We were pleasantly surprised by this hike. Expecting a simple hike with some nice oceanic views, we were actually blown away by the immense beauty that this hike provides.
The trail starts by climbing up through private farmland and you're very likely to encounter a number of sheep (and plenty of poo!) along the way. The views are quintessential New Zealand. After crossing the fence, the path turns much more maintained as it heads towards the view point overlooking Cooks Cove.
Cooks Cove is where, in 1769, Captain James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour landed as part of their circumnavigation of New Zealand. It's an epic place and I can only imagine how their jaws must have dropped when they landed on this part of the country! Cooks Cove is nestled between Mitre Rocks on the left, which can be viewed from the other side on the Tolaga Bay Wharf, and Pourewa Island on the right.
Once you leave the viewpoint, 335 steps take you down to the coastal flats where there's an epic Hole-in-the-Wall to spot the ocean through. A drawing by one of Cook's crew has been replicated on a plaque just prior and it's quite beautiful. The track finishes at the cove itself and then you'll need to hike back the way you came.
I highly recommend this track for anyone visiting the area!
COOKS COVE WALKWAY HIKE DETAILS
Where: Tolaga Bay on the Gisborne Peninsula
Length: 2-3 hours for the 5.8km return trip
Directions: park in Tolaga Bay at the designated parking lot and then follow the markers across private farmland until you reach the viewpoint over Cooks Cove. Then, follow the steps down until you reach the Hole-in-the-Wall and the cove itself!
Bathrooms: yes, at Cooks Cove
Public Transit: no