Hike to Mount Manaia

Mark & Sue Owen
Thu 4 Feb 2016 00:18

From our marina berth we have a great view of Whangarei Heads, and the majestic rocky outcrop of Mount Manaia, 460 metres above Whangarei Harbour, is always an impressive site be it on a clear, blue sky day or shrouded in mist and low cloud.




Maori legend says the five key rock formations represent five people: the paramount chief Manaia, his two children, his wife Pito whom he’d stolen from the chief Hautatu, and Hautatu in pursuit brandishing his mere (stone weapon) ready to strike his wife down.  Legend has it that the figures were turned to stone as the God of Thunder spoke from the skies.


Our guide book describes the hike as a vigorous one hour climb through beautiful native bush and we can confirm this to be the case.  Wooden steps have been constructed in many sections (well over a thousand in total), making this the most appealing albeit arduous stair-climb exercise routine, but the rewarding view from the top before the clouds rolled in made it all worthwhile.


These sculptures represent the third Manaia, his wife and three children.  It is said Manaia is the tap root of all tribes throughout Northland:




Mount Manaia Walkway hike:






And finally… road signs around these parts: