Day 60. Leaving our Bland Bay paradise behind we were suitably rested ready to make the most of our last days in the North Island.
Whangarei Heads – Busby Head to Smugglers Bay Loop Track. 3km 1.5 hour return.
We parked in the Urquharts Bay car park at the starting point of this walk near the picturesque ‘green roof’ public toilet.
The sun was hot on our backs as we started the climb up the wide gravel track, flowers exploded red from dense leafy crowns of stunning Metrosideros excelsa aptly named common name – New Zealand Christmas trees – and Maori name pohutukawa.
Our walk took us over rich green pasture all the while affording us spectacular views over Whangarei Harbour.
Bream head gun battery from WW11 set above ocean beach looking out across the harbour and Bream Bay towards the Marsden Point Oil Refinery.
Long zig zag tracks with little shade continually sapped our energy as we climbed higher the hot sun beating down against sweating mans increasingly stooped back.
A rare narrow track, signage warned us to heed the sheer drops, a visual reminder of unstable terrain.
Always the beautiful views open or framed through native forest as we tracked on to the optional side route out to Busby Head.
A short five minute walk followed by a towel off from Long- suffering and we were rewarded with fabulous head swivelling views along the Bream Headland and down to Smugglers Bay our planned lunch stop.
And then thankfully it was an easy descent all the way to the beautiful white sands of Smugglers Bay.
And then a hot and sweatier ascent back up and over the hill to the car park and Aramoana Two.
Ruakaka Beach Holiday Park, our last overnight powered site for washing facilities and yet another beautiful beach and sunset!