Parihaka is an old eroded bushclad volcanic cone and at 241 metres high is visible and recognisable from many places in the city. It is a former pā site and is one of the most significant mountains for Māori in Northland. It would have been home to more than two thousand people and contains visible remains of house sites, storage pits and defences along the 3 km of ridgeline.
The summit of Mount Parihaka is a popular destination for it's panoramic views over the city and the harbour. The viewing platform is next to a memorial to commemorate those lost in the two world wars.
The foresight and generosity of early European settlers contributed 143.5 ha to the bush reserve and the Dobbie, Drummond and Ross tracks are named after 3 of them. The walking tracks are all through native bush and can be linked to form circular walks or can be walked one way with pick up at the other end. The Hatea Walkway alongside the unspoilt Hatea River creates further options for longer walks in the area.
A network of mountain bike trails on Parihaka is maintained by the Mountain Bike Club.
Parihaka mountain bike trails map [819kb]
There are three high quality, all weather walking tracks along the Hatea River and up the slopes to the summit of Mount Parihaka.
Times given are for walking the tracks one way only.
Hokianga / Dobbie Track
Time: 50 minutes
From Mair Park, follow the Hatea Walkway 300 metres north, to the start of the Hokianga Track. The track winds its way up through a bush valley and on through a grove of very large kauri.
Time: 40 minutes
The Drummond Track begins in Mair Park near the bridge over the Hatea River. It passes the memorial plaque to Norman Drummond, a keen botanist, who donated 24 acres of bush to the community in the 1940’s.
Time: 40 minutes
At the end of Dundas Road, the Ross Track follows an attractive stream up through the bush. Just before the first staircase, there is an entrance in the rocks on the right hand side into a gold mine dating back to 1909. Economic quantities of gold were never found.
Follow the link below to download a printable map of the tracks.
Parihaka Reserve tracks map [164kb]
What to expect
Look out for a spur that leads to a former well defended pā site with interpretation. A battle and massacre took place here in the 1700’s. Over 100 terraces and 300 kumara pits have been identified on Parihaka and these are frequent beside the Dobbie Track.
the tracks are metal surfaced, steep in places with a large number of steps
they are well marked and maintained and easy to follow. Moderate fitness and good footwear are needed
there are spectacular views over the city and harbour from the summit.
Please note that dogs are not permitted on Parihaka as it is a sensitive environment.
Parihaka forms the eastern boundary of Whangarei city and is close to the city centre. The Dobbie and Drummond tracks can be reached from the Hatea Walkway where parking is available at Mair Park off Rurumoki Street.
The Ross Track can be reached via Dundas Road (junction with Riverside Drive) where there is some limited parking space. All three tracks can also be accessed from the car park at the summit of Parihaka, which is reached via Memorial Drive.