Hike to the Cape Brett Hut

Cape Brett Track

Activities

Photography, Swimming, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Duration: Overnight. 16km (9.9mile) one-way hike, with a stay in a sea-side hut overnight. Shorten to 6km (3.7mile) by catching a boat ride to Deep Water Cove. Amazing scenery. New 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

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing Hike!

I highly recommend this hike, it is unreal! I did it solo and stayed in the hut overnight, met some awesome people and saw some incredible views including the sunrise over the lighthouse. It is definitely a challenge only attempt in one day if you are getting the boat - otherwise stay overnight and be well prepared.

Activities

Photography, Swimming, Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Year Round

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