The Papamoa Hills Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise. Explore the park’s cultural heritage and walk around former pā sites, or challenge yourself to reach the 224-metre high summit to enjoy stunning views. 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 182-hectare park overlooks the sprawling plains of Papamoa below and out to the Pacific Ocean, offering breathtaking views right along our coastline from Mount Manganui to Whakatāne.
If you climb right to the top, you’ll be standing 224-metres above sea level. It’ll take you about 45-minutes to complete this steep walk from the car park to the trig station but the views are definitely worth the effort.
In addition to this main track, there are several other trails throughout the park where you can enjoy different views and explore the archaeological treasures that lie here.
A new parking area, positioned approximately 400 metres north of the old one, opens up additional walking paths. Park upgrades include a new toilet block, enhanced seating and picnic areas, interpretive panels and wayfinding signage.
You have the option to do a wheelchair-accessible (and stroller-friendly) short loop or a new 1,500-metre pathway connecting the newly designated parking area to the existing walkway. For those seeking a more direct walking experience, an 80-metre staircase has been constructed as an alternative within the new trail.
Seven pā sites can be found in these hills, and the terracing they created in the hills 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 1,630 individual archaeological features recorded within the park. Predominantly the features are terraces (tuku) and platforms (papatahi), pits, middens and defensive earthworks such as ditches (maioro).
Most tracks are well-formed but good walking shoes are recommended, 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 State Highway 2 between Papamoa and Te Puke. More information about the different walking trails can be found on a display board at the Poplar Lane car park.
This is a wonderful place for people of all ages to explore. The Papamoa Hills Regional Park is open daily from 6:30 am until 7:00 pm in winter and until 9:00 pm in summer.