The Rata Track: Native NZ Trees

The Rata Track is a majestic and beautiful all-year short walk that combines large native NZ trees, beautiful nikau groves and great views of the Hauraki Gulf through the bush-clad slopes west of Long Bay.

Rata in flower
Rata in flower
Key Rata Track Details
Key Rata Track Details







Navigation links:

Google Map: The Rata Track Google Map  Geochaching: Geocaching map

Why walk this track?

The Rata Track loops its way through a variety of quite beautiful NZ Native Bush, punctuated by many flowering varieties and a number of larger trees.

Flowering natives include the bright red rata that are best seen in February / March and the native Christmas orchid – seen attached to a cabbage tree near the ‘nikau’ sign.  A little further on a very luxuriant creeper, the keikie vine can be seen.

The track features a grove of trees, mostly  kahikatea interspersed with nikau and cabbage trees.

Spectactular Native NZ Trees
Spectactular Native NZ Trees

A number of large trees are witnessed throughout this walk including a few huge 20m (approx) high kanuka (variety of teatree).  The NZ Botanical Bible (Poole & Adams) describe kanuka as growing to heights of 12 to 16 meters – these are about 4m higher than this!

Two 30m+ kauri trees can be witnessed on this track as can a similar sized miro and some large puriri.

The birdlife is also very evident as you walk through the bush, hearing the chirping of fantails and the song of the tui.

This walk may only be just over 600m but it is a must-do short walk!

The Rata Track Entrance
The Rata Track Entrance

Entry Points:

The Rata Track has 5 entry points that are shown on the google map below.  They are:

  • At the end of Helen Ryburn Place
  • Glevnar Rd near the top corner
  • Glenvar Rd at the Satellite Tower
  • Fitzwilliam Drive – at the end of main row of the houses heading up the hill
  • Connection from the Kate Shepherd Track

Parking is best at Helen Ryburn, Fitzwilliam and the Satellite Tower entrances.


Track Highlights:

Group of huge 20m tea trees
Group of huge 20m tea trees

The Rata Track may only be quite short but is full of stunning bush.  The main highlights include:

  • Huge kanuka trees at around 20m in height
  • 2 x 30m+ kauri trees
  • Lovely nikau groves
  • NZ native Christmas orchard
  • Plenty of birds to enjoy



Running and walking:

This track is fine for both walking and running.  By itself it is perhaps short for a run but consider running it in conjunction with the Kate Shepherd Track and tracks of the Fitzwilliam Reserve.  This track is quite steep and has a number of stairs so probably best for the fitter, more experienced trail runner.

Wheelchairs and Buggies:

This track is not suitable for wheelchairs and buggies.  It is narrow in places and has a lot of stairs.

Geocaching Status:

This track has Geocaching.  This link will lead you to the geocaching page for this track:

Geocaching Link for The Rata Track


The Rata Track is a short, beautiful and relatively steep track.  It is a track that contains amazing examples of native kauri, puriri and especially the huge tea tree.  If you want a longer walk, consider linking with surrounding walks.


Green = entrances, Yellow = points of interest, Blue = entrance to another track

*** Note: if using this map for navigation on your phone or GPS device, you will need to open it within Google Maps to get your current position showing on the map.  To do this, simply click the expand icon in the top right corner of this map.  This will now provide you live GPS tracking as you walk the map so you always know exactly where you are!  WOW!


Rata Track Elevations
Rata Track Elevations


The Rata Track Video

This 3 1/2 minute video provides clips of beautiful The Rata Track.




I'm a family man who loves to enjoy the outdoors with my wife and 4 kids. I have spent years walking and running some of the wonderful tracks around Auckland and New Zealand .This website has been put together to help others enjoy the amazing array of walks we have in the Auckland Region. Further, we wish to honour the track-building work of my father-in-law, Hugh Willis who has spent thousands of hours since 1969 preserving, building and maintaining tracks on Auckland's North Shore.

6 Comments on “The Rata Track: Native NZ Trees

  1. I have walked this track several times and I agree the bush is beautiful and well worth the time to wonder the track.
    It is a place to view the Hauraki Gulf ‘framed in trees’ rather than power lines.
    A short walk that younger children will enjoy especially when encouraged to look for certain plants and flowers.

    • Yes – the views of the Gulf are awesome – in fact from the top of this track and the Fitzwilliam track you will see some of the very best views in Auckland. I lived in Torbay for a few years when first married and the drive every night down Fitzwilliam was just so nice. To be able to experience these during the bash walks and with the wonderful native NZ bush to observe also – a great walk indeed.
      Thanks for the comment.

  2. Hi Richard,

    A section of the track is now severely compromised and dangerous.

    The track between the Fitzwilliam entrance and the Helen Ryburn exit is safe and the track between Helen Ryburn and the Glenvar exit is safe. That part of Glenvar Road is closed.

    The part of the track that joins these two sections is made impassable and dangerous by two severe slips below the Telcoms tower. This area of track is not cordoned off and is not safe.


  3. The section of the track where the slips are has been now cordoned off by the Council. As per my earlier post, sections of this track are still open and lovely to walk.


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