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Te Whara / Bream Head, Northland

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Te Whara / Bream HeadBeginner - Intermediate

Submitted by Vicki Woolley

Info Info
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Trail Information







Front country - easily accessible

Point to Point (one way)

Undulating, some big hills

Native bush

Beginner - Intermediate

2:00 (Slow)
1:30 (Moderate)
1:00 (Fast)



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If you are not bringing in the Busby Head/Smugglers Bay Loop as a warmup, then take a deep breath when you leave the Urquharts Bay carpark. A short uphill trot through farmland (left at the first junction) will bring you to a stile and the start of the Te Whara Track climb.
Prepare yourself: in the next kilometre you will tackle over 1,000 stairs to reach 400m of elevation at Mt Lion. Once you are on the ridge, there are good views to be had: take care as there are also steep rocky drop-offs at these viewpoints.
Undulate along the ridge past Mt Lion - ignore the right turn onto Peach Cove Track (this drops to Peach Cove Hut at the coast) - and continue onto the Peach Cove/Te Whara Track intersection.
Turn hard right and prepare for more severe climbing over technical single track: rocks, roots and severe drop-offs abound.
Passing just below Bream head (the Gorilla), the trail descends steeply and is very technical before passing into open grassland and eventually sandy beach.

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Features of interest

An ancient Maori route from Urquharts Bay to Ocean Beach. Spectacular coastal, offshore, harbour and city views. Kiwi audible at dusk.
From the Urquharts bay end, add in the Busby Head/Smugglers Bay Loop Track for some WWII history and coastal goodness (additional 3km).

Make Up of Run

Technical Single Track: 25%

Moderate Single Track: 25%

Easy Single Track: 50%

Route Data


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Overlapping Runs

The following trails overlap with this run to some degree. You may wish to combine them but please note that to qualify for FKTs on these runs you should record a separate Strava activity for each


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Wild Explorers

I did it!
  • Access

    Carpark at the end of Urquharts Bay Road.

    Toilets at carpark

    33 km

    37 minutes



  • Staying Safe


    Stop at any track junctions and check you are on the right route.

    Generally good.

    Long-sleeved thermal top, Seam-sealed waterproof jacket, Gloves, Beanie/thermal headwear, Whistle, First aid kit, Extra food for emergencies, Cellphone, Map.

    None. Carry own water.

    Limestone can be extremely slippery when wet: take care if venturing out to the many lookouts/dropoffs.

    Rocks are very slippery when wet.

  • Post run indulgence

    The Deck
    Reotahi Road, Whangarei Heads
    Great soup, great cakes - great pies! Solid food to get you going again.

    Parua Bay Tavern
    1034 Whangarei Heads Road, Parua Bay
    After a run like this you need a beer, hot chips and maybe a steak: you will get all this (plus a view and a grin from the locals) at the Parua Bay pub. And nobody minds if you are sweaty.

  • Sponsor this trail

    If you are interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please get in touch below:


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