Parihaka Scenic Reserves

Arts, Culture & Heritage, Cultural Attractions in Whangarei City

Mt Parihaka is a key landmark in Whangarei, culturally significant and a great short walk for the energetic!

Parihaka is an eroded volcanic cone rising to 241 metres above sea level. At the summit, the views of the city and harbour are just magnificent.

Parihaka Scenic Reserves is a Green Flag Award Winner 2012/13 - an award launched in England 16 years ago to reward the best parks and green spaces. The focus on nature conservation and sustainable practices for the day to day operational management of the Reserves was praised.

The tracks and steps are generally in good order and you have a choice of entry options.

Most people would start at the car park on Mair St, first following the metalled track down to Hatea River (don’t forget to take some bread to feed the ducks!), crossing the footbridge and immediately beginning the ascent on Drummond track.

For a slightly longer walk, take the Hokianga and then the Dobbie tracks.

You can also choose to depart on the Ross Track that starts at the end of Dundas Road.

You can then return on the track you came up or take an alternative route.

The tracks trail through native bush with many ferns including ponga or the silver tree fern as well as the beautiful and iconic nikau, a native palm and ti kouka, or cabbage tree.

If your start point is from Mair Park, take some bread to feed the ducks that are permanent residents of the Hatea River.

You may also see native water birds including the kawaupaka or little shag and the parera or grey duck.

Parihaka takes its name from the haka, or war dance, of defiance. Parihaka was sculpted by early Māori inhabitants into a pā or great fortress and is reputedly the largest pā in all New Zealand.

The Hokianga and Dobbie Tracks have extensive remnants of Maori settlement extending along 3km of ridge and including three heavily defended pa sites. More than 100 household terraces and 300 kumara pits have been identified. The Pa complex at Parihaka was the site of a significant battle and massacre in the 1700s.

The summit is also home to the World War II War Memorial to those New Zealand men and women who dies in World War II. The obelisk, unveiled in 1957, that glows red in the night sky is a local landmark.

Download a map of the Parihaka Reserve tracks here.


- Drummond track, 1.4km 40min
- Dobbie track via Hokianga track,  1.9km 50min
- Dobbie track via Ponga track,  2.2km 60min
- Ross track 1.45km 40min

A moderate level of fitness and suitable footwear is required.

Physical Address

Mair Park,
Kensington, Whangarei, Northland
New Zealand

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Opening times
Months of operation: All year round
Additional Information
Proximity to airport: 9kms
Proximity to town: 2 kms
Parking: Options are available at Mair Park, Rurumoki Street or the end of Dundas Road off Riverside.