Hātea River walkway

Photo showing the Hatea River.

Follow the path of the beautiful Hātea River from the Town Basin to the impressive Whangārei Falls via Mair Park.

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

Dogs can be walked along the Hātea River walkway, but please keep them on a leash to protect our wildlife.

Note: dogs are not allowed on tracks to the Parihaka summit or tracks within A H Reed Memorial Park.


Car parking is available at all five of these locations: Mair Park, Whareora Road, the A H Reed Memorial Park, Town Basin, and Whangārei Falls.

What to expect

  • Tranquil native bush walks easily accessed from the city centre.
  • Pretty picnic spots along the way
  • Metalled tracks, suitable for all age groups. 

There may be some known and potential hazards that users should be aware of and avoid.

Known hazards - Waipū Caves and Council reserves

The track can be walked from the Town Basin all the way to the Whangārei Falls, but each section described below can be walked separately.

Section 1 - Town Basin to Mair Park bridge

Grade:      2
Time:       30 minutes (one-way)
Distance:  1.3 km

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 Hātea 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.

Mair Park

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

Grade:      2
Time:        50 minutes (one-way)
Distance:  2.6km

From Mair Park, the walkway continues through native bush, generally following the Hātea 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.

Mair Park

A H Reed Memorial Park

Section 3 - A H Reed Park to Whangarei Falls

Grade:      2
Time:       45 minutes (one-way)
Distance:  2.1 km

Walk through the reserve following the Elizabeth Track and Hātea 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.

A H Reed Memorial Park

Otuihau Whangarei Falls


Victoria Canopy Bridge, Riverside, Whangārei 0110  View Map

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