Bream Head

Also known as Te Whara

Whara, the highest point of the Bream Head scenic reserve, lies at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour. Once used as Maori burial grounds, Te Whara is sacred to local iwi, and for this reason (amongst others) you must stick to the marked tracks. There are a number of sites of archaeological interest, including Maori midden and pa remnants, and WW2 gun emplacements. The reserve also has special natural significance, and is home to the largest remaining stand of coastal broadleaf and pohutukawa forest in Northland, as well as native wildlife, including kiwi, kaka, green geckos, and rare flax snails!

List Status Official
Elevation 476 m (1,562 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Northland
Location Coordinates 35° 51′ 16″ S, 174° 34′ 38″ E
Nearest Town/s Whangarei
LINZ Topographic map/s AX31 Bream Head
Geology Volcano
Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2-5 hours (return)
Distance 5.2 km (3.2 mi)
Start/End Points Ranui Rd or Urquharts Bay Carpark/Ocean Beach Rd
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Track
Season Help.gif All year
Sights Ocean views, native birds, WW2 structures,?, Slippery, cliffs

Google Earth Map

NZ Topographic Map

Our Recommended Route

There are two main ways you can bag the summit of Bream Head. The first (and shortest) option is to start from Ranui Rd (off Ocean Beach Rd), head up Peach Grove Track, and then loop around across the summit, and down past the radar station back to Ocean Beach Rd.

The second is a 5 hour one way walk from Urquharts Bay, up to Mt Lion (395m) and along the ridge to the 476m summit of Te Whara. From here you drop down to Ocean Beach Rd, to your prearranged transport (or perhaps to a return walk along the road to Urquharts Bay).

Height Profile

Bream Head-2d.jpg

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We choose to stay in a bach or holiday house when on our trips - which you can book through Bookabach.
Or for more accommodation options, we recommend finding a hotel or motel on Agoda.com.
For car hire, you can book from Snap Rentals- with pickup locations at Auckland Airport, Auckland City, Christchurch Airport, Queenstown Airport, and Queenstown Town Centre
Once back from your hike, treat yourself to a beer from Behemoth Brewing