Our first official day in New Zealand we decided to visit two places. Mount Manaia Track (get some walking down after so many hours on a plane and a car) and the Whangarei Falls.
Mount Manaia is 28 km east of Whangārei. There is a car park where you can leave your car and gently start your walk to the peak.
I’ll be honest. Although I usually do a lot of research before visiting a place, I hadn’t realised that this would be such a climb! It turned out to be a 3-ish hours walk both ways and we climb around 420m in altitude. The track leads you under nīkau palms and kauri stands with glimpses of northern rātā hanging from pōhutukawa among a cluster of jagged bush-covered peaks. There were so many stairs. And oh boy, do I hate stairs!
But it was worth it! The view was amazing!
On our way down the weather turn to rain for just 10 minutes and because we were high, we could actually see the rain moving. On the photo below you can see on the left-hand side the rain, while on the right-hand side it’s not raining… Yet…
After our walk, we were obviously starving so we when into the town of Whangarei for lunch.
We park next to the marina and had a nice walk alongside it until we posted an Asian fusion restaurant with a couple of tables outside so we can enjoy the sun.
The food was lovely and had fair prices.
After lunch, we thought that we weren’t exhausted enough so we when for another walk.
Whangarei Falls is around 10 minutes’ drive from Whangarei city centre. The Waterfalls are about 26m height and you have a couple of walking option.
The first one is just a 10 min walk around the falls. When you reach the base of the falls, there are a couple of tables where you can sit and enjoy the view of the walling water.
Then if you feel like it, you can follow the path that runs along the river that can bring you to back to Whangarei city centre.
We took this path and walk around 20 minutes one way and then back. I would have loved to do the complete walk but unfortunately, after our morning hike we were a little tired, so we called it a day and went back to our cottage.