The dominant features of our landscape are the remains of ancient volcanoes, Mount Manaia, Mount Aubrey and the Bream Head range – believed to be part of a magnificent crater that included the Hen and Chicken Islands.

The volcanic plugs that remain on the skyline of Mount Manaia form a dramatic backdrop to our daily lives. They were formed as the vents of the volcanoes were filled with slowly cooling magma. As the surrounding material has eroded away only the plugs remain. At the same time the natural wharf that runs into the harbour at Taurikura Beach was formed – this is just opposite Ody Road and is well worth checking out.

Steep, rugged hills rise sharply from a natural deep-water harbour on one side, and the Pacific Ocean is on the other. Sheltered harbour beaches are perfect for swimming while the white sand beaches on the ocean side are a surfer’s dream.

Sir Edmund Hillary was the founding patron of the Bream Head Conservation Trust and he came here in 2004. He told trust members he was moved by the beauty of Bream Head. “What a great spot. You have a natural beauty here that I think must be preserved … I regard it as an honour to be a patron.”

bream head ridge

The Whangarei Heads Peninsula