Ōkari Lagoon – Virgin Flat Road

1 Pūwaha

2 Kawau

3 Omau

4 Tauranga

5 Ōkari

6 Tōtara

7 Rahui

8 Waitakere









Section Status


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Ōkari Lagoon – Virgin Flat Road


7 km

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100% Grade 2 – Easy

Mobile coverage: Average

Dogs: Not Permitted

Trail Map

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Virgin Flat Road – Tōtara River

Ōkari Intro

Head inland from the Ōkari causeway onto a terrace and through podocarp forest dominated by rimu. After crossing the Ōkari River, riders head gently downhill alongside the forest edge, weaving down towards more forest. Keep an eye out for a variety of native birds and imagine the native New Zealand bat (pekapeka), which flies at night along the forest edge looking for insects to snack on.


The Ōkari Lagoon continues to be a great food source for shore and wading birds. 5000 pied oyster-catchers birds were observed here on one occasion. This laid back Section passes through rich podocarp forests dominated by rimu. Birdlife includes bellbird, tui, grey warbler, fantails, silvereye, great spotted kiwi and kererū.

Less easy to spot is the nocturnal native New Zealand bat (pekapeka), most likely to fly along the forest edge by the water looking for insects to snack on. Bats are New Zealand’s only native land mammal. There are two species, the short-tailed and the long-tailed bat, neither of which is found anywhere else in the world.

Look out for the kārearea (falcon), one of New Zealand’s most spectacular birds, and endemic to this country. The kārearea flies fast, with rapid wingbeats, not fazed by gusty winds, frequently cruising at around 100 km/hr. The call of the kārearea was said to foretell the weather. If the bird screamed on a fine day, there would be rain the day after. If it screamed in wet weather, the next day would be clear.


Native forest rich with rimu and podocarp
Abundant birdlife including the great spotted kiwi
New Zealand kārearea (falcon)
Nocturnal native New Zealand pekapeka (bat) – small, silent to human ears, remote habitat
Expansive coastal outlooks with views to the Paparoa Ranges
European history