Enjoy natural harbor waters, climb rugged volcanic peaks or laze on a white surf beach surrounding this peaceful little town.
Whangarei Heads sits on the tip of a large spit of land that creates the outer edge of Whangarei Harbour. Offering both protected and open waters, soaring hills and rolling forest, the peninsula displays a smorgasbord of natural treats.
You’ll get to appreciate Whangarei Heads’ natural beauty even before you get there. As you drive along the scenic Whangarei Heads Road, you can take in the stunning harbor views and see the peaks at the tip of the peninsula come nearer.
Check out the great selection of watersports on offer. Head to the 3-mile (5-kilometer) white sands of Ocean Beach and ride the waves on a surfboard or boogie board. If you are not into surfing, just jump into the pristine waters to cool off. The sheltered bays offer calm waters for swimming and snorkeling and the coastal mangroves provide a scenic setting to kayak through.
Get a different perspective by heading up to the top of Whangarei Heads. Hike up the volcanic peak of Mount Manaia, which rises up to 1,378 feet (420 meters). As you reach the rocky outcrops, you start to get hints of the stunning views that await at the top. Large tree ferns line the way, providing shade. The summit offers panoramic views out over the Hen and Chicken Islands and the Bream Head Reserve.
Keep your hiking boots on to explore some of the other varied walks of the area as well. Try the Peach Cove Track to climb up Bream Head Ridge before dropping down into pretty Peach Cove. Smugglers Bay Loop Track is a nice easy walk for the whole family, with many interesting points along the way.
Whangarei Heads is a hidden gem in sub-tropical Northland. The nature and scenery alone is enough to keep you more than busy for a few days and the little settlement of Whangarei Heads has accommodations for all budgets. With some of nature’s finest tucked into this little peninsula, it would be a shame not to stay.