Added by Murielle Baker
Duration: Overnight16km (9.9mile) one-way hike, with a stay in a sea-side hut overnightShorten to 6km (3.7mile) by catching a boat ride to Deep Water CoveAmazing sceneryNew Zealand coastal wilderness
If you’re in the Bay of Islands in Northland, then this adventure’s only going to take you one day to complete. If you’re not, the first thing you’ve gotta do is get the heck out of Auckland. Jump in a car, face north, and drive for four hours until you reach Russell, the quaint little sea-side town where you’ll start your adventure.
This will be your last stop before you hit the road to Cape Brett, so stock up, pack wisely, and pay your track and hut fees at the local information centre. From Russell it’s a 40-minute drive along winding sealed and dirt roads to reach Oke Bay in Rāwhiti. You can leave your car parked on the side of the road, or locked up at Hartwells for a small fee.
The walk to Cape Brett is a long tough one - a full eight-hour trek through native bush along steep ridges through Māori-owned land. There will be moments when you glance over the side of the track and look straight down the cliff to the sea at the bottom. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some of the dolphins and seals that can come close to the peninsula and let’s not forget - the scenery out over the ocean is stunning!
Eventually you’ll hit Deep Water Cove before the last 6 km of the track. Do the one-hour return side-track down to the cove for a refreshing swim and food stop. It’s beautiful and secluded down there and you’ll need a break before the last leg of the Cape Brett track. It’s challenging and tiring, but once you’ve climbed the ridge you’re there - look down, and you’ll spot the Department of Conservation hut with views to outer Bay of Islands, and other islands and land to the north and south.
This is where you’ll spend the night, at one of the most remote places in the Bay of Islands, with spectacular star-gazing on a clear night and the sound of sea birds and waves washing at the cliff below you.
The next morning, catch a water taxi from Russell or Paihia (booking beforehand essential) from the landing at Cape Brett if conditions are calm, or back at Deep Water Cove where it's easier to catch the boat in rough conditions.
You can find a ton of helpful information about Cape Brett and make reservations at the Department of Conservation's website.
Cape Brett Hut Coordinates: E1721030, N6106972
- Sleeping bag
- Warm layers + swim clothes
- Water treatment system
- Pre-arranged water taxi ride
- Pre-paid track and hut fee (pay at local DOC visitor centre)
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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