It doesn’t get more “off the beaten path” than the French Pass. Sweeping views of the Sounds, D’Urville island and coastal scenery as the highlights so don’t forget to take your camera full of battery and memory. Along the way there are viewpoints and also amazing little coves and beaches to stop off and soak it all in.
Local stories from earliy settlers describe polynesion explorere Kupe, who sent two pet birds out to explore Te Waipounamu (the South Island).
A kawau (cormorant) belonging to Kupe's companion Toru flew to the west. When it dipped a wing in the water at Te Aumiti/French Pass, the wing broke and the cormorant died. The reef is now known as Te Kawau-a-Toru.
10 minutes each way
You can get to this track from the French Pass Road off SH6 just past Rai Valley.
Water taxi services are available from Havelock and Te Aumiti/French Pass.