Te Whara Scenic Reserve is located at the end of Whangarei Heads in Northland around 38km from the Whangarei CBD the drive out to the heads follows the harbor side most of the way providing stunning views of the the inner harbor as it winds in and around some beautiful sandy beaches and rocky points, there are three access points to the reserve depending on how you want to walk the tracks that pass through the reserve the walks provide some stunning views out over the open ocean and take you through beaitiful native trees.
The first access point is located at Busby Heads on the track out to Smugglers Cove follow the Smugglers Cove track until you start to descend down to the Cove on the left is the start of the reserve and the Te Whara track that goes from Urquharts Bay car park to Ocean Beach on the far side of the Whangarei Heads this walk will take around 5 or 6 hrs one way with an elevation change of 456 m so you need a basic fitness level to walk this track, the track passes through some stunning native bush and is part of an ancient Maori trail from Ocean Beach to Urquharts Bay.
This walk can also start from Ocean Beach carpark access is through Ranui Road the start of the Te Whara track is at the end of the road, the track climbs steeply to the ruins of a WW2 radar station perched high up on the ridge line with stunning views out across the ocean and all the islands from the Poor Knights to the Hen And Chicken Islands, once you get to the top the track gets a little easier to walk as it follows the ridge to Urquharts Bay the Peach Cove track also deviates of the Te Whara Track.
The Te Whara Reserve also incorporates the Peach Cove track and if you do not want to walk the entire length of the Te Whara track from Urquharts Bay to Ocean Beach this walk is a great alternative, the Peach Cove walk starts around one km before Ocean Beach there is a small carpark you need to walk to the end of a private road before the track starts to climb up the mountain side, the walk to Peach Cove takes around one hour and fifteen minutes depending on your fitness level, from the main Te Whara track the Peach Cove track descends steeply down the side of the mountain with a few stunning views of the Cove down below.
The Peach Cove track also sports a Department of Conservation Hut which is located at the base of the track around five minutes from the Cove, the hut is serviced and can accomodate eight people you need to book in advance through DOC Whangarei department, the Cove has a sandy beach and you can explore the coastline on the out going tide, the native trees are fantastic all around this area, and when the time comes to head back up the track expect the walk to take a little longer than the descent down, the asscent back up is difficult and steep.
Te Whara Reserve