If you're looking to pair exercise with spectacular New Zealand scenery, the climb to the summit of Mount Manaia will give you that perfect mix. It's situated at Whangarei Heads on the North side of the Whangarei Harbour entrance.
The view from the summit is stunning. On a clear day, you can see for miles in almost a 360 degree radius. Marsden Point, One Tree Point and Bream Bay are to the South (featured in the photo above), Ocean Beach is to the East, Whangarei Harbour is to the West and Ngunguru Bay is to the North.
This special mountain has many ways of grabbing your attention. Somehow, stopping to admire what has intrigued you feels like the right thing to do. There are just so many beautiful natural scenarios to admire. Some are made of pure nature. Others are an appropriate mix of man-made track building techniques and nature just doing what it does in sync with the track. The track has been made in such a way that it shows respect for the natural surroundings.
The way the light plays amongst the trees is intriguing and inspiring. Sometimes it leads you along the path. Sometimes it distracts you & takes your eye to a different scene in order to be able to admire another beautiful space.
If you enjoy running, the downhill journey is an exciting way to get your puff on. With attention to precise footwork and respect for other track users, the decent down the track can be an exhilarating workout.
Just over 1000 wooden steps (according to a local), a wooden bridge and even a set of beautifully formed cobblestone steps have been built to make this place more accessible to foot traffic. As I followed this track I couldn't help but feel a sense of gratitude for the efforts of the people involved in making this track & its structures so that I can walk/run this mountain with a sturdy underfoot.