Facilities and Recreation
Sign In
We've started building a new website. Come and have a look!


Image for the Parihaka Walkway page.
This page contains information about the walkways in the Mount Parihaka Scenic Reserve, which has been awarded the prestigious international Green Flag Award. It is among 14 southern hemisphere winners and the award is a public recognition of good quality green spaces.
Updated: 23/09/2020 3:43 p.m.

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

Grade:      3
Time:       50 minutes
Distance:  1.9km

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.

Drummond Track

Grade:      3
Time:       40 minutes
Distance:  1.4km

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.

Ross Track

Grade:       3
Time:       40 minutes
Distance:  1.45km

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.   

How to get to Parihaka 

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. 

Location:  Memorial Drive, Whangarei

For detailed information about the Hatea Walkway, follow the link below. 


​Track grades

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

3  A longer walking
    track usually well
    made including
    steps and more
    suitable for people
    with reasonable

 Summer Safe

Between December and April, community volunteers will patrol the carpark at this popular spot during daylight hours at weekends and on public holidays.

The aim is to look after our visitors and prevent theft and crime.


Whangarei District Council owns this website and the information, images and photographs in it are subject to copyright. No portion may be copied or republished without prior permission of Whangarei District Council. We have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and reliable information. The use of any information is at the website visitor’s own risk and discretion.