5 minutes drive from Lupton Lodge are the dramatic Whangarei Falls. You can either view these from above, take a short walk to the bottom or enjoy a longer 1 hour round-trip bush walk to the AH Reed Kauri Walkway. Mair Park and Mt Parahaki are also enjoyable extensions to this walking route if you have extra time and love walking in the New Zealand bush.
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Ambling through the heart of Whangarei City you will find the Hatea River, authentic native New Zealand bush and a series of well maintained walkways to suit every level of fitness. 3 adjoining native bush walkways (Whangarei Falls Walkway, A H Reed Memorial Kauri Walkway and Mair Park) link Whangarei Falls to the Whangarei Town Basin in a unique and peaceful environment only minutes from the centre of the city. With several entry and exit points to convenient parking areas, the walkways can be completed in entirety or as individual walks to suit your level of fitness, time available or particular interests. Side tracks also exist providing views of the city from Mt Parahaki or further forest exploration. Spend 1 hour, 1/2 a day or several days exploring the area.
Spectacular Whangarei Falls is a 26m high waterfall surrounded by park and native New Zealand bush. Follow the brown signs to the Whangarei Falls – off Ngunguru Road at the NE end of Whangarei. There is plenty of parking, a picnic area and free entry. You can view the waterfall from a choice of 2 platforms above the falls or by walking down a well-maintained gravel track to the bottom.
From the Whangarei Falls you can also start longer walks to A H Reed Memorial Kauri Walkway (1 hour return), Mair Park or the Town Basin.
A H Reed Memorial Kauri Walkway can be reached from either the carpark (15-30 mins) on Whareora Road, Mair Park (1.5 hours return) or the Whangarei Falls (1 hour return). The walkway has a wooden platform constructed half way up the forest floor for some of it’s route to allow you a unique view of the established native New Zealand bush. There are many fine native specimen trees on the track which you can observe and touch. Information boards are also positioned around the walkway to educate walkers on native flora and insect life in the forest.
From the Whareora Road exit of A H Reed Memorial Walkway turn right (downhill) and follow the footpath for about 500m to the entrance of Mair Park/Parahaki Walkway (on the left before the bridge)
Picturesque Mair Park and the Parahaki Walkway is a large public bush reserve only minutes from the centre of Whangarei. You can start the walkway either from the entrance on Whareora Rd (northern end), from the carpark on Rurumoki St (off Hatea Drive) or from the mangrove walkway behind the Whangarei Aquatic Centre (southern end). You can also park at the Town Basin, walk across the bridge and take the first road on your left. Follow the signposts up a narrow alleyway between 2 houses at the end of the road to find the pathway into Mair Park. The Hatea River runs through the centre of the park and Mt Parahaki towers over the eastern border. It takes around 30 minutes to climb Mt Parahaki (one way) – the views of Whangarei are stunning from the top (or you can drive up if you are short of time or puff!).
Well-maintained walkways exist throughout the park and you can do a variety of side walks to extend your time in the park. There are grass picnic areas and tables beside the river and adjacent to carpark and playground (off Rurumoki St).