Where to go and what to see
Find coastal walks where sweeping panoramic views creates a special place to stretch the legs and go walking. For dedicated walkers check out the aptly named, the Mangawhai Walking Weekend is an annual celebration of all things walking and all things Mangawhai. Throughout the weekend, a variety of organised walks are guided by the locals, eager to share their knowledge and passion for the area. Some of the walks are actually on local private land, and are only opened up for the annual event.
Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway
The Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway is considered one of the most beautiful walks in New Zealand. Combining New Zealand’s rugged coastal beauty with spectacular elevated ocean views, it makes for a truly awe-inspiring journey. The unique terrain and low difficulty of the 2-3 hour round trip means it’s a walk everyone can enjoy. Starting from the beach, the track begins by climbing its way up to a lookout point. It then weaves along the coastal cliff face, past ancient pohutukawa trees and back down to the beach below. Note that some of the return trip (an 8km beach walk) can be cut off at high tide, so make sure to time it right.
If you’re after a bit of variety, then the Tanekaha Tracks are for you. There are five main walking tracks in the area, which come together to create loops. Each loop begins and ends at the Kings Road carpark, so it’s basically impossible to get lost! The trails will take you through lush forests and up onto soaring ridges, with a range of interesting sights along the way. A highlight for many is the beautiful Tanekaha Falls Track, where you’ll come across multiple waterfalls, a swimming hole, and the remains of a kauri dam. You’ll also be in for a spot of boulder hopping to cross the many streams that flow throughout the native bush. Another must see is two gigantic trees on the Puriri Track, both believed to be over 1000 years old.
Goldschmidt Panoramic Walks
This varied walk is based at the Mangawhai Heads estuary, and explores hidden paths you’d only spot if you were really looking. You’ll make your way up towards towering vantage points, where you’ll discover, you guessed it, vast panoramic views. If you thought Mangawhai was beautiful from ground level, just wait till you see it from above! The uphill climbs on this walk are steep, but short, so reasonable fitness should do just fine. Don’t forget to bring some water and snacks along with you, as the trail takes approximately 4 hours to complete. The Goldschmidt Track is actually named after the original creator of the Mangawhai Walking Weekend, Jean Goldschmidt. It goes without saying that she’s a bit of a local legend around these parts!
Mangawhai Estuary Walk
3 hrs return. Easy walking.
Wet feet. Low tide is best.Be prepared to get wet feet as we walk among mangroves and view one of Mangawhai’s few remaining salt marshes. Drive past Mangawhai Beach School going south. Over the bridge turn left into Black Swamp Road; turn left into Raymond Bull Road; turn left at the T junction. Park safely at the end of the road. Begin along the wide tractor track to the water. At the end go right to follow the shore line veering round to the east. Walking is on both land and beach depending on the tide.
This first section has some unique intertidal plants including rushes and New Zealand ice plants. Pass the pohutukawa, to the sand hill. Many sea birds gather there – including the New Zealand Dotterel and the endangered NZ Fairy Tern. Spectacular sea shell middens appear near the coast. Maori came by canoe and land to enjoy the abundance of seafood available on this isolated wide expansive golden beach. Climb the sand hill to enjoy the views and the thrill of the slide down.Return the same way, or to extend the walk continue along the beach going south to meet Pacific Road beach entrance.Exit there and return to cars via Black Swamp Road.
Tanekaha Loop Track 4-5 hrs
This is a combination of three tracks, all of which can be walked separately and in either direction.
- Good fitness required.
- Tramping track so good boots/shoes needed.
- Take a first aid kit and phone.
Absolutely NO DOGS – this is kiwi country
- Tanekaha Falls Track 1 1⁄2-2hrs return (short) or 3-4hrs return
- Langs View Track 2hrs return if entering from Cullen Road
- Tanekaha Forest Track 2hrs return
This complex includes two further walking tracks
- Puriri Track – branches off the Falls Track
- Botanical Track – can be entered from either the Falls or Forest tracks
All tracks are accessed from King Road, Mangawhai Langs View Track (the Brynderwyn Ridge) can also be accessed from Cullen Road. Boulder hopping on the Tanekaha walk. Drive to 300 King Road, right turn in and continue to the car park. Take the short walk to the stile. Climb over and continue around the fence-lined track to the swing bridge. At the track signs take the Tanekaha Falls track to the left following the true right of the stream. The first waterfall (45 mins) is the short walk. Continue up the hill following the stream and waterfalls to the Langs View track (the Brynderwyn ridge). This is the long waterfall walk (90 mins to two hours total). Note the kauri dam remains at the top of the steep section. Take care on the many stream crossings as boulders are slippery.
GUIDED WALKS WITH BREAM HEAD COAST WALKS
The walks explore the spectacular and hidden coastline of the Bream Bay and Mangawhai areas of Northland. Bream Head Coast Walks offer visitors a wrap around walking experience with several days of catered walks together with comfortable accommodation. A gourmet outdoor journey either guided or self-guided.
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