New Zealand Walks: Walks around Whangarei

Walks around Whangarei

Walking New Zealand - - Contents - By Barbz Lowther

De­layed in Whangarei when our car broke down, we an­tic­i­pated a frus­trat­ing few days wait­ing for parts - But this was not the case.

Whangarei has a wealth of walks within a very short dis­tance from ‘The Basin’- a vi­brant collection of Gal­leries, cafes, bars, a clock mu­seum, and yachts from all over the world moored close to the town cen­tre. This in it­self is worth a visit.

From here we walked to Mair Park, and fol­lowed signs to the Hatea River Walk. This trail leading to Whangarei Falls has sev­eral loop tracks, branch­ing off to mag­nif­i­cent Kauri trees, a Pa site and Mt Pir­i­haka.

We first took the steep Drum­mond Track, climb­ing many steps, un­der tall To­tara, Tanekaha and Tawa, past an even taller Kauri, to fi­nally reach the war me­mo­rial tower on the Sum­mit of Pir­i­haka. Seats pro­vided a good rest spot to en­joy panoramic views of Whangarei city cen­tre and har­bour.

Walk­ing back down the Dob­bie Track, through Punga and Nikau groves, we passed an old pa site.

Back at the river path we walked past sev­eral swim­ming holes where lo­cal kids were hav­ing fun on rope swings hung from huge Pines.

We soon reached an­other loop into A H Reed Me­mo­rial Park, where a canopy walk­way

has been built to pro­tect young Kauri trees. It was an awe­some feel­ing walk­ing high up in the midst of these mag­nif­i­cent trees, and we spent a while just ‘en­joy­ing be­ing there’

An­other wan­der along the river trail took us to the falls, which are quite spec­tac­u­lar cas­cad­ing in twin flows over a rock face.

Our re­turn walk along the river path only took about an hour. The beauty of this area is that var­i­ous roads met the river trail so these lovely spots were ac­ces­si­ble to most people.

The next day was spent in ‘Corona­tion Scenic Re­serve’- again a stone’s throw from the cen­tre of town. It took a few min­utes to walk to the ‘Quarry Art and Craft Cen­tre at the end of Sel­wyn Street.

Af­ter look­ing at the fas­ci­nat­ing cre­ations here, we headed up on a for­est trail. A wide well marked path led to a stand of Kau­ris, then as we climbed higher, the track be­came steeper and nar­rower, with views of the town way be­low.

Af­ter an hour or so of walk­ing through bush tracks, past pa sites and look­out points, we reached the Quarry Gar­dens at the north­ern end of the re­serve. - a re­ally lovely place for a pic­nic.

Above left: On the far side of the beach where the track reaches the is­land. Above right: Canopy walk in AH Reed Me­mo­rial Park off the Hatea River Walk. Be­low left: Two walk­ers on the Canopy walk in AH Reed Me­moral Park. Be­low right: At Tu­tukaka...

Above: Look­ing over the city of Whangarei from the sum­mit of Mt Pir­i­haka. Be­low: Flow­ers line the bank on the Hatea River walk.

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