Zion, Mt

Also known as Hikurangi
Mt Zion rises south of the main beach at Karekare in the Waitakere Ranges. At 272 m, it provides the opportunity for a short walk to the top. There are many tracks in the area – we describe a loop walk that can be done that takes in both the forest and coastal experience.

List Status Official
Elevation 272 m (892 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Auckland
Location Coordinates 36° 59′ 49″ S, 174° 28′ 60″ E
Nearest Town/s Karekare, Piha Beach, Waitakere, Auckland
Range Waitakere Ranges
Geology Volcano
Translation hiku: summit; rangi: sky
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 1 hour to the top of Zion and return or 4 hours for whole circuit
Distance 7.6 km (4.7 mi)
Start/End Points Karekare carpark
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track, Mud, Steep embankments, Stream/River Crossings
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Views, Bush , views of the coast,kauri grove
Hazards Slippery underfoot if it has been raining, Pararaha Creek at the bottom of Buck Track can flood

Getting There

By Car

From Auckland (Titirangi), follow the scenic drive for 10 km before turning left on to Piha Road. Follow this road for 11 km, then turn left on to Karekare Road. If you drive for a further 3 km you will end up at a carpark, picnic area and toilets. Park in the carpark and start the walk from there.

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

Park at the Karekare carpark at the beach community of Karekare. From the carpark, take the Pohutukawa Glade Walk to a picnic area. This is where you should find a signpost that indicates where the Zion Hill track starts.

Follow the track up the hill. The track passes through forest and has some good views back over Karekare Beach. Eventually after about 30 minutes you will reach the summit of Mt Zion.

An alternative track (Zion Ridge track) branches off at this point however stay on the Zion Hill track and continue along the undulating ridge. The track can be muddy and slippery in places. Eventually you will cross a small stream and reach a kauri grove with some sizable trees.

As you continue onwards, the track crosses a second stream before joining the Buck Taylor Track. Head right along this track. Shortly, you will come to another junction. Turnoff to Muir track is to the left and right will take you to the beach. Follow the right-hand beach track to the big black sand hill to the west.

There is a signpost just before you climb the sand hill to direct you onwards. The track heads off in the general direction of nor-nor-west. The landscape around the “beach” portion of the walk is a mixture of sand dunes and swampy wetland. The track can be grassy and sometimes hard to see, but the walk should not be difficult as long as you keep the cliff face on your right shoulder, and the sea on your left. Along the way you will pass campsites and a tunnel (which can be walked through) and some toilets.

Eventually you will get back to Karekare Point, and will see The Watchman rock. Do not cross the creek which flows in front of it, rather follow the creek up-stream inland. This will take you through a grassy area and back to Karekare carpark where you started.

Route Options

There are a number of tracks in the area which can be walked as part of a Mt Zion trip. An alternative loop includes walking the Zion Hill Track, Buck Taylor Track, Zion Ridge Track, and returning back down the Zion Hill Track.

Also for a longer walk, one might go as far as the Muir Track turn-off and take in the Gibbons Track returning via the coast. This walk would constitute a long day walk (approximately 8 hours) or could be done over 2 days if staying at the campgrounds in the area.

The main Karekare waterfall, known by the Kawerau people as ‘Te Ahoaho’ or ‘pendulous white thread’, is located a short walk from the main beach arrival area and can also be visited.

Height Profile

Zion, Mt-2d.jpg

External Links

Trip reports

xx Zion

March 31, 2018, 04:36:03 PM by GuanoGerbil

"Log update. One of the few peaks I've only done once!"

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xx Report

September 30, 2017, 03:02:45 PM by DeanoD

"I was in Auckland for a few days and popped up for a walk to escape the hustel and bussel"

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xx Mt Zion

February 01, 2017, 03:38:53 PM by krufu

"Nice way to finish the Pararaha Valley walk."

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xx Mt Zion, out and about around Karekare.

January 10, 2015, 03:18:08 PM by Lostcourse

"Out and about Karekare this afternoon for a hike, geocaching and to bag this peak. I came up the Hill track before taking the Ridge track to the summit and a little further. I then returned the Hill track to make my way down to the beach. I took a small detour to bush bash to the top of a waterfall just off the track. I made my way back to the car along the beach following the Hillary trail for much of it. All in all it was a four and a half hour adventure."

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xx Mt Zion

January 10, 2015, 03:09:35 PM by Lostcourse

"Out and about Karekare this afternoon for a hike, geocaching and to bag this peak. I came up the Hill track before taking the Ridge track to the summit and a little further. I then returned the Hill track to make my way down to the beach. I took a small detour to bush bash to the top of a waterfall just off the track. I made my way back to the car along the beach following the Hillary trail for much of it. All in all it was a four and a half hour adventure."

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xx Mt Zion and beyond...

August 28, 2012, 12:26:25 PM by Rubberduck-e

"Metservice had the morning looking the best with the clouds due to roll in as the afternoon wore on so as per usual I turned up nice and early for this one.

The site description of the track is very accurate, I simply popped over the bridge hung a right when it came to the Pohutukawa glade walk and kept an eye out for the Zion Hill track. From there it is a reasonably easy climb. As you go up, if you see what appears to be a small track leading away to the right, I think there was about two of these, take it, its only about four or five paces and you will be at a lookout. One of them even had a bench and the view was a fantastic Karekare beach!

Anyway before you can say what peak you will have bagged it, and as the site suggest from here things did get a bit more..."

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xx Mt Zion

May 09, 2011, 03:52:48 AM by Sasquatch

"From Buck Taylor car park via Zion Ridge track to the lookout call Mt Zion.  Excellent views over Manukau heads wild coast line 20min.  Return via Zion Hill>Buck Taylor track to car park.  Would be nice if dry underfoot, some more views, nice forest, would re do on a dry week."

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xx Mt Zion Picture

April 25, 2011, 03:49:17 PM by vinodrinker

"Took a picture from further up the hillary trail today down toward karekare and Mt Zion which is the rather rounded "peak" here which shows itself as the highest point on the horizon"

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xx Mt Zion

January 05, 2011, 02:48:36 PM by Ash Bash

"It was funny when we did Mt Zion because Dad was ahead of us so he went the right way but Claire, Mum and I went the wrong way but that is better because it meant we walked a longer time than our Dad."

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xx Mt Zion

April 13, 2010, 08:35:48 AM by Chris FRENCH

"Not much of a summit to speak of but a fantastic walk with views of the west coast and regenerating bush. I walked up the Zion Hill Track and onto the Zion ridge track onto the Buck Taylor track and back onto the Zion Hill Track back to Karekare. It was a sunny day without wind what a walk. It took me about 2.5 - 3 hours medium pace."

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xx See Previous

January 25, 2010, 11:50:53 AM by Inspector Clouseau

"See Previous"

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xx Winter & Mt Zion

January 25, 2010, 11:06:54 AM by Inspector Clouseau

"I bagged this one over the Winter (July I think). At least I think I did. The GPS on the phone said I had. The problem is there is nothing to mark the summit and it is such a rounded peak that there is an element of guess work required.

The track was a complete bog in a number of places and lethley slippery in others. The return across the back of the dunes requires fording an overflowing marsh which means very wet feet and the route through the dunes is completely random. The campsite and tramline tunnel are an interesting diversion but I wouldn't reccomend this walk to anyone in particular. It is probably more challanging for a mountain bike rider.

On the other side of Karekare is a much worthier bag. Follow Comans Track (now part of Sir Ed's Walkway) to the Mercer ..."

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xx Mt Zion

October 29, 2009, 01:51:07 PM by PeakRunner

"From Karekare car park.
Zion Hill Tk, Zion Ridge Tk (2.9k 45m) Buck Taylor Tk (1.2k 18m) Zion Hill Tk (2.1k 27m) Zion Hill Tk (1.5k 15m)
Total time: 1 hr40
Total distance ca 7.7km
Total Climb ca. 430 M"

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xx Mt Zion - ex Karekare Beach

June 09, 2008, 09:05:33 AM by vinodrinker

"This is little more than a moderate walk.

Leaving from the carpark at Karekare beach, cross the bridge and turn down pohutakawa glade track walking for about 100m before the zion hill track branches off upwards.

The track is well formed and gentle/ moderate slope which hardly gets the heart pumping

There are a couple of points where lookouts step off the main track where you get great views of Karekare Beach and further up you get views of Whatipu. Classic west coast scenery

The summit is unmarked so thats a bit of a pain but the map marks it as close to the intersection of the zion ridge track and zion hill track.  To my eye the highest point seems to be about 100m further on up the zion ridge track.

Would be a great break away from a..."

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