Coronation Scenic Reserve (Western Hills)

Coronation Scenic Reserve

The Coronation Scenic Reserve is an area of bush-clad hills next to Western Hills Drive, in central Whangarei, linked with a network of walking tracks. It is part of the larger Pukenui Forest.

The reserve includes two Māori pā sites and over 100 storage pits. Gold mining took place next to the Rust Track in the 1870s but proved to be uneconomic.

The reserve was purchased by the Borough of Whangarei in 1912 to commemorate the coronation of King George V.

No dogs are allowed in the reserve as it is home to North Island brown kiwi.


  • Kauika Road West
  • Selwyn Ave (access from Quarry Arts Centre)
  • Russell Road, southern end (directly on left, off State Highway One)
  • Quarry Gardens, Russell Rd

What to expect

  • Peaceful native bush with impressive mature trees 
  • Interesting archaeology with pits and pā sites
  • Expansive views across the city
  • Art and crafts at the Quarry Arts Centre
  • Some walks can be challenging, read information about a track before starting.

Walking tracks

Frank Holman Memorial Track

Grade:     3
Time:       90 minutes (one-way)
Distance: 3.2 km

Accessed from either Russell Rd or Kauika Road, there are steep inclines at both ends of the track. It passes through impressive stands of mature native trees, a pa site, nikau groves and views of the city and harbour. 

From the Kauika Road end of the track there is an option to turn right on the Kauika Road link for a shorter, circular walk, which passes a lookout over the city.

The track can be slippery after rain. The track was improved in 2022 by replacing metal along the track, installing some boxed steps and removing trees that were dead or dying and at risk of falling onto the track.

Selwyn Avenue link

Grade:       3
Time:         30 minutes (one-way) 
Distance:   680 metres

This signposted track starts from the Quarry Arts Centre at the end of Selwyn Avenue where there is a grass carpark. The track is surfaced and there are numerous steps and board walks. 

After about 300 metres, there is an offshoot track that leads to a Māori pā site. The main track continues up to meet the Frank Holman Memorial Track at the ridge. Taking the detour to the pā site adds 10 minutes to the walk.

Quarry Gardens link

Grade:       3
Time:         1 hour
Distance:   1km

The track starts just past the cafe and winds its way up a steep path to meet the Frank Holman Memorial Track. At this point walkers can choose to return back to the gardens or carry on and complete different sections of the track, exiting at either Russell Rd, The Quarry Arts Centre or Kauika Rd.

Find out more about Whangarei Quarry Gardens


Russell Rd, Whangārei 0110  View Map

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