Another Magical Mystery Tour – Whangaruru North Head

Kowhai in flowerWhile we were at Bland Bay last week we wanted to walk the walk around Whangaruru North Head. The harbour entrance is at the southern end of the harbour and so North Head was to the south of Bland Bay. But I guess the North Head is north of the South Head over by Oakura Bay. Except when I check it is actually east. So there goes that idea. Hopefully the weather was always clear when they were entering the harbour in the olden days because it might just be a bit confusing for anyone not sure which way was up.

DoC camp at Whangaruru North Head

The lovely DoC camp at Whangaruru North Head

From Bland Bay we drove the couple of kilometres to the Whangaruru North Head Department of Conservation camp – which is closed for the winter when it goes soggy. Nice outlook. The information there about the walk was kind of helpful in explaining that there were several tracks but then didn’t seem to have the detail on exactly where they started or finished. This was the Department of Confusion at work. I have decided that their signs are made by people who know what they mean but don’t ever check that they help us who don’t. They could do well to learn from the Whangarei District Council. Or do some checking with users. Or take a hint from the helpful additions scratched onto their signs (or written neatly with permanent markers by people trying to help other people understand their signs. Which by the way generally look like they were created last century, they are fading!

Anyway …. I’ll calm down and walk on. Which is what we did; we wandered through the camp and followed some orange markers which seemed to go in the direction we wanted. Eventually the farm track became a bush track and headed up. It was a lovely track, if a little greasy in places. Further on we came to a fork in the track. One was labelled “Trig” and the other “Coast”. This was interesting but unhelpful because no other information explained where these options fitted into the loop-track concept. We decided that Trig sounded like it might have a view so we headed that way. The view didn’t exactly solve what “Coast” meant but with “Trig” a dead-end “Coast” it had to be. Which didn’t actually go to the coast but it did go closer and did have a view of the coast and did keep on going until eventually we came to a point with signs showing clearly what the options were.

It was a nice day for one of those sort of adventures.

North from Whangaruru North Head

The view North from Whangaruru North Head; Bland Bay isthmus on the left and Cape Brett in the distance on the right

Coast side of Whangaruru North Head

Coast side of Whangaruru North Head – as close as we got

Whangaruru North Head track

Whangaruru North Head track – nicely undeveloped although a bit slippery on the going-down parts

The main memories are of the nice natural track and the Tuis. The birds were rampant. It must be the kowhai trees blooming, which they were; all over the place. And every Tui from anywhere seemed to have turned up to enjoy the occasion. The noise was gorgeous and remarkable and memorable.

Kowhai tree flowers

Kowhai tree flowers

North across Bland Bay towards Cape Brett

North across Bland Bay towards Cape Brett

Back to the DoC camp Whangaruru North Head

Back to the DoC camp Whangaruru North Head – wearier and wiser. Oakura Bay across the harbour.

Bland Bay isthmus

Bland Bay isthmus; Bland Bay on the right and Whangaruru Harbour on the left. The camp is on the edge of the bay.


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2 Responses to Another Magical Mystery Tour – Whangaruru North Head

  1. gay dornbusch says:

    Beautiful pics and I did enjoy your post. I agree with you about the tui’s as I counted 7 in a friends kowhai tree the other day. Truly a sight to see and hear

    • Ross says:

      Thanks Gay. Yep, the Tuis sure like the kowhai. Maybe we need a nationwide plan to plant more kowhais. Maybe the government could invest $26 million in a kowhai nursery and we’d get better value than this flag vote stuff.

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