The Motutara Recreation Reserve lies halfway between Russell and Whangārei. At the reserve you’ll find several small beaches and some good fishing and diving spots.

Track overview

3.4 km return via same track

Walking and tramping

1 hr 40 min return Easy: Walking track

Dog access

No dogs
  • Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
    • Kauri dieback disease is spread through soil.
    • Scrub soil off shoes and gear and check it's all removed before you go.
    • Use a cleaning station when you enter and leave.
    • Always stay on the track.

    How you can help save kauri

About this track


This is an enjoyable and easy short walk across open farm land, from where you can take in lovely coastal scenery.

The first section of this track passes through private farmland and a campground before entering the reserve. Stay on the track. 

Once in the reserve you can wander in any direction you like. Out on the headland there are several small secluded beaches, and some good fishing and diving spots.

Getting there

The start of the Motutara Recreation Reserve is in the Whananaki village on the east coast, halfway between Russell and Whangārei (40 km north east from Whangārei). It is signposted from Rockell Bay Road and begins at the base of the hill in the village.

Take care, as there is limited roadside parking.

Know before you go

  • Wasps and wasp nests may be present in this area.
  • Leave gates as you find them.
  • Northland reserve bylaws apply to Motutara Recreation Reserve.


Whangarei Office
Phone:   +64 9 470 3300
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Address:   2 South End Ave
Whangarei 0110
Postal Address:   PO Box 842
Whangarei 0140
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