Whangaruru North Head is composed of greywacke and rises to nearly 200 metres. The open coast is exposed to the sea and rises spectacularly in a series of ridges, dissected by swampy narrow valleys. At the outfall of each stream is a small sandy beach, of which Ocean Beach is the most spectacular, flanked on all sides by high steep cliffs. The views from the trig look out over Whangaruru Harbour and down to Mimiwhangata.
In Ngaiotonga, turn into Whangaruru North Road and follow it 11km to the gate. Drop down the hill to the campground at Puriri Bay, where there is parking for walkers.
Toilets are only open during the summer camping season.
The track starts from the top of the hill south of the Puriri Bay campground.
There are 2 tracks here:
Ocean Beach Loop Track 1 hour 45 minutes return and
Bland Bay Lookout Track 1 hour 30 minutes return
For Ocean Beach Loop Track:
The track is marked occasionally with orange triangles and signposted.
Walk up the access road to the north of the campground and follow the sometimes muddy grass track for 15 minutes. The track enters forest and after 15 minutes a signpost shows options to head left to Bland Bay Lookout or right to Ocean Beach.
Head right, and for 30 minutes follow the track along the cliff top, mostly through low tea-tree, then descend to Ocean Beach.
Head inland for 15 minutes to the signposted detour (5 minutes return) to the trig, then drop down the hill to Admirals Bay and the ranger’s house (10 minutes). It is a further 15 minutes over a farmland track to the top of the hill, south of Puriri Bay.
For Bland Bay Lookout Track:
The track is marked with occasional orange triangles.
For 15 minutes the track climbs through sometimes muddy paddocks and then enters the forest for 15 minutes.
At the signpost, bear left and follow the ridge top for 20 minutes to the signpost to the lookout (1 minute return).
After 10 minutes there is a grass clearing with a lookout to Bland Bay. The track then drops for 20 minutes to a wetland, which is watery underfoot (10 minutes). The track reaches the road 200 metres before the gate at the park entrance. It takes approximately 10 minutes to walk along the road back to Puriri Bay.
The two walks can be combined to form a 2½ hour loop. It is probably best to start the loop before the park entrance. Look for the solitary orange triangle opposite the power pole at the northern end of the wetland.
Whangaruru North Head is composed of greywacke and rises to nearly 200 metres. The open coast is exposed to the sea and rises spectacularly in a series of ridges, dissected by swampy narrow valleys. At the outfall of each stream is a small sandy beach, of which Ocean Beach is the most spectacular, flanked on all sides by high steep cliffs.
From the lookout to Bland Bay you can see that Whangaruru North Head is joined to the mainland by a tombolo, or sandspit, at Bland Bay. This has enclosed and formed Whangaruru Harbour.
Where the pasture has reverted to forest, tea-tree is abundant. However over 350 species have been recorded growing on the varied terrain within the reserve.
Whangaruru means ‘sheltered harbour’ and was inhabited by hapu of Ngapuhi. At the end of the 1800s nearly 2000 Maori lived in the area and, following the discovery of kauri gum, many worked to excavate the low lying swamps.
Two pa flank the low sandy neck. Tewhau was sited on the northern side of Whangaruru Head.
The area was once grazed and some still constitutes farmland.
Bland Bay was the main settlement of Whangaruru and was named in the late 1800s.
North Island ▷ Northland ▷ Bay of Islands
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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 😍