Bream Head Scenic Reserve

Bream Head Scenic Reserve

The Bream Head Scenic Reserve is an area of significant ecological, historical and environmental importance.

It is one of the best examples of a coastal forest reserve in the country and is of special significance to Māori who consider the whole area as wahi tapu (sacred place).

The reserve is an important refuge for a diverse range of species including:

  • kiwi
  • kūkupa (wood pigeon / kereru)
  • North Island robin / toutouwai
  • whitehead / popokatea
  • kāhu / harrier hawk
  • threatened invertebrates
  • bats / pekapeka
  • several bird species from offshore islands like kākā
  • kākāriki / red-crowned parakeet
  • bellbird / korimako
  • nationally and regionally significant plants.

The local community, local iwi, the Te Whara / Bream Head Conservation Trust and Department of Conservation are committed to restoring Te Whara / Bream Head and work includes a re-vegetation programme, weed and pest control.

As predator numbers have dropped, North Island brown kiwi have been released into an area which is now designated as one of the country’s kiwi sanctuaries.

Walking tracks

The main walking trail, the Te Whara track between Ocean Beach and Urquarts Bay, is at least 700-years-old. A shorter loop walk from Urquarts Bay to Smuggler's Cove takes in a WW2 gun emplacement.

This track is a Department of Conservation track.  To find out about walking trails, visit the Department of Conservation website.

Bream Head Scenic Reserve (


Depending on what part of the reserve you want to visit, car parking is available at:

  • Urquharts Bay carpark.
  • Peach Cove carpark off Ocean Beach Road.
  • Ocean Beach carpark on Ranui Road.  

What to expect

  • Walking trails through coastal forest.
  • Sandy beaches.
  • This reserve is home to brown kiwi and other protected species - no dogs are allowed.


Urquarts Bay Road, Whangārei 0174  View Map

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