The Bream Head - Te Whara track follows an ancient Maori trail from Urquharts Bay to Ocean Beach. Te Whara was the principal wife of the rangatira Manaia.
A reasonable level of fitness, skill and experience is needed to walk this tack. The climb up to the ridge is very steep and in some places, the walking surface is uneven.
Once you've climbed up onto the ridge, the track becomes undulating and relatively easy going. The intersection with the Peach Cove Track is about halfway along the ridge. The Te Whara/Bream Head summit is located towards the Ocean Beach end of the track, not far from the ruins of a WWII radar station.
The track passes through some of the best coastal forest in the North Island. At the Bream Head summit, you can enjoy a magnificent coastal panorama taking in Motukokako (Cape Brett) in the north to Tawharanui (Cape Rodney) in the south and includes the offshore islands Tawhiti Rahi and Aorangi (Poor Knights), Marotere (Hen and Chickens group), Hauturu (Little Barrier) and Aotea (Great Barrier) in the far east.
To minimise disturbance to the area, and out of respect to local iwi and their ancestors, please do not venture off the marked tracks.
The Department of Conservation, local Iwi, the Bream Head Conservation Trust, and the community are committed to restoring Bream Head, which includes a re-vegetation programme, weed and pest control. You may see predator traps beside the track. We ask for your safety that you please do not interfere with them.
The nearby Mount Manaia Track is well worth a visit. The track has been upgraded and the views across the harbour are excellent.
Access the track from the Urquharts Bay car park, or from the Ocean Beach car park on Ranui Rd.
If you don't want to walk the entire length of the ridge, you can park at the entrance to Peach Cove Track and enter/exit via that track.
Know before you go
- Do not interfere with pest traps.
- To minimise disturbance to the area, and out of respect to local iwi and their ancestors, keep to the marked tracks.
- Carry plenty of drinking water.
- Tracks can be slippery after rain.
- Be careful of tree roots protruding onto the track.
- The rocky outcrops have steep drop offs. Children should be well supervised.
- Dogs and open fires are not permitted in the reserve including the beach.
- Northland reserve bylaws apply to Bream Head Scenic Reserve.