You’ll find the Te Whara track wrapped around a peninsula on the extended arm of New Zealand’s North Island. Save this one for a bright, sunny day!
- Amazing views across Bream Bay and Whangārei Harbour
- Enjoy a fun rock scramble to gain the summit of Te Whara
- Experience beautiful coastal forest with abundant birdlife
- Finish your (undoubtedly sweaty) walk with a refreshing ocean dip
From The Forest to The Sea
If you find yourself in New Zealand’s Northland, it’s worth taking the drive towards Whangārei Heads to walk the Te Whara Track. This 8km hike stretches from east to west across the Bream Head Peninsula, offering both forest immersion as well as expansive coastal views.
You can walk Te Whara Track in either direction, as there’s a car park at both ends, and if you have two cars, you can organise a car shuffle.
Climbing Mt Lion
Starting from the western end, you have about a kilometre to warm up your legs, before you start climbing. The first highpoint on the hike is Mt Lion (395m), which on a typical Northland summer’s day makes for a steep and sweaty ascent.
Luckily, from this point the forest offers some welcome shade and features some interesting rock formations along the way.
Past Mt Lion, the track continues to follow the ridge and becomes less steep and more undulating, which makes it a bit more easy-going.
After about 5km, you’ll come across the turn-off to Peach Cove, a beautiful tiny beach with a DOC hut where you can spend the night. It’s close enough to include in your day hike if you’re keen to check it out, but be warned, it’s more than 800 steps to get down, which you’ll also need to climb back up!
Summiting Te Whare
Continuing past the turn-off, it’s time for the second climb of the day, this time up to Te Whare (476m). When you get closer to the summit, the forest around you will open up and reveal amazing views.
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For the real deal, you’ll have to leave the track and scramble up the rocks to the actual summit. If it’s a clear day, you’ll have a spectacular, 360º view of all of Bream Bay and Whangārei Harbour.
From Te Whare summit, the track makes its way down to Ocean Beach. At first, you’ll walk through more coastal forest, but before long you’re back in the open, enjoying coastal views on your way down.
You’ll also pass the ruins of an old WWII radar station with some informative signs, sharing the history of the area. By the time you’ve made it down to the beach, you’ll be more than ready for that refreshing swim in the ocean!
- Hiking shoes
- Plenty of water
- Swimming gear
How To Get There
From Whangārei, take the road towards Whangārei Heads. Park either at Urquharts Bay car park on the western end and Ocean Beach car park on the eastern end of the track.
2.5 hours from Auckland
Distance Covered / Elevation Gain / Duration
8 km / 650m / 3-4 hr