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“Warmly welcomed, excellent advice comfortable accomodation delicious food plus a choice of walks”

Bream Head Coast Walks
Ranked #7 of 55 things to do in Whangarei
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: We are Northland's first three-day private unguided walk. Situated at Whangarei Heads our boutique walk encompasses private farmland, stunning ocean and harbour beaches, rural roads, recreational reserves and public walkways. Start each day from our immaculately presented lodge and walk through an amazing variety of landscapes. At the end of the day return for a delicious dinner prepared by us and cooked by you. This outstanding natural experience will leave you with lasting memories.
Reviewed February 2, 2011

As an older group we were delighted with the advice Clare gave us each day on the degree of difficulty of each walk and the weather conditions to expect. The accomodation is fresh and new with a variety of comfortable beds. the layout including the outside barbecue area and bath are great with excellent views of the terrain to be traversed. We all enjoyed the delicous vsariety of food and Clare had made a great effort for the gluten free group. The walks are very varied in grades but it was easy to work out how much anyone was able to do and the picking up arrangements fitted in with all choices. I would recommend a younger fitter group could do more on the first day and then possibly fit in all the choices on the other two days. That is what I would recommend for my family. A bonus was being shown around the wonderful little country school (Whangerei Heads school) Thank you Clare and family for a very enjoyable experience. It was great to look back at Mount Mania and Bream Head Range as we drove back south.

Thank PortChalmersArnesen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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158 - 162 of 168 reviews

Reviewed January 31, 2011

If you're looking for a 3 day walking experience with gourmet food and accommodation in a new purpose built lodge this is the one. The walks offer options and the hosts, Claire and Mark, are more than happy to drop you off at the start and pick you up at the finish - or inbetween if necessary! They provided delicious home cooked gourmet food which was delivered fresh to the lodge each afternoon. An all round great experience from start to finish.
Heather, Karaka

Thank Heather0149
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2011

Attentive hosts.Never too much trouble to provide transport.Excellent local knowledge to help choose trip options. Claire is a great cook...who would have thought plums in red wine? Does that count as two fruits?

Can do as much or as little as you want.....still have a great time.
Would like to take the local masseuse home but I think her family may object.

Would like to have a pool but happy to settle for the outside bath.Just have to remember to check for oncoming traffic before standing up to dry!

Thank nelsonia_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2011

Bream Head Private Walk
Driving to our destination around 30mins from downtown Whangarei was a delightful experience of little seaside communities, vistas of quiet bays, glimpses of headlands and finally the imposing outline amongst the evening mist of Mt Manaia. Arriving at the Lodge we drove past flowering Pohutukawa and Flax and pulled up beside what was to be our next three days accommodation. What a delight-a purpose built Lodge with wide covered veranda and modern but practical four bedroom two bathroom accommodation with all the creature comforts including washing machine, drier and the good ole Kiwi Barbie. There was even an outside bath to soak in. Designed to accommodate up to twelve people there were options from private twin to single as well as bunkroom sleeping (for the groups)and a large open kitchen dining with two separate lounge areas should two distinct parties require a little social privacy. Keen to explore we opened the fridge and dribbled at the array of culinary delights that awaited us for the evening meal. This private walk and accommodation package is fully catered and as weary trampers returning each night one only has to follow the simple instructions and menu pre- prepared before sitting to a meal fit for royals.
Our first night started with Moroccan Lamb and apricot, couscous and home grown fresh beans after pre-dinner nibbles of Hummus, fresh vegetables ,crackers and of course a wine or two! Just in case we weren’t satisfied there followed Lemon Tartlet and fresh fruit. mmmm-
Up to greet a rather dismal day we were joined by an Auckland couple Gillian & Andrew doing an investigative sojourn for the good old NZ Herald travel section. After breakfast we were able to prepare a wholesome lunch from the food provided and headed for the wide open spaces map in hand and raincoats donned for what turned out to be a mixed bag of weather and a thoroughly enjoyable day. There were several options for day one that had been outlined by our host- Claire during her introductory welcome and obligatory OSH talk. We chose a walk through farmland and then on reaching the coast after an hour walked south down Ocean Beach through rocky outcrops, sand dunes and nesting sea birds before finally arriving at the local surf club. The clouds lifted and we were served sunshine while we all tucked in to our much deserved lunch sitting amongst the sand hills viewing the wind kites and surfers hard at play. From here the group split up and we chose the steep climb to join the Bream Head Range on the Te Whara track and then down to Peach Cove. The track had been recently upgraded and was firm under foot despite the wet weather that we’d had. The very steep track down to Peach Cove was mainly wooden steps through Nikau groves, Pohutakawa and Pururi and finally finished at the coast edge in the shade of a massive old Pohutakawa festooning off a giant rock. The DOC hut close to the waters edge is available for campers on request and offers shelter from the weather. We were rewarded by a brilliant audio and visual display of native bird life. Kokako, Tui, Bell bird and Fantail with the occasional whoop, whoop of Kereru flying across the tree tops delighted us until after dipping our toes in the briny we headed back home up 823 steps to the top, Whew!
It was encouraging to see DOC signs indicating Kiwi present and the obvious regeneration of native flora following successful DOC pest eradication.
At home we regrouped and swapped notes on our respective day’s events after welcoming hot showers and the obligatory evening drinks. After tucking into other evenings culinary delights and some healthy camp story tales we all headed to bed and the lovely land of nod.
Day two –Could the weather get any worse?! doubtful, but being the intrepid trampers we were we donned wet weather gear and headed to Bream Head courtesy of Claire and her trusty steed Toyota. It was after Claries’ local advice and a fair bit of intervention on the part of the weather that we reluctantly agreed to cut our walk short and just attack the short option of the Urquhart Bay to Busby Head and Smugglers Bay.( used in the days of old to smuggle whiskey free of taxes). Weather aside (it was blowing 40 knots and raining so hard out legs were stinging) as we walked , the vistas and scenery was stunning and we all vowed to return and do it again on a sunny day. The history of the gun emplacements, the stories and history of the Ngati Wai and particularly Chief Manaia left you with that deep feeling of being privileged to share such a special place. More food, more rest and on to day three.
Day Three.-The intrepid trampers return! Finally the weather abated and although not picture perfect it afforded us some delightful views and glimpses of the coastal headlands on our circum navigation of Mt Aubrey. Starting at Little Munroe Bay and ending at Mcleod Bay we past the relics of the old Reotahi Freezing Works twice burned down in the early part of the 1900’s and had close up views of the Marsden Point oil refinery across the water and the busy Port of Whangarei. It all seemed so incongruous to the scenery of giant flowering Pohutakawa, the shrill sound of song birds and the nostalgic reminder of pioneer days at the old jetty as we tramped our way south.
Finally- Mt Manaia- Although the mist still shrouded this ancient volcanic mountain in a damp envelope we decided to push for the top. The short but steep 2.5hr return walk turned out to be the highlight of our walk partly due to the weather improvement but largely the cross section of beautiful broadleaf forest emerging into dense kauri and Totara dominated forest near the mantle of the peak. It was reminiscent of a forest of goblin and dwarfs, a botanical delight and a geologists dream. Coupled with its deep and historical link to the great Chief Manaia and the people of Ngati Wai the sacred mountain top afforded unbelievable views of the surrounding coast and bays of the North Whangarei Heads area. Returning on the track we were dutifully picked up by the delightful Claire and returned for Hot showers and a tub soak at the Lodge.
For an experience of ornithological delights, rare and unusual flora and conservation success in the making this walk caters for all appreciations. The history and geology added other dimensions and we all felt this great Private Walk with its hospitality and great food is an experience to be shared with special friends.

Thank TaurangaNZTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2011

We enjoyed a wonderful three days. The lodge was top class! The outdoor bath the "icing on the cake" after the days walk. The food was superb! Hosts, Claire and Mark were very welcoming and informative - excellent information to prepare for each of the days walks. Each days walk was different from the previous day, and the views from the top were amazing.

Thank j_cochrane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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