Some of our region’s most popular walking and running tracks can be found at the Papamoa Hills Regional Park (Te Rae O Papamoa).
This 135ha property overlooks the sprawling plains of Papamoa below and out to the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views right along our coastline from Mount Manganui to Whakatane.
If you climb right to the top you’ll be standing 224m above sea level. It’ll take you about 45 minutes to complete this steep walk from the carpark to the trig station but the views are definitely worth the effort. You’ll walk through pine forests, native bush and across open farmland along the way.
In addition to this main track, there are several other trails throughout the park where you can enjoy different views and explore the archeological treasures which lie here.
Seven pa sites (where Papamoa’s original Maori inhabitants lived) can be found in these hills, and the terracing they created around these pa can quite clearly be seen. The regional park was formed in 2003 to help protect the site’s cultural heritage (which may date back as far as 1650AD or even earlier) and there are over 2000 archeological features found here.
Most tracks are well formed but good walking shoes are recommend, along with a reasonable level of fitness. You’ll need to take bottled water with you as there are no drinking taps provided here. Don’t forget sunscreen and a hat as New Zealand’s sun can be fierce, especially in summer!
Over 50,000 native plants have been planted across these hills in recent years by the local regional council for you to enjoy. But the park is also an operational farm, so please leave any gates the way you found them.
Entry to the Papamoa Hills is at the end of Poplar Lane off SH2 between Papamoa and Te Puke. More information about the different walking trails can be found on a display board at the Poplar Lane carpark.
This is a wonderful place for people of all ages to explore. The Papamoa Hills Regional Park is open daily from 6:30am until 7pm in winter and until 9pm in summer.