Mount Manaia Track
Image: Fraser Clements ©


A steady climb through regenerating native bush to the summit of Mount Manaia rewards you with breathtaking views of the dramatic entrance to Whangarei Harbour. It's suitable for walking children and is one of our best short walks.


  • One of the most dramatic harbour entrances in New Zealand.
  • Spectacular view from the Bluff lookout to Bream Head and the Hen and Chicken Islands.



  • Fitness required: Low to moderate
  • Gradient: Steady and steep climb with steps

Track overview

3.5 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

2-3 hr Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs

  • Kauri dieback
    Help stop kauri dieback

    Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.

    • Stay away from kauri tree roots.
    • Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forest.

About this track


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. 

Getting there

Mount Manaia is 28 km east of Whangarei. Park in the Mount Manaia Club’s lower car park on Whangarei Heads Road above McLeod Bay. The track begins just above the car park.

History and culture

Mount Manaia is the ancestor and chief of Ngātiwai and the many hapū (sub-tribes) of Whangarei. The craggy peaks represent his family who were turned to stone through karakia (ritual chants) in a dispute over the infidelity of Manaia’s wife.

Mount Manaia is a sacred place for Ngātiwai and the many hapū (sub-tribes) of the Whangarei area – 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 – stay well away from the drop-offs and supervise children.

In the area

For information on transport, accommodation, activities, and attractions in the Northland region, refer to


Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Address:   2 South End Ave
Whangarei 0110
Full office details
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