The Whangarei Heads in the Northland Region of New Zealand has a lot going for it, there are secluded beaches, beautiful native bush and stunning mountain walkways and the Mount Aubrey Reotahi Coastal Walkway loop is a stunning walk up through native bush to the Summit of Mount Aubrey at 1352 metres above sea level.
There are two towering peaks on Mount Aubrey that are visible from sea level which are the remnants of an ancient volcano that once dominated the sky line here, the walk up Mount Aubrey is a loop walk that can be started from Reotahi Road and there is an easy way and a much more strenuous way to ascend the mountain.
The easier way is from a small carpark around one km along Reotahi Road on the left, there is a sign showing the start of the walk this accent is more maintained with gravel steps but there is only parking for five vehicles, the other way up the mountain is right at the end of Reotahi Road the carpark here accommodates more vehicles but the accent is more step and difficult this way.
From the midway carpark the steps dominate the climb up to the summit, there are stunning glimpses down onto the Whangarei harbor and Mcleod Bay through gaps in the trees, the summit will take around twenty minutes of moderate walking to reach the saddle at the top of the Mountain.
From the saddle and just as you finish the last step on the right side of the track is a diversion or side track this is a steep and rocky accent to the first look out and not for anyone scared of hieghts, up through the steep and loose rocky surface and a scramble up a barron rock face you get a 360 degree view of Whangarei Harbor and the east coast this is not recommended on a wet or windy day as the peak is very exposed to the elements.
Back down from the look out the saddle provides a great place to picnic there is an extensive area of grass here with stunning views down onto the Marsden Point refinery and the harbor entrance, with the more difficult part of the walk behind you the track passes along the side of the second rocky peak and there is a fork in the track the side track takes you up to the top of the second peak which is more or less the same scenario as the first peak and look out.
From the second peak the track winds around native bush and the odd rock or two before starting the steep decent down to the Reotahi Coastal Walkway, you will catch a glimpse of Busby Head through the trees and a little further along the track on the right side there is a pile of huge rocks walking out to the end of the pile is another stunning look out that looks back to the entrance of the harbor and down onto the beautiful bay below.
At the bottom of the decent the Reotahi Coastal Walkway starts and follows the coastline around the base of Mount Aubrey there are locations along the walkway with access to secluded beaches and rocky bays and the remnants of the Whangarei freezing works which was destroyed by fire in 1921.
The end of the walkway finishes at the second carpark and a short walk along Reotahi Road will take you back to the midway carpark, this is a great scenic walk suitable for all the family that will take around 1.5 hours to walk the full loop back to the carpark there are muddy sections on the decent even in the dry conditions we experienced so pick a suitable day to walk this track.