Bream Head Scenic Reserve is one of New Zealand’s premier coastal forest reserves and is the best example of its type in Northland.
It provides a refuge for a diverse range of species brought together in a unique coastal broadleaf forest association including kiwi, kukupa (wood pigeon), threatened invertebrates, bats, skinks, geckos, several bird species from offshore islands like kaka, kakariki (red-crowned parakeet) and bellbird, and nationally and regionally significant plants.
Bream Head also provides habitat for coastal birds and the southern most mainland colony of the threatened native flax snail – pupuharakeke.
Bream Head is nationally important for its ecological, cultural and historic significance. DOC, local iwi, the Bream Head Conservation Trust and the community are committed to restoring Bream Head to the way it probably was before the arrival of predators when all species were able to flourish.
This work includes a revegetation programme, weed and pest control.
As predator numbers have dropped, North Island brown kiwi have been released into the area which is now designated as one of the country’s kiwi sanctuaries. It is also a site for the Bank of New Zealand Save the Kiwi Operation Nest Egg program. The vision is for the restoration work to continue, resulting in an increase in the numbers and variety of native flora and fauna.
Bream Head is of special significance to iwi. They regard the mountain (Te Whara) as an ancestor and consider the whole area, including the tracks passing through as wahi tapu (sacred places). These mountains were once used as urupa or burial grounds.
Bream Head Scenic Reserve is at Whangarei Heads, southeast of Whangarei city.