Walks around Whangarei
Once mobile again, we drove half an hour east to the Tutukaka Coast. It was sheer magic. We first walked north from Sandy Bay to a Monument, on a headland, off Oruea Bay. This was built to commemorate the crew of the ‘Capitaine Bouganville’ who were lost at sea nearby.
From here we had lovely views across to Whananaki.
This track, starting on a farm road, then following tracks along coastal ridges, and through Pine plantations, had magnificent coastal scenery all the way; rocky bays, headlands, islands, and the sea ranging from pale aqua to deep blue. Flax flowers and Toi Toi on the cliff edges added to the spectacle. It was truly beautiful
We then travelled south to Matapouri Bay, and wandered on an hour loop walk to Whale Bay - another pretty section.
Back to Matapouri, we drove down Clements Road, and walked a section of the Te Araroa Walkway, south to Ngunguru. An undulating trail leads through native bush, Pine plantations, streams and gullies, and the largest Kauri tree remaining on the east coast.
Our last walk in this area was an interesting walk to the lighthouse on Tutukaka headland. At the end of Landowners Road, a grassy track leads across a reserve and down to a little beach.
On the far side of this beach is
Kukutauwhao Island where the lighthouse stands. Although only an hour return, it was a challenging walk because by half tide, the narrow strip of beach you need to cross, is already covered in water, so timing is essential.
By now, we’d run out of time in this lovely place so we returned home, promising ourselves another trip North.
Above: Walking a farm track along the Coastal Ridge north of Sandy Bay. Below left: The track to Kukutauwhao Island and Tutukaka lighthouse. Below right: The well known Whangarei Falls. Opposite page above: Looking over the coast between Sandy bay and Whananaki.