal Walk (blog post to come)
- Section 27 – Coast to Coast Walk
The official Te Araroa website includes detailed trail notes.