Te Ara o Hei Walkway stepping ahead In March 2020, the Mercury Bay Community Board recommended Council approve continuation of the Purangi to Cathedral Cove section of the walkway, involving a path from Stella Evered Memorial Park to the carpark at Lees Rd, which also links up to Cathedral Cove. This section of the track was finished in December 2020. There is a ferry boat service set up to take you across the Purangi River and continue on with the walking track. You can find out more about this service here. "Walks are a huge and growing part of recreational tourism around our district, with social and economic benefits for our communities, and we anticipate the finished Te Ara o Hei walkway will be well-used and enjoyed by locals and visitors alike," says our Council’s Economic Development and Communications Group Manager Laurna White. Council used a $1million Lotteries Significant Grant Fund to fund the completion of this track. This grant has now been used. The Concept In 2012 our Council commissioned an independent report investigating the viability and economic impact of a walkway from Hot Water Beach to Cathedral Cove and on to the Purangi River. This was undertaken by two of the country's top tourism marketing specialists from Miles Marketing Destinations and TRC Tourism NZ. Their summary statement predicts 55,000 visitors generating up to $18M by the third year of operation. The report also covers the impact of parking, shuttles, business opportunities and the health and social benefits and trends of short and medium day walks. The Track The route Te Ara O Hei has been built in stages. Stage 1A and 1B is approximately 10km in length between the iconic "Blowhole," at Te Pupuha Recreation Reserve at Hahei through to the Purangi Estuary at Cooks Beach. It takes in Public Conservation Land (DOC), Council reserve and Stella Evered Reserve Land.