Saturday was a gloomy day but the rain held off mostly. Whangarei City does a good job with tourist information with plenty of help on where to go for walks. The Hatea River Walk links a lot of them together and provides a great example of packaging activities to encourage exploration. We started with a walk from the Town Basin a little way up the River.
Later in the day we drove to the north side of the city to Whangarei Falls. A short track loops from the road across the top of the falls and then descends to the bottom, crosses the river, and climbs back to the start point – an easy 30 minutes. The falls are 26m high and the views are well worth the effort.
The Hatea River Walk track branches off from the falls loop just by the bridge at the bottom of the falls. The first 10 minutes is simply stunning with towering forest and spectacular views back towards the falls as well as down-river.
A walk of a couple of kilometres down the Hatea River brought us to the A H Reed Memorial Park. This is a wonderful remnant of the original kauri forests. There is a canopy walk and some 500-year old kauri trees. And a waterfall of its own, the Paranui Falls at 23.8m high.
Finally we retraced our steps up the river to Whangarei Falls and the car, still keeping ahead of the rain.