Mt. Manaia & Mt. Aubrey

A couple of days after our visit to the grower’s market, we decided it was time to conquer the mountain that had been taunting us since we arrived. The Lonely Planet travel guide describes the Mt. Manaia walk as a “leg and lung busting one and a half hour climb.” It fit that description perfectly.

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

The tramp was straight up, and it was exhausting, so I stopped to take as many breaks…I mean PHOTOS…as I could. This was pretty much the view the whole way up…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

The view from the top was well worth the tramp. It was a cloudy, but we managed to grab a few good photos.

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

There was a good view of Mt. Aubrey (the mountain behind the house)…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

And you can see our building nestled against the mountain…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

After taking a day to recover (I was definitely sore) and a couple of days to explore the wider area (more on that soon), it was time to conquer Mt. Aubrey.

We have tramped almost everyday, and not one tramp has been flat. Here, uphill isn’t a gradual climb around and around…it’s STRAIGHT UP THE FLIPPIN’ MOUNTAIN. I knew this going into today’s tramp. But Mt. Aubrey was obviously smaller than Mt. Manaia, so it couldn’t be that bad…right?

Oh wrong. True to past experiences, Mt. Aubrey was another leg-busting, lung-busting, hemroid-creating climb, and my legs were dead from days of hiking. Unlike Manaia, Mt. Aubrey has beautiful views on the way up.

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

You can see Mt. Manaia, Urquharts Bay, and Ocean Beach across the way…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

…and the oil refinery at Marsden Point…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Ben wanted to climb all the trees…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

 

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Once we got to the top, we had amazing views of the whole area…

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

On the way down, the path was covered in shells. You can see where the shells are layered in the ground. I do not know if this is midden or just a geological feature. Since burned wood or bones aren’t present (upon initial inspection), I’m going to guess it’s geological.

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

On the way back to the house, we had our first encounter with a hedgehog. He was adorable! When we approached, he curled up in a ball. I gave him a gentle pat, and was surprised by the stiffness of his spines. A local told us that hedgehogs normally don’t come out in the daytime unless they are sick – I hope that wasn’t the case.

Whangarei Heads, New Zealand

Now that I’ve tramped both mountains, I have to say that I prefer Mt. Aubrey. With Aubrey, you get a beautiful walk. You tramp up one side, across the top, then down the other; whereas Mt. Manaia is straight up and down. Since our initial trip to Mt. Aubrey, I have ventured back there several times. It’s a great tramp, especially when the weather isn’t ideal for exploring other areas.

2 thoughts on “Mt. Manaia & Mt. Aubrey

  1. Dennis and Helen O'Neill

    We are enjoying reading all about your new adventures. Your pictures are whetting our appetite to cross Australia and New Zealand off our bucket list! Perhaps one of these days.

    1. Tara Post author

      Oh, you guys should definitely visit! It’s so beautiful. I can see you rolling around the country in a nice little class C. :)