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