Walks and Tracks

Busby Head Track

An easy and beautiful loop walk that starts and finishes in Urquharts Bay car park and goes past the historic gun emplacement.  The track will take you through coastal bush to Smugglers Bay and you return over farmland to the car park. This is an easy 3km walk that will take about 1 hour and 30 minutes. This track can also be walked in the reverse direction.

Smugglers Bay Walk

Alternatively, you can walk over farmland from Urquhart Bay car park to Smugglers Bay and have a picnic on the beautiful white sandy beach and a swim and then wander back.  This is a 40-minute return walk.

Smugglers Bay Whangarei Heads
Smugglers Bay; photo courtesy of May Zing Media

Bream Head/Te Whara Track

This intermediate walk takes 5 to 6 hours (one way) and requires a high level of fitness, but its 360 degree views are one of the many rewards. Start at Urquharts Bay car park and follow the signs to the start of the walk which comprises of an undulating ridge track with spectacular coastal forest and views. It ends at Ocean Beach. When you make it up to the ridge line, especially in the area where the Peach Cove track crosses the ridge, keep your eyes out for North Island robins/ toutouwai and whitehead/popokatea. This track can also be walked in the reverse direction.

After your walk, you can go for a swim at Ocean Beach, a popular surf beach with beautiful white sand and views of Bream Head. There are Life guards on duty over summer months.

Bream Head Peninsula

Peach Cove Track

Start at the Peach Cove car park (1 km before Ocean Beach) and finish at secluded Peach Cove. A DOC serviced hut at Peach Cove can be booked in advance for up to 8 people (phone 09 470 3300) if you want to stay overnight, otherwise you will have to return along the same route.  This high fitness walk is 2 hours one way and has lots of steps.

Te Whara Loop Walk

Popular with locals, this walk combines the Bream Head/Te Whara track with the Peach Cove Track. It is a 4 hours return trip and requires a high level of fitness. Start and finish at the Peach Cove car park (1 km before Ocean Beach).

Ocean beach and bream head range
Ocean beach and Bream Head range; photo courtesy of May Zing Media

Discover Whangarei Heads has created a great online information resource about all the local walks in Whangarei Heads.  

The Department of Conservation website is also a good source to find more information and alerts about the tracks.