Enjoy exploring Whangarei’s walking and hiking trails – it is one of the most rewarding ways of experiencing the area’s outstanding natural beauty.
Whangarei offers a wonderful choice of walks and treks through outstanding rural, native forest or coastal landscapes. Enjoy beautiful waterfalls, streams and rivers. See native birds and love their song!
Take the opportunity to photograph and share some of the most beautiful coastline in the world.
There are options to suit all levels of fitness and experience, from short 30 minute walks to full-day challenging hikes. Whangarei's subtropical climate means that most walks can be done all year round. All walks and trails are unguided – enjoy your independence. These are some of our favourites...
Hatea Loop Walkway, Town Basin
The Hatea Loop – Huarahi o te Whai, begins at the Town Basin Whangarei, a picturesque international yachting marina precinct. Enjoy the Sculpture & Heritage Trails and walk across the international award-winning ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bascule (opening) bridge. The walkway is a 4.2km loop that meanders along the Hatea River. The entire walkway is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.
Hatea River Walks
From the Town Basin along the Hatea River to Whangarei Falls. The complete walk will take approximately three hours one way. Follow the river through forest and farmland, cross bridges and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of our beautiful natural forest.
AH Reed Kauri Park and Whangarei Falls
See the ‘world-famous’ Whangarei Falls, enjoy the river, stately kauri trees and board walk through the trees. This is an easy walk, with some short steep climbs, that is suitable for all ages.
Parihaka Scenic Reserve
Mt Parihaka Scenic Reserve is a culturally significant landmark in Whangarei and Green Flag Award Winner, an international award for the best parks in the world and recognises high quality, sustainably managed green spaces. A moderate level of fitness is required.
Take the kids for a walk, enjoy the green spaces and throw some bread to the ducks that live on the Hatea River.
Mount Manaia rises majestically 403 metres above the entrance of the Whangarei Harbour. This is a vigorous one hour ascent up well maintained tracks, through beautiful native forest and with a number of spectacular look out points. The summit provides a breathtaking 360 degree vista including the harbour, offshore islands the Pacific Ocean.
Smugglers Cove - Busby Head Track
An easy loop walk that takes you past a WWII historic gun emplacement. Follow the coastal forest track and stop at the stunning Smugglers Cover for a swim or picnic.
Bream Head Scenic Reserve / Te Whara Track
Explore the pristine Whangarei Heads peninsula with a six hour (one way) hike between Urquharts Bay and Ocean Beach. Good fitness levels are required but you’ll be rewarded with magnificent views. Note that there are really great shorter options to 'dip in and dip out' of this track.
Tane Moana Walkway (Giant Kauri)
Enjoy walking through farmland, native forest and be rewarded by seeing the largest kauri tree remaining on the East Coast. At 11 metres in circumference, he is second only to the famous Tane Mahuta. This is a four to five hour return walk and moderate fitness levels are required.
Walk from Sandy Bay to Whananaki South and cross the longest pedestrian bridge in the Southern hemisphere. Moderate fitness required. If you just want to walk (or fish from, the bridge. Take a drive to Whananaki North and follow the path between the school and the store.
Te Araroa - New Zealand’s Trail
Te Araroa - New Zealand’s Trail is a continuous 3,000 kilometre walking track from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island to Bluff at the bottom of the South Island. From the South, it enters Whangarei at Bream Tail on the Mangawhai Walkway, and includes Bream Head, Taiharuru, Pataua North, Matapouri, Whananaki and the Helena Bypass. Coastal camping, cabins and lodges are available along the trail.
The Bream Tail Mangawhai Walkway has been chosen as one of the top one day Te Araroa walks. This is an excellent beach and cliff-top walkway through farmland and bush areas. You will enjoy outstanding views of Bream Head, the Hen and Chicken Islands, and all the way down to the Hauraki Gulf including the Mokohinau Islands and Great/Little Barrier Islands.