Most photography provided by Ian Macdonald
The district is recognised for its exceptional landscape and coastal vistas. The Big Omaha Trail celebrates this as an experience spanning the landscape from Matakana to the coast at Pakiri.
A preliminary investigation was made by a group of local residents both from Whangateau and Leigh towards establishing a trail that traverses the unformed legal roads and rural roads from Matakana to Pakiri. There has been several organised tours over this route and many exploratory walks. Eventually this informal group grew to become an incorporated organisation called the Big Omaha Trail Trust.
The object of the Trust is to promote walking, cycling and other wholesome recreations and amusements and to establish, promote, lay out, maintain and repair trails for those purposes within the Rodney Local Board area.
The trail is at a preliminary design proposal stage but has the enthusiastic support of the Rodney Board members of the Auckland Council and the New Zealand Walking Access Commission.
Follow the trail over the idyllic rural landscape of Big Omaha Valley – north of Matakana, and onwards to Pakiri Beach through the new Pakiri Regional Park. It has magnificent views of Whangateau Harbour and the coastline to the Auckland City environs. As well there are sweeping views of the outer Hauraki Gulf and the coastline to Bream Head.
This area is in the northern part of Greater Auckland, the largest city of New Zealand.
The trail starts at the popular local tourist destination of Matakana. It then follows the road to Leigh until Quintal Road. It passes along the quiet rural Quintal Road and continues across pasture and through small patches of established native bush in its unformed section. The trail then continues down Upper Whangateau Road to Schollum Road – also a quiet backwater. On the way up Schollum Road it winds further up a ridge of native bush to reach Rodney Road at the highest part of the trail, along Rodney Road until it meets Pakiri Road. Not far down Pakiri Road the trail turns off along M Greenwood Road towards the Pakiri Regional Park with its awe inspiring views along the Northland coast to Bream Head. Pakiri Beach bounds the park to the North.
The trail is still to be completely constructed although it is possible to follow it's route even now.
Features of the TRAIL to date are:
- Total length: 20k of which 2k lies within the regional park at Pakiri, 10.5k is over rural roads, 4k over unformed paper roads and 3.5k on main road footpaths/cycleways.
- Increasing local and regional enthusiasm for recreational assets such as walkways/cycleways in the district.
- Commanding views and the most significant natural areas in the region throughout the whole length of the route.
- The group has identified considerable funding resources both from both Government and the private sector.
- The interest of New Zealand’s most significant internationally based artist: Billy Apple has been secured to design elements of the route as he has done with similar regional art facilities such as the walkways around Eden Park.
- This designed and constructed as proposed could become a major regional tourist attraction.
The whole route is on legal roads both formed and unformed: