Cape Brett Track

16.3km / 10 miles (5-9hrs)

The Cape Brett track begins at Oke Bay in Rawhiti, Bay of Islands and ends below the lighthouse at the seaward end of the Cape Brett peninsula.

Most of the trail passes through Maori land and you will need to get a permit to walk through it. Permits are easy to obtain from the DOC office in Russell and cost $30. The fee helps maintain the track.

The trail goes along a hilly ridge lined by thick bush on both sides of the trail, at some points it clears and you can see all the way to the Whangerai Heads. The terrain can be a little up and down and gets quite steep at times, but the views are a worthy reward! . Birdlife is abundant here so keep an eye out for fantails and tui’s flying overhead.

After several hours of walking, you will come to a possum fence – make sure to close the gate once you’ve gone through. Once you reach this point, you’ll be around a third of your way along the track, so it’s a great place to stop for a drink and a snack.

The rest of the walk continues to be quite up and down, but not as strenuous, and takes you to the highest point of the track. When you reach this point though, the views are breathtaking and then you have a steep downhill back to the Lighthouse and down to the hut.

Getting there

Cape Brett is located in the Bay of Islands, 26km north-east of Russell, and can be accessed by land or sea.

By land: the track begins from Oke Bay, Rawhiti, 26km from Russell, or can be joined from the Whangamumu Track.

By sea: for those people wanting access to the reserve by sea, landings can be made at either Deep Water Cove or at Cape Brett Landing. Calm conditions are necessary to get ashore at Cape Brett Landing. In adverse wind conditions, you can still come ashore at Deep Water Cove, except in south-westerly winds. From there it is a 2.5 hour’s walk to the Cape Brett hut.