Start: The Farm Cottage
Finish: Mataia Homestead, Glorit
Length: 11.5km (4 – 6 hours)
Degree of difficulty: easy – moderate
Terrain: rolling farmland, bush tracks, some rough sections.
The third and final day brings you back down to the Gardner family farm. This 1300 hectare farm bordering the Kaipara Harbour has been in the Gardner Family for over 150 years. 400 hectares of the farm is part of a conservation project that started in 2005. Made up largely of coastal native forest margin and salt marsh wetland, the area boasts rare populations of fernbird and banded rail and is host to a large number of other native bird species. The Saltmarsh area is a significant roosting ground for arctic waders as well as local migrants. There is also evidence of pre European occupation of Mataia.
If the tide is in, there are great views of roosting sites for wading-birds, including Godwits, lesser knots, South Island pied oyster catchers, pied stilts as well as caspian terns.
The track winds inland through covented QEII protected native bush heading back toward Mataia Homestead.