Bream Head Walk
Why go for a private hike, rather than one of the very famous Great Walks?
The Great Walks are indeed very popular among travellers, mostly due to their gorgeous landscapes. We, however, believe there are better ways to explore New Zealand’s fantastic landscapes, away from the crowds. Besides, hiking a Great Walk involves sleeping in shared huts with very minimal standards of comfort, and with sometimes up to 40 people per hut. You also have to carry your personal belongings, your food as well as your garbage with you along the hike, and you almost meet only tourists on the way.
This is why we want to prioritise and promote private hikes, which landscapes are just as beautiful as those of the Great Walks. Not only will you hike on gorgeous land but you will also enjoy a cultural immersion, meeting the locals, for a much more intimate and unique experience.
Bream Head, located just east of Whangarei, is the perfect example. A nice and easy stop in between Auckland and the Bay of Islands.
Your accommodation is a purpose-built lodge, in its private bush setting with sea views. It has several bedrooms and two bathrooms. There is a second building including a dormitory and an outdoor bathroom (with a bathtub). If you want your privacy and more comfort, it is possible to request a private bathroom in the main house (this involves an extra cost, and of course depends on availability). You don't have to worry about planning your meals as a full board is included for the entire duration of your stay. You will enjoy homemade meals made with fresh products, healthy and yummy food. If the weather is nice, you can enjoy your meal on the lovely outdoor terrace.
Two options are possible for your day hikes
The Coastal Walk: your excursion starts from the accommodation; you will cross farmlands and coastal landscapes to finally land on the beach. This is the perfect opportunity for a swim in crystal clear water, in summer. At the end of the hike, just call your accommodation and they will come pick you up.
The Bream Head: This one is for avid hikers, as it is more intense, with quite a big altitude difference, and includes many steps to climb. Your efforts are rewarded not only by the fabulous scenic views, but also the native bush that you will cross, which vegetation is preserved thanks to the local community’s efforts. This hike ends at Smugglers Bay, one of the most spectacular places of this day. A return transfer is included.
To resume, Bream Head is a hike that has always delighted locals and travellers alike. Just a 2.5 hours’ drive from Auckland, it is easy to get tempted!
The organisation by OUAT was excellent, communication was brilliant, facilities on the Milford Track were of a high standard and Hippo Lodge in Queenstown...
John Dali, Australia
OUAT organised a great trip on the Hollyford Track. The lodges were wonderful with the most decisions food. The guides really knowledgeable and friendly....
Susie and Alice Hoddell, UK
Once Upon A Trip in New Zealand were fantastic from beginning to end. I highly recommend this company. Romain was incredibly helpful in the months leading...
Jonathan Reynolds, USA