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Hatea River

Image for the Hatea River page.
 This page contains information about the walkways through the Hatea River Reserve, including a description of the tracks and the features of interest to look out for.
Updated: 20/08/2020 3:50 p.m.


Experience the beautiful Hatea River from the Town Basin to the impressive Whangarei Falls via Mair Park.

The park was donated to the people of Whangarei in 1914 by Robert Mair, a local native plant enthusiast, and has been a popular bathing and gathering place for many years.

Walks in the Hatea River Reserve are metalled all weather tracks suitable for all age groups. Track markers, with the the sign of an eel (tuna), guide visitors along the length of the walk.

The track can be walked from the Town Basin all the way to the Whangarei Falls but each section described below can be walked separately. The start of the track can also be reached by an easy 5 minute walk from the Mair Park carpark at the end of Rurumoki Steet.

Times given are for walking the tracks one way only.

Section 1 - Town Basin to Mair Park bridge

Grade:      2
Time:       30 minutes
Distance:  1.3km

Starting at the Town Basin, cross over the river on the Victoria Canopy bridge then over Riverside Drive to the Aquatic Centre car park. The walkway follows the car park boundary alongside the Hatea River and continues along to a boardwalk through a mangrove swamp.

It turns left at Ewing Road then right down a narrow walkway to Vale Road. Turn left here again to rejoin the walkway. Mair Park is on the other side of the attractive stone footbridge.

Follow the link below to download a printable map of this section. 

Hatea River walkway: Section 1 map [166kb]

Section 2 - Mair Park to Whareora Road and A H Reed Park

Currently closed for repair.

Grade:      2
Time:       50 minutes
Distance:  2.6km

From Mair Park, the walkway continues through native bush, generally following the Hatea River to Whareora Road. Turn right here and follow the road for 1km, either on the footpath or along the river edge on the other side of the road. At the A H Reed Memorial Park, go through the car park and over the ‘suspension bridge’ to continue the walk.

Follow the link below to download a printable map of this section.

Hatea River walkway: Section 2 map [157kb] 

Section 3 -  A H Reed Park to Whangarei Falls

Currently closed for repair.

Grade:      2
Time:       45 minutes
Distance:  2.1km

Walk through the reserve following the Elizabeth Track and Hatea Walkway symbols then continue north through more open farmland, still following the river. Please keep gates closed due to livestock. 

This part of the walkway is grass and can get a little muddy during wet weather. Cross over the river using the swingbridge. Continue to the base of the waterfall from where the car park can be reached by either forking left or going over the bridge to the right. 

Follow the link below to download a printable map of this section. 

Hatea River walkway: Section 3 map  [162kb]

For information about the A H Reed Memorial Park walkways and the Whangarei Falls, select from the links below.

What to expect

  • see a beautiful river that matures along the way and which remains largely unspoilt.
  • wildlife abounds in the area despite it being so close to the city centre.  

How to get to the Hatea Walkway

The walkway can be reached by foot from the Town Basin or by car from Mair Park, Whareora Road, the A H Reed Memorial Park or from Whangarei Falls.

Car parking is available at all five of these locations, allowing the walkway to be enjoyed in a combination of shorter sections.


​Track grades

1  A well made path
    with easy access for
    most people
    including families.
2  A short walk 
    generally on well
    made paths but
    may include steeper
A longer walking track
    usually well made
    including steps and
    more suitable for
    people with
    reasonable fitness.


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