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“Bucket list walk”
Review of Cape Brett Walkway

Cape Brett Walkway
Reviewed 12 January 2017

We walked out overnight on New Year's Day. Yes the walk is deceptively hard - and hot in summer, and especially carrying our water, as recommended! Stunning scenery and great to see the possum-proof fence protecting the outer part of the Cape. Full hut, with very friendly bunch of Kiwis and internationals. Good facilities; gas cookers, plates, pots, pans etc, so helpful.
Main gripe - please, please fix the kilometre markers! Or take them out if need be, it is distressing to think you have one or two km to go and actually it's four, or more, especially with a massive hill at the end!
Bay of Islands Water Taxi - yes we woosed out and rang for a ride back (there is cell phone reception at the Cape). He apparently gets 80% of Cape business with call ups like us. He could only fit us in from Deep Water Cove, two hour's walk back, which was a perfect compromise. The boat took us right to the campground where we had left our car, great service. Not only that - I left my walking poles in the boat, they delivered them into Paihia so a friend could return them to me, thank you so much!

5  Thank Kathy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 January 2017 via mobile

This is a tough walk but it's extremely rewarding and worth the effort. We walked from Rawhiti and back, the full distance one way is 18.5km and it took us 7 hours including breaks & photo stops. From DWC is the most challenging part and the most spectacular, it took us 2.5 hours from DWC to the hut.
The hut is well stocked with pots, pans, plates, cups, cutlery & cooking utensils. Save yourself the weight, don't take a pot or gas cooker. There are 3 double gas burners for hikers to use.
Definitely take loo paper!
On 3rd and 4th Jan there was water in the tank and it was not salty, we took 2 litres each and used the hut water for hot drinks only.
Even though the hut was fully booked, people still arrived who hadn't booked, if you've paid and want a bunk, don't arrive late or you maybe sleeping on the floor.
The hut was very warm, a sleeping bag liner would be fine in summer, no need for some epic sub zero down bag.

Be certain of your fitness and walking time as this is a committing walk. There's no guarantee the water taxi can come to get you at DWC or the Cape.

All in all, it's an excellent walk and a must for keen hikers! (And mad trail runners)

3  Thank Nesa76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2016

This is one of my favorite tracks in New Zealand. Although it is on the coastline, it is more rigorous than one might expect with a lot of ups and downs. It was about 6 hours each way and we even got to see a pod of dolphins splashing around at the end. I would rate this hike up there with some of the other great walks, the views were so great. The end is amazing and you can see the hole in the rock. I know lots of people did the water taxi one way, but anyone of average fitness should be able to complete this track with no problem.

2  Thank JiriLyndsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2016

New Zealand has nine tracks classified by the Department of Conservation as official Great Walks. The Cape Brett Walkway isn’t one of them, but in terms of sheer beauty, it really should be. At just over 16km (10 miles) each way, and with numerous steep climbs and descents, it is however challenging but so very rewarding. For most, this is a two day hike, from Rawhiti to the Cape Brett lighthouse, spending a night in the converted lighthouse keeper's cottage on day one before returning the next day via the same route. Expect to take 6 - 7 hours each way or even longer as you’ll stop many times along the way to enjoy the stunning coastal vistas and clifftop views. The last 2kms is particularly spectacular but you better have a head for heights as the track follows the cliff edge with sheer drops to the ocean, 100m below.

The overnight hut is basic but comfortable with 23 bunk beds spread over two rooms and a central area. There’s also a communal kitchen/dining area with gas hobs and various pots and utensils. There is however no electricity so take a torch or candles. Some toilet paper would also be a good idea. While there is running water, we were advised to carry in all the drinking water we needed as there seems to be an ongoing problem with salt getting into the water supply. We tasted the water and while it wasn’t unbearably, it definitely didn’t taste great.

If the thought of a two day hike doesn’t excite you, there is a shorter option which is to catch a water taxi which comes ashore in Deep Water Cove and from here it’s about 2 - 3 hours walk to the hut. If you do decide to do the entire walk from Rawhiti bear in mind that you will need to pay for a walkway permit as the track passes through private land. You can pay for this and for your overnight stay in the hut online on the DOC website.

Finally, parking is something else you’ll want to consider if walking the full route from Rawhiti. There is no parking area at the start of the track itself and it’s not advisable to leave your car on the side of the road overnight. A number of the locals do however allow visitors to park on their grounds for a small fee, with 253 Rawhiti Road mentioned as the ‘official’ parking area on the DOC website. Just look out for the sign at the postboxes on your right as you come down the hill into Kaingahoa Bay. Drive into the gate and park immediately to your left. Don’t forget to bring some cash to put in the small cash box nailed to the post, $5 per car per day (as at August 2016).

7  Thank OutThere-Kiwi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 April 2016

We caught the water taxi (Dive Ops) from Rawhiti to Deep Water Cove. There is parking at Rawhiti for a $5 fee. The ride takes about 20 minutes to Deep Water Cove. The lady gave us lots of information on the walk. We walked the from Deep Water Cove to the hut at Cape Brett. This is probably the hardest part of the walk but you are rewarded with great views. The hut has gas and running water but not drinking water. Don't forget your torch, candles or headlamp. The toilets are not so great with people not using the sawdust. We swam at Cape Brett in lovely clear water. Pack your snorkel if you have space .The hut has a lot of information on the history of the site - do leave some time to read the books.
We walked back to Rawhiti the next day. Unfortunately it rained which made the downhills really slippery. This walk does require a high level of fitness but well worth doing. The walk from Deep Water Cove to Rawhiti requires a permit from DOC and the hut can be booked online on the doc website or through Paihia visitor centre

2  Thank dlcNz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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