Spending 3 days walking and tramping with Bream Head Coast Walks is our idea of heaven! We love the outdoors and New Zealand has some of the best walks and tramping tracks as we've said before. So when we have the chance...we head out into nature. The mind slows down and the senses become sharpened again. Computer screens are left far behind back at Slaters and there's nothing but the fresh rawness of the elements.
Bream Head Coast Walks is up there with the very best the North Island has to offer and if you want great scenic beauty, the chance to challenge yourself physically, sumptuous food and beaut accommodation with very comfy beds, then Bream Head Coast Walks is an absolute must!
We drove up from Hamilton to Whangarei and made our way along the scenic route to Bream Head. The sun was shining and weather was perfect and the small coastal villages and inlets stringing this stretch of road were both quaint and picturesque. Tidy houses with propped boats congregate in clusters along the road. This area has a decidedly enjoyable holiday and retirement feel which is just what we needed after months of hard work. A weekend away seemed like a perfect solution.
There’s something rather naive about New Zealand regional areas, as if they’re time-warped or untouched by the hustle and bustle of metropolitan urban centres. Pohutukawas lining the roads, delicious flax plants and cabbage palms, dark olive leaves silhouetted against an almost jade estuary and bay system. This is the kind of tameness Australians can only dream about! No wonder so many make their way across to experience the idyll of Aotearoa.
Bream Head Coast Walks offers a three day package in a shared homestay accommodation setting. Other walking options are also available for one or two or as many days as you choose, but we chose the 3 day option and were not disappointed!
Our host Claire Pearson Greeted us upon arrival and gave us a wonderful rundown of the area and the walks we were to undertake during our stay. The program is very organised and Claire has thought of everything, from detailed maps and a small walking guide book through to an optional pick up and drop off service, for the walks that are a distance from the homestay. This is a perfect option on a hot day. (After 4 or 5 hours solid walking we weren’t in the mood to make our way back to the homestay by foot and very much appreciated the care and consideration Clare shows guests with this service.)
One of the other highlights of the Bream Head Coast Walks experience is the food. This is cooked by Clare using fresh and local produce. She’s a fantastic cook and great care and attention to detail is offered when it comes to the food she supplies guests. The desserts are divine and we particularly enjoyed the slow baked fruits that were doused in a deliciously tart marinade. Really stunning stuff.
All meals (the day’s fresh supply) are delivered down to the homestay from the main house while you’re out walking, and we thoroughly enjoyed arriving back to discover new delights in the fridge each day, ready for heating in the evenings. After walking for hours the last thing one wants to do is turn around and cook a big meal. We much preferred the alternative which was an outdoor bath to soothe weary legs in the beaut cast-iron claw bath situated out the back of the garden. Perfect!
We were also supplied with great coffee and DIY breakfast supplies for each morning….Fresh farm eggs, delicious bacon etc were a great energy booster for the day’s activities. We were well and truly looked after beautifully in the food department.
There are a number to choose from.
The beach walk is perhaps a good place to start and is the designated first walk. Criss-cross glorious farmland and make your way up the beach to the headland and back. A beautiful freshener before starting some of the more challenging mountain walks such on the days ahead.
Our favourite was definitely the Mount Lion walk. Thousands of steps up to the summit and back with plenty of scroggin rest breaks along the way. Make sure to also take plenty of water. even in cooler wehater as some of these mountain walks around the Whangerai and Bream Head areas can be quite challenging. Sandwiches is also a good idea. The views over the Northland coastline are simply glorious and the vegetation along the recently upgraded track is just spectacular. The mountain walks are a really fun challenge and are worth every droplet of sweat.
Slaters give Bream Head Coast Walks a very BIG FIVE STARS.
There are plenty more walks on offer in the area. Just ask your host Claire who will help you with every enquiry. Or refer to the Bream Head Coast Walks Guide Book that Claire has produced.
Thank you Claire for sharing your knowledge of the region with us and for guiding us on the a truly enjoyable few days of walking.
Millie Slater is Marketing, Social Media and HR Manager at Slater Chartered Accountants. Copyright Slaters 2016.