Omanawanui Track

Omanawanui Track

The Omanawanui Track is a recently re-opened track in the Waitakere Ranges, accessible for the first time this year since the kauri dieback rahui placed in 2018. Following the Manukau Harbour entrance through sections of bush and low scrub all the way down to the small seaside location of Whatipu.  Here, lies an Auckland City Council campsite for your use and enjoyment and a wide range of activities to delve into.  Throughout the entire walk you’ll be treated to beautiful views that won’t cease to amaze you on your journey.  When the weather is fine, yet humidity levels are high, evening sunsets along the track are incredible.  Due to kauri dieback the track has been closed for quite some time; the council has spent the last three years investing in vast improvements to the track, with stairs, boardwalks and plenty of measures put in place to safeguard our native environment.


1 h 45m


3.15 km


288.0 m





Looking back over Manukau Harbour from along the Omanawanui Track back towards Auckland as the sun sets

37°02′18″S 174°30′56″E

In Detail

Kauri dieback has plagued the Waitakere Ranges and forced many of the tracks to close to protect the future of these trees. To stop the spread, there are several precautions that are important to take.  Ensure that at each of the entrances to the track, you make use of the cleaning equipment provided to clean your shoes.  Follow the instructions and make a conscious effort to protect what we have left.  Unfortunately, you can’t bring your furry friends (cats & dogs) along this walk although there are plenty of other options.  For the latest information on Kauri dieback and for finding out which tracks are open and their permissions, check out Auckland City Council’s kauri dieback map.

Adil embracing the sunshine amongst the bush and the surroundings

Getting to Omanwanui Track

To reach the Omanawanui Track take State Highway 20 until you reach the Hillsborough Road turnoff then follow Route 15, turning on to Route 24 when you reach Titirangi Road.  At the Titirangi roundabout take the first exit onto Huia Road, following this until it ends and makes a hard right onto Whatipu Road. This is a gravel road to follow until you reach a junction between hiking tracks in the Waitakere Ranges. To the right, the Puriri Ridge Track and to the left, the closer end of the Omanawanui Track. Alternatively, you can continue to the road’s end, identified by the beginning of a gentle descent towards Whatipu and the camp ground/lodge.  You should see a large pull-off area easily able to fit four cars off to the side, and you can begin your trek from this end of the walk

Omanawanui Track

Omanawanui Track has recently been revamped, making the track is tremendously easy to follow. The path is clear-cut and civil works have really made the track a ‘walk in the park’.  Although initially the walk descends gently through the forest, there are steep stairs to climb up to Omanawanui and back down to the next knoll along the track.  It’s well worth continuing right the way on to the final knoll that looks out over Paratutae Island. This spot provided my cover photo landscape, a stunning reward well worth its journey. If you are short of time, it’s possible to start from the road-end at Whatipu Campground, from which the lookout is the first knoll you come to. This would also work ideally if you are planning on camping, although this wasn’t part of our adventure.

Omanawanui Track Weather

Weather in the Waitakere Ranges and Auckland is often variable throughout the day. Rain and wind are expected, but also commonly found are blue skies and a wicked sunset.  If you’re walking take a showerproof raincoat along with you and some water –- it never hurts to stay prepared. As far as bush walks go, however, this is a short one and you’d be hard-pressed to get lost even if the entire place was covered in fog.

Omanawanui Track from Whatipu Road

Hopefully on your mission out to discover the Omanawanui Track you’ll find the small pull-off bay off the side of Whatipu Road’s highest point. To the right is the Puriri Ridge Track, leading up to Mount McDonald Mclean.  On the other side of the road the Omanawanui Track begins.  Clean your shoes before you begin with the equipment handily provided, and then the forest boardwalk will lead you on. The path is newly gravelled, and the fresh wooden steps recently put in place as part of the revamp to prevent kauri dieback.

Top: Breathing deeply in and amongst nature, the best fresh air that nature provides
A film reel clip shown below of Nathan repping his Vintage Long-Sleeve & Scenic Lid from Good Lids

Through the Forest

The majority of your walking for a start is downhill, with steps along the way – gentle enough that it doesn’t hurt too hard on the knees.  En route there are a few punch-out views through the forest out towards the sea when you get your first few glimpses out into the open and even a peak down the line to Paratutae Island.

Top Left: A typical section of track along the Omanawanui Track
Top Right: Photographer in the moment capturing goodness along the walk in the bush
Bottom Left:
Native bush covering the hills in all directions
Bottom Right
: A sneak peak through the bush to Paratutae Island

In the evening light the sun strikes through the forest, with streaks of golden hour captured between the trees. The sun tends to beam across Walker Ridge as it sets in behind the hills.  If you’re planning on walking into the evening, ensure that your phone is fully charged, or you have a head-torch handy for the twilight return trip.

Top Left: Adil catching a product photo in and amongst the trees along the hike
Top Right:
Catching a glimpse of the golden sun looking through the native bush
The sun blazing through over the hills as the sun sets over the Waitakere Ranges

Pikaroro Point Lookout

Eventually the downhill descent transitions through a saddle into a gradual uphill climb as you begin your way up towards the summit of Omanawanui Track.  Throughout this area there you’re treated to further, better views of the panorama as you head up towards the summit.  Now there’s the satisfaction . Just sitting out and admiring the surrounding views, especially on a clear day. With the sunshine, you also receive a fair amount of exposure to the elements, so remember to protect your noggin and have a good lid in hand.

Adil caught in the moment doing what he does best repping a Black Signature lid from Good Lids

From this point in the walk, you can clearly look back out over Auckland with clear scenery out over Pikaroro Point.  From these viewpoints you’ll only need to travel slightly further, followed by a couple of stairs to reach the summit of Omanawanui.  Push for a little further.  You’ll make it.

Top Left: Lady Bell Point a part of the Karangahape Peninsula seen sitting out in the harbour. Auckland suburbia seen in the further distance
Top Right
: A boat entering the harbour seen through the steep cliff like descents into the ocean
Bottom: Looking out across the Manukau Harbour

Omanawanui (A9RC)

At the top of the peak Omanawanui is marked by a trig point with a sloped boardwalk surrounding the structure. You’ll get impressive 360-degree panoramic views from this point of the walk.  Personally, I wasn’t completely content with these sights, hence why we continued towards the next knoll to discover some more. The descent through the bush towards the second viewing point is rather steep – a reminder here to take it easy on your knees.

Top: A couple other hikers seen at the top of the viewing point just above Whatipu
A candid photo of the Nathan (the Author) looking down towards our turn-around point in the hike overlooking Paratutae Island

Once you reach the bottom and begin climbing on towards the next knoll you can appreciate the beauty of Omanawanui by looking back over the track.  The wooden bridge throughout the saddle section of the track is an impressive addition along the walk.  Fortunately, the climb to the final knoll isn’t quite as far reaching Omanawanui.  Nonetheless get ready to switch gears.

Looking back on our descent of the

Omanawanui Track & Burnett Head

The best view along the entire track (in my humble opinion) is from this knoll.  There’s even a convenient wooden bench placed right on summit for you to sit down and take in the view.  Looking out over the deep blue ocean stretching out into the ocean as far as the eye can see.  From here you can rest and absorb the scenery or continue down to Whatipu and walk the road back to the car. 

Top: Nathan (the Author) repping a Scenic Lid from Goodlids whilst admiring the view
Looking down amongst my now favourite part of the Waitakere Ranges so far: Whatipu

Return Journey along the Omanawanui Track

Although you’re faced with a fair amount of elevation gain comparatively on the return journey, following along the Omanawanui Track is easy.  Even in the dark, with the recent upgrades it’s not too difficult to find your way.  Although it will be slightly slower to ascend, you can easily put away your camera and just focus on the trail ahead of you whilst having some mad-decent chat.

Looking back along the Omanawanui Track, back to where we needed to walk to reach the car

Omanawanui Track Crew

Shout out to my brother Adil David for coming out on some loose plans, shooting some epic photos along the Omanawanui Track and then pulling a low-key last-minute plan to camp out in Whatipu Caves together for a good jam session. An epic day with many treasured memories made together.  Finally, Cheers to Dan from Goodlids for sending through a couple lids and a shirt that we repped on this mission. Great for the environment and even better for your head.  Go head along and check out their wee online store.

Top: The Man the myth the legend that worked the camera on a healthy selection of these shots for this post, Adil David
A portrait shot by Adil David after sun down of Nathan (the Author)