The Coastal Cliffs Walkway follows the foreshore between Church Bay, Diamond Harbour and Purau, with harbour views. It forms part of the Head to Head Walkway.
Status: Open and marked intermittently.
Start: Church Bay.
Finish: Purau Bay.
Time: 3 hr 30 min.
Toilets: Located at a small beach just before Diamond Harbour Wharf, in Stoddart Point Recreation Reserve and at Purau Bay.
Church Bay to Diamond Harbour wharf (2 hours)
The cliff walk to Diamond Harbour starts here, following an old road line through pine trees above the cliffs with some bluff areas where scrambling might be required. The track sidles around Pauaohinekotau Headland staying quite high above the cliffs with good views and some seating.
The track then zig-zags down to reach a tiny rocky beach with a side creek and toilets. From here a wide well-formed path climbs up to meet the Wharf Road.
Walk downhill to the wharf area to pick up the next section of track.
Diamond Harbour Wharf to Purau Bay (1 hour 30 min)
Turn left from the wharf and follow the pathway up some stairs nearest the sea. The track itself is very clear, but not well signposted.
At the top of the stairs, take the track alongside the cliff edge around Stoddart Point, through bush and pine trees. Historic Stoddart’s cottage in Stoddart Point Recreation Reserve is a possible side trip as is the small township of Diamond Harbour with two cafes.
Otherwise continue to follow the rough track above the water edge through pine forest with views of the harbour and Ripapa Island - a small island with a large history. Ripapa was an important pa site for Ngāi Tahu, then a quarantine station, a prison and a fort built during the Russian scare of 1885.
The track emerges onto Purau Ave just short of Purau Bay. Follow the road until you reach the beach front at Purau Bay where there is wide shelly-sand beach ideal for exploring with children, toilets and picnic areas.