The trail follows the lower reaches of the Tairua River where it broadens into an estuary and meets the ocean.
Pick up the trail at the western end of the Pauanui Waterways, where the signposted entrance is adjacent to the “Ian Hopper Memorial Rock”. This is an approximately 2km ride from the Pauanui shops, along quiet local roads.
From the entrance, continue along the existing coastal boardwalk and walkway, linking up with the new track at the northern end of Tangiteroria Lane (about 1 km).
Alternatively you can start the new track from the parking area at the end of Tangiteroria Lane. The track continues on from there through the Thames Coromandel District Council, Memorial Forest, commemorating the Sinai – Palestine campaign of WWI. A short loop track starts just after the Forest. You can take the inland or riverside part of the loop and carry on, or you can simply enjoy the much shorter walk around the loop - about 1.2km back to Tangiteroria Lane. The riverside part of the loop passes over boardwalks and through mangrove wetlands.
The trail then follows the estuary along the south eastern side of the Tairua River up to Awa Whio Whio (Duck Creek). You will cross wetlands and a new bridge over the Tangiteroria Stream (Gumdigger Creek). There's another entry/exit point opposite the Lakes Resort entrance on Hikuai Settlement Road.
For the next 2.5km, the trail parallels Hikuai Settlement Road before turning right to traverse farmland, ending at a point next to the Tairua River.
TAKE A BREAK
The numerous seats scattered along the trail recognize private donations which, in total, have made a very significant contribution towards the funding of the trail development. Seats, with plaques acknowledging the donors, are installed for donations of $1,000 or more. Donations can be paid now and seats reserved for future stretches of the trail. These donations will be recognized in the meantime by plaques erected at the end of the existing trail.
Dogs are welcome on the trail. However, because of their potential threat to birds and wildlife, and the threat to their own health from coming into contact with pests that have been killed by poison, we ask that dogs are kept on leads and remain on the trail at all times.