This beautiful bush walk offers panoramic views of Kapiti Island and the coastline to the south. Starting from 133 Huia Street, a narrow right-of-way leads between two private properties to the Te Au Track.
This grassy trail ascends through dense native bush to Hemi Matenga Reserve. Follow the orange markers directing walkers up a steep, rough track. This terrain is uneven but much easier to climb up than down.
The trail continues its climb to a height of 521 meters. At this point, the track is more varied, with fallen trees and roots to navigate through. After an hour, a lookout point offers excellent views of the South Island and Kapiti Island, with a wooden bench providing a great lunch spot.
The track then heads back into the bush and along the ridge, passing two other lookouts. The first offers views over the Reikorangi Valley, and the other to Waikanae and Kapiti Island. At the second of these lookouts, the track joins the popular Parata Track leading back down to Waikanae and the Tui Crescent entrance/exit point.
The main entrance to Hemi Matenga Scenic Reserve is at Tui Crescent. There is an on-road parking area by the track up to a reservoir. You can also start the Te Au track from Huia Street (easier on the knees, as it is a steep and grassy climb up to the highest point).
Exit the train at Waikanae Station, walk south to Elizabeth Street, then head east towards the inland hills. Turn left onto Winara Ave, then right into Tui Crescent.
Take the old State Highway 1 into Waikanae, turn east over the railway line and onto Elizabeth Street. Then left into Winara Ave, and then right into Tui Crescent. If you are starting the walk at the Huia Street entrance, you may want to park your car halfway between the Tui Crescent and Huia St entrances so you do not have such a long walk back at the end.