One of the most dramatic harbour entrances in Aotearoa New Zealand.
Spectacular view from the Bluff lookout to Te Whara/Bream Head, Taranga and the Marotere islands (Hen and Chicken islands)
The track leads you under nīkau palms and kauri stands with glimpses of northern rātā hanging from pōhutukawa among a cluster of jagged bush-covered peaks.
As you climb towards the summit of Mount Manaia, 420 m above sea level, the gradient gets steeper and the views get more impressive.
Mount Manaia is 28 km east of Whangārei. Park in the Mount Manaia Club’s lower car park on Whangārei Heads Road above McLeod Bay. The track begins just above the car park.
History and culture
Mount Manaia is the tūpuna/ancestor and chief of Ngātiwai and many Iwi and hapū (sub-tribes) of not only Whangārei but the Northland region. The craggy peaks represent his family who was turned to stone through karakia (ritual chants) in a dispute over the infidelity of his wife.
As Mount Manaia is a wāhi tapu (sacred place) for Ngātiwai and other Iwi and hapū (sub-tribes) in Northland – respect the area and keep to the marked tracks.
Know before you go
What to expect:
- Track surface: Mix of wide gravel path and wooden steps
- Change in elevation: +/- 324 m
- The natural rock lookouts on this track have no safety barriers and limited available space – stay well away from the drop-offs and supervise children.
- Extra care should be taken in wet and windy conditions due to the exposed nature of rock lookouts.
Source: Department of Conservation