Coromandel Walks Project

The Coromandel Walks Project aims to create a world-class, multi-day walk that links strongly with towns and communities on the Coromandel, to drive economic development through tourism.

About The Coromandel Walks Project

The Coromandel Walks Project aims to link the whole district through a variety of great walks around the coastline and across the spine of the Coromandel. 

One of the first routes proposed is to go from Hot Water Beach all the way through to the Whitianga. This route is a collaborative partnership with the Department of Conservation and iwi Ngati Hei.

Ngati Hei have confirmed the official name for the overall route, when it is fully complete, will be "Te Ara O Hei," which means "The Path of Hei." This references Hei, their first ancestor who came to New Zealand on the Te Arawa canoe and settled at Hahei.

Several studies have been commissioned which include:

  • A Feasibility Study 
  • Cultural and Environmental Impact Assessment.
  • Demographic Study

Project Milestones


  • December 2020 - Stage 1A of the track complete
  • The Mercury Bay Community Board recommended Council approve continuation of the Purangi to Cathedral Cove section of the walkway, involving a path from Stella Evered Memorial Park to the carpark at Lees Rd, which also links up to Cathedral Cove.


  • A report  was tabled at the Mercury Bay Community Board's July meeting to discuss sections of the walk to be completed to ensure the Lotteries funding is utilised. There is approximately $500k which from the NZ Lotteries Significant Fund which is available until Sept 2020. This will now be referred to Council.
  • Works continue for improvement of car parks at Lees Rd and the Hahei Village Entrance Car Park,


  • The first stage of the Hahei Visitor car park has been completed with parking for several hundred cars. There is also a paid park and ride shuttle service from this car park to take people up to the start of the Cathedral Cove walk, operating from 1 October to 30 April. Council has approved a further $175,000 to extend the car park for more parking.


  • Consultation with stakeholders around tourism related infrastructure in Hahei, and the proposal for a car park at Lees Rd,
  • Preparation towards lodging resource consent


  • A side loop track branching off the existing Cathedral Cove Walk is completed. This loop will be part of the full route of Te Ara O Hei.
  • Works underway for the development of car parks at Lees Rd and the Hahei Village Entrance.


  • The Lotteries Significant Projects Fund awards $1million and Trust Waikato awards $330,000 towards the Coromandel Walks project. The route of the first walk goes through Public Conservation Land (DOC), Council reserve and Stella Evered Reserve Land. When finished it will link the Purangi Estuary through to Hot Water Beach, further north past Whitianga and Kuaotunu and further south towards Tairua, Pauanui and on down to Whangamata.


  • Experienced track builder John Gaukrodger is brought into the project.
  • Council ringfenced $1.25million in the 2014/2015 Annual Plan with DOC contributing $450,000 towards Phase 1A and 1B of "Te Ara O Hei", from Hahei to the Purangi Estuary. Phase 2 is a back dune track from Hot Water Beach.
  • An additional $3.2million will need to be sourced externally.


  • A feasibility study on "Te Ara O Hei" is completed.
  • A cultural impact report is commissioned for Ngati Hei to complete.
  • Money allocated in the 2013/2014 draft Annual Plan to go towards feasibility studies for the Coromandel Walks Project.


  • A governance working group is established which includes our Council (elected members and staff), iwi and Department of Conservation (DOC).staff.
  • Investigations into possible routes for the very first of our Coromandel Walks project.begins

Coromandel Walks Governance Group

The Coromandel Walks Governance Group (For the first route) is currently made up of Council staff, Department of Conservation staff, Ngati Hei iw and Council.

Other organisiations, agencies, community groups, iwi and landowners will be included in the working group as the project develops around the Coromandel.

To contact representatives of the Coromandel Walks Governance Group