Walks and hikes

Photo of two people walking on the Smugglers Bay Track with the sea and boats in the background.

Enjoy spectacular walks all year round in subtropical Whangārei. Choose from trails in native forest, strolls on white sandy beaches and tracks with superb coastal vistas. Spot rare and beautiful birds, maybe even hear a kiwi calling in the wild.

The Whangārei District features an outstanding coastline along with stunning coastal and forest walks. Well known walks include the fully-accessible waterside Hātea Loop – Huarahi o te Whai boardwalk in Whangārei city, Parihaka Scenic Reserves and Mt Manaia and Te Whara tracks, both at Whangārei Heads.

There are many others to choose from; discover the longest footbridge in the southern hemisphere, stand beneath Tāne Moana, the largest kauri tree remaining on the east coast, meander along boardwalks through pristine mangrove forests in tidal estuaries, spot rare and beautiful birds, maybe even hear a kiwi calling in the wild.

Whangārei City

Hātea Loop - Huarahi o te Whai walkway

A fully accessible waterside walk that includes the Sculpture and Heritage Trails and crosses the award-winning bascule bridge, Te Matau a Pohe.
4.2 km loop, allow about one hour. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

Hātea River Walks

The full walk is 6km one way between the Town Basin, Whangārei city and Whangārei Falls. It follows the Hātea River and includes Mair Park and AH Reed Memorial Park.
6km one way, allow about 2 1/2 hours. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

AH Reed Memorial Park

Get up close to giants of the forest with a treetop boardwalk among native forest and stately kauri trees. The boardwalk is approximate 900m and is partially accessible. Other tracks are available. No dogs allowed.

Parihaka Scenic Reserves

Climb to the Parihaka summit where the lookout offers a panoramic view of the city and surrounding land where you can see some of the mountains of Whangārei. Read and enjoy the stories and legends of some of these places on the interpretation signs at the summit.
Approximately 2kms return, allow 2 hours. No dogs allowed.

Otuihau - Whangārei Falls

This walk loops down and around the picturesque waterfall, crossing a footbridge at the bottom where a perfect photo opportunity awaits.
Approximately 1km,allow any hour to enjoy. Dogs on a leash are allowed. 

Coronation Scenic Reserve

Part of the larger Pukenui Forest and Western Hills that frame Whangārei city to the west.
3.2kms and allow 90 minutes one way. No dogs allowed.

Waimahanga Walkway and Boswell Track

A walk or bike ride for the whole family to enjoy the rich, diverse ecology of mangrove forests and other native flora along the track. Part of this track is formed on a disused railway embankment.  2.5kms one way, allow 45 minutes. Dogs on a leash are allowed.

Whangārei Heads

Mount Manaia

Mt Manaia towers 420m above the Whangārei harbour. This is a vigorous climb, up approximate 1,000 steps through beautiful native forest. The summit offers breathtaking 360 degree views.
3.5 kms and around 2 hours return. No dogs allowed.

Te Whara - Bream Head Track

Take on the challenge of this six hour hike, that follows an ancient Māori trail, through pristine native forest. You'll be rewarded with incredible panoramas off the Harbour, East Coast and Pacific Ocean.
7.5kms one way, allow six hours. No dogs are allowed.

Smugglers Bay Loop Track

A loop walk that takes you past an historic WWII gun embankment. Follow the coastal track anti-clockwise and enjoy the reveal of stunning Smugglers Bay. 
3km loop that will take around two hours. No dogs allowed.

Mt Aubrey - Reotahi Coastal Walkway

A walk that skirts the Reotahi Marine Reserve with views across the Harbour to the Marsden Point oil refinery.
2.8km loop, allow 90 minutes. No dogs are allowed.

Bream Bay and Waipū

Piroa Falls Track

A short walk through native forest to a small waterfall that is big on beauty. Cool your toes in the pool beneath the falls.
Approximately 1km return walk that will take about 30 mins. No dogs are allowed.

Waipū Coastal Walkway

A lovely coastal walk featuring rock formations similar to the famous pancake rocks at Punakaiki, and superb views of the coast and offshore islands.

Langsview Track

For amazing views of the countryside and coastline, follow this track along the ridgeline of the Brynderwyn range. 6.5kms one way, allow 3 hours easy walking track.  No dogs allowed.


Matapōuri to Whale Bay

This trail follows the coast through native forest and has wonderful coastal views. Be sure to take a picnic and allow time for a swim at secluded Whale Bay.
3kms and approx 1.5kms return, allow an hour. No dogs allowed.

Tūtūkākā Headland Walk

A heart pumping walk with steep climbs and descents as well as spectacular views up and down the Tūtūkākā Coast.
2kms and 90mins hours return. No dogs allowed. 

Tāheke Waterfall Track

A loop track through native forest and groves of regenerating kauri. At 46m high, the Tāheke waterfall in the highest in Northland.
3kms, allow 90mins. No dogs allowed.

Whananaki and Whangaruru

Motutara Recreation Reserve Walk (Whananaki)

A short walk across open farm land with stunning coastal scenery. Out on the headland there are several small, secluded beaches and some good fishing and diving spots. 3.7kms, allow 2 hours return.

Whananaki Coastal Walkway

Cross the longest footbridge in the Southern Hemisphere to the grass and loose metal farm track. There are remarkable coastal and rural views. About 2kms south of Whananaki South is the monument in memory of the freighter Capitaine Bougainville which caught fire and sank off this coast in September 1975.
Approximately 6 kms and 4 to 5 hours return. Dogs on a leash are allowed on the track but strictly no dogs on the beach. 

Whangaruru North Head Walking tracks

Hike through native forest along ridgelines with panoramic views of the Whangaruru Harbour and Pacific Ocean. Choose from different walks of different lengths.
Allow 4 to 5 hours and no dogs allowed.

View and download Whangārei District Walking Guides.

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Enjoy spectacular walks across the Whangārei District