Busby Head Track

Busby Head Track

Bream Head Scenic Reserve - Whangarei Heads


7 Rankers Reviews

4 Face-to-Face

4 Whangarei

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Bream Head from the air
Busby Head from the track to Smugglers Bay


Time: 1 hr Distance: 3 km

Bream Head Scenic Reserve is located at Whangarei Heads, northeast of Whangarei City. The track starts from the Urquharts Bay car park.

From the Urquharts Bay car park, an easy loop walk takes you around Busby Head to Smugglers Bay. The loop track takes one hour. An alternative is a 20-minute walk that takes you straight over to Smugglers Bay from the car park.

On the loop track, you will walk past the gun emplacement at Home Point. This was built during World War II as a defense against possible invasion.


Feature Value Info


DOC Northland

Central government organisation


North IslandNorthlandWhangarei


  • Walking
  • Free


Marie Brauherr's avatar

Marie Brauherr


Ranking: 10/10

To watch the beautiful sunset that evening, we drove the highway next to the coast to Whangarei Heads/Urquharts Bay. We could camp there and the next day made a nice walking track to several bays.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in January 2016

Ludovic Boiteux's avatar

Ludovic Boiteux


Ranking: 8/10

First walk we have done. Very good explanations about pests and diseases (good prevention). All amenities to have a good and safe walk. Beautiful view on the top.

Reviewed almost 6 years ago and experienced in February 2016

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Timothy Coombs's avatar

Timothy Coombs

United Kingdom

Ranking: 10/10

Absolutely delightful walk. Over to Smugglers Bay is easy and it is a gorgeous beach. On round to Busby Head, well worth the extra detour, then back past the gun emplacement. Took us nearly 2 hours but we did take our time (and hundreds of photos!) Not exactly a stroll with a fair bit of climbing, but excellent path and good steps. We did it late afternoon/evening and glad we saw Smugglers Bay in sunshine. Even the oil refinery looked OK! Already gone into our list of all time favourite walks ;-)

Reviewed about 6 years ago

kanoe's avatar


New Zealand

Ranking: 10/10

Great little hike with wonderful views along the way. Track goes through grazing paddocks, along beaches, and under the canopy of native bush. Be sure to check out the inside of the military observation post. The tramp took about 2 hours with children - hike is family friendly but some parts of the trail have steep drop-offs. Clean toilet facilities at the start of the track.

Reviewed about 8 years ago

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araroa's avatar



Ranking: 10/10

Drive out to the Bream Head Scenic Reserve and you'll find a variety of walks - all different levels. The Busby Head Track starts off from Urghuarts Bay, is a loop track and takes around 1 1/2 hour. You will walk through farmland, through bush and along the beach at Smugglers Cove. Fantastic views all around and the track is nice and wide with gravel on it. Highly reccommended....

Reviewed over 10 years ago and experienced in December 2010

Jess Pasos's avatar

Jess Pasos


Ranking: 10/10

Beautiful place. Nice short walk with a great little secluded beach at the end.

Reviewed about 12 years ago and experienced in November 2009

DOC Managed

Thanks to all the good people working for the NZ Department of Conservation - for all your hard work - making NZ more beautiful, accessable and healthy! Cheers 😍

Cymen Crick's avatar

Cymen Crick