Maunganui Bluff



NZ Lifestyle Magazine Group


A long winding gravel road leads to the tiny beach community tucked beneath Maunganui Bluff. This is classic West Coast beach territory, where the paint on the exterior of the old baches is sand-and-windblasted and the rocks smooth from the relentless polishing of the white-tipped swell. Maunganui Bluff rises 450m above the beach below and is one of the last patches of coastal forest in the region. There's a track that leads around, up and eventually over the volcanic landmark, with some steep sections. Advanced adventurers may wish to continue down to Waikara Beach, but be warned, this is a return track. Allow several hours to complete the summit loop, and five hours' return to Waikara. Maunganui Bluff is at Aranga Beach, the far northern end of Ripirō Beach. It's possible to drive from Baylys to the bluff (tides depending). Don't attempt to drive onto Aranga Beach without a grunty 4WD — the end of the road turns into rock and sand quickly with little space to turn around. Aranga Coast Road is unsealed; follow it to the end for access to the bluff.