A rocky cliff face protrudes above the Pacific Ocean, walking tracks submerges into a green forest arena. The watery depths offer marine adventures set out to discover a web of marine creatures.
Traversing 16km or 8 hours of rugged native bush, steep cliffs regularly drop off to reveal sweeping coastal views along the rugged Cape Brett Track.
Cape Brett Walking Adventure.
Cape Brett in Northland contains a stunning array of nature immersed on a ‘bucket list’ walking track.
‘You’re nearly halfway there’. The department of Conservation drops their sense of humor on a marker set along the walking track only 1km into the mammoth 16km adventure.
The humorous anecdotes along the way may be an indication of how one really needs a distraction from how intense this Cape Brett walk is.
The Cape Brett walkway is an overnight tramping track that begins about half an hour from Russell. Glimpses of water can be seen through the flurry of trees shadowing the track, and a random stop where one of the most scenic toilets in the whole country is located.
Cape Brett lighthouse is a welcome sight above the narrow paths and steep climbs. Yet, the final destination to Cape Brett hut is still further down another steep incline.
The final trek allows you to wander down a rocky beach close to the hut you will be staying in, seals sunbathing without seemingly a care in the world.
The day is completed with a fiery sunset sweeping the skies. The next morning the hike begins again to Deep Water Cove where a water taxi finishes off your adventure at Oke Bay.
Just a few things to note. It costs $15 to stay the night in the hut, and $40 walking permit to cross private land– www.doc.govt.nz
Cape Brett Peninsula extends north to the Pacific Ocean and east to Bay of Islands. One of the popular water adventures is to cruise through the ‘Hole in the Rock’ of Piercy Island, at the very northern tip of Cape Brett, considered Maori freehold land.
Held as sacred land due to the historical sacred customs performed there.
Piercy Island is amidst the 144 islands that comprise of the Bay of Islands. It is quite a little gem diving beneath the waters to 25 meters below sea level, a maze of large fish swim through the boulder garden covered in colorful sponges and other invertebrates. Piercy Island is a significant conservation highlight with near pristine conditions, and no evidence of introduced animals.
The Rock Standing in the Sea
Tūnui-ā-rangi canoe is of great historical significance to Maori as it was used for migrations that settled in New Zealand.
When Captain Cook arrived on this island, he honored one of the Lords of Admiralty by naming it ‘Piercy Island’.
The amazing tourist attraction is truly a craft of nature’s own hand. The 60-foot hole at sea level was created over centuries of waves and wind combining forces that now is used for thrill seekers to zoom their way through on jet boats.
You can also experience this marvel of nature with a Dolphin Tour.
Catching the ‘Big One’.
One of New Zealand’s favorite holiday activities is a good ole fishing trip. If your fitness levels are not quite up to scratch, some opt for a water taxi to take them out to Cape Brett to get a spot of fishing in.
Some brave souls may even venture to camp on the rocks to get a bit of night fishing done. Who knows how much you might catch.
Cape Brett is just one of the places that allow panoramic views of the ocean in front, and a labyrinth of forest behind.
Possibly one of the poignant aspects of Cape Brett walking track is the burning desire to question why you even dared to do this in the first place. Your brain and body begging you to stop, turn back, yet something propels you forward (especially if you are halfway there…). There is a silent calling, an obsession to keep going. Obstacles in your way, yet the outcome is well worth the effort.
A call of the wild difficult to ignore.
Have you tried this walking track? Would love to hear about your experiences.