Northland’s best overnight tramp is the challenging but rewarding Cape Brett Track (20km each way; 6–8hr) which follows the hilly ridge along the centre of the peninsula with sea occasionally visible on both sides: a route outlined in DOC’s Cape Brett leaflet. The former lighthouse keeper’s house at the tip of the peninsula is now a DOC hut (23 beds; $12.20; backcountry hut pass not valid) and the only place to stay on the track itself, in a fabulous location surrounded by sea and views out to the Hole in the Rock. There are gas cooking stoves but no utensils, and camping is not allowed.
The track starts in Rawhiti and crosses private land, so all walkers must pay a track fee ($30; day walkers $10). The Russell Booking & Information Centre is the place to pay your track fee, book the DOC hut and ask about secure parking in Rawhiti. You might also enquire about a water taxi from Russell to Rawhiti (around $170 for up to six people), Deep Water Cove, three-quarters of the way along the track ($190), or Cape Brett ($230; conditions permitting). Secure parking is available at Hartwells in Kaimarama Bay, at the end of Rawhiti Road, for a small fee.