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Feedback from a recent visiting English couple
"Thank you Wally for giving Jane and I the opportunity to take part in one of your brilliant "Wally's Wanderings".  It provided us with an outstanding opportunity to explore the beauty of the Opito Bay area. Being with you ensured that we experienced not only the natural beauty but the richness of the area's historical past.  We can't wait to come again!"
Jane & Neil


When you stay at Leighton Lodge as well as enjoying the peaceful beach with occasional visits from the Dolphins you can choose to join Wally in a variety of easy local walks of your choice depending on your interest and your degree of fitness.
Your host is certified in first aid, well experienced in bush craft and the outdoors and enjoys sharing his local knowledge and experiences  with guests.

As you wander along Wally will share with you local history, myths and interesting snippets regarding the area flora and fauna .What he does not know for sure he can improvise !!
Each walk is easily manageable by anyone with adventure in their heart, an urge to try some local colour and the confidence to walk at your own pace for anything from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.
On your return to Leighton Lodge, depending on the time of day a fresh cooked Pizza from the wood fired oven and a cold beverage (or tea if you really must !) is available to cap off the day. 
For more information Contact Us today.

Wonderful Wandering & Walkabouts with Wally.

Walk #1
  Opito Historic Pa . ( Duration about 45 minutes + whatever for photos )
After a gentle 15 minute stroll along the sands of Opito Bay enjoy a sharp climb up 189 steps to the summit of the historic Opito Pa. Many years ago during the era of local Maori settlement the local tribe would retreat to this rugged headland to avoid confrontation with any marauding attackers. Even today there is evidence of the food pits and the fortification terraces. From the top of the Pa site it is obvious why this was an easy headland to defend. On the eastern and northern faces a steep drop away to the sea would have been relatively easy to fend of attackers.
Today the Pa site provides unequalled views through a full 360 degrees. To the East the outer islands (Ohinau, Aldermans, Motukorengu(Maori Lady ) and obscured is Needle Rock. To the North is Old Man Rock, then further out Stanley Island (Atiu) Red Mercury (Whakau) Double Island (Moturehu) Middle, Green, Korapuki and finally Great Mercury Island . All up this group is know as (named by Captain Cook) the Mercury Islands ( Iles d’ Haussez )
This location is a photographer’s paradise. Bring that camera .You will not be disappointed

Walk #2
– Crayfish Bay. (40 minutes there and back but allow as much time as you want for lazing, swimming or exploring the rock pools)
This walk can be done in conjunction with the Pa site walk if the tides are suitable.
Crayfish Bay is a an icon for this area. To many it is that secret cove for lazy summer days swimming,rock climbing and  land based fishing. For others it is a secluded, safe little bay for teaching the kids to snorkel and to hunt for sea creatures among the rock pools.

Walk # 3
A ramble to the North Western End of Opito Beach ( 5 km to the end - about 90 minutes return at low tide)
Best done at low tide this is an easy ramble along the beach. Heaps of interesting shells to fossick among, a variety of birds to observe. We have several nesting pairs of the endangered Dotterals on our beach and also the black Oyster Catchers. A must for the dedicated bird watchers.
A highlight of this walk can be when the dolphins visit and spend time playing in the shallows of the Bay -  sometimes just cruising by, often as not staying for a few hours riding the breakers into shore after bait fish. At other times tail walking and generally showing off. Wonderful creatures. We are so lucky to be able to share this experience with you. Unfortunately you must take your chance for these random visits. To date I have not been able to organise regular visits by the dolphins to coincide with my guests!

Walk # 4 -
Matapua Bay,The Glades ,Zane Grey’s Landing and Sandy Bay. (Allow between 1 and 4 hours if you want to do the lot)
We will take you on a short drive across to Matapua Bay and depending on your enthusiasm wander along the beach and the walkway to Zane Grey’s Landing. Hear a little about this famous American Fisherman (and author). For those a little keener to bush walk a visit to Sandy Bay is recommended. Passing through stands of native trees ,and along the coast finally arriving at Sandy Bay – a picturesque little spot with a fine sandy beach ( as you might expect from the name)
A complimentary  cuppa and a muffin is normally a good diversion at Sandy Bay before the return trip.

Walk #5 The Waitaia Loop.
A short drive from Opito back through Kuaotunu is the DOC walking track part way up Waitaia Road. This well marked track passes through an area recently planted out in young Kauri trees then loops through established native forest with a couple of side walks to old gold mine tunnels. Significant trees are all labelled for your information. Many native birds (tui, bellbird and fantails ) can be heard in the bush.