For Nature lovers the Otaika Valley Walkway is a great walk on the outskirts of Whangarei in the Northland Region of New Zealand, the track is located in a scenic reserve and is around 5kms one way, this is a one way walk and takes around 4hrs return to the carpark, the track ends at Raumanga Heights Drive so it is possible to end the walk there and arrange to be picked up by another vehicle.
From the Otaika Valley Stream the track rises steeply up a ridge line and through regenerating native bush the accent to the summit at 264 metres is moderate to hard and takes around 30 minutes, the track is a mixture of maintained gravel sections, formed steps and steep slippery mud dotted with tree roots which makes for an interesting climb to the top.
Once at the summit there is a great place to take a rest with a seat and fantastic views down to the farmland below, with the hardest section of the track behind you there is a gentle decent down the other side of the mountain into the valley below, some sections of the walk are through farmland and private property so any close gates behind you.
Through out the walk there are some fantastic pockets of native trees from the mighty Kauri, Totara and Tanekaha dotted through the area, you can hear the tui and occasionally the distinctive noise of native pigeons flying through the trees, there are a few small streams along the walk once down into the valley.
The Otaika Valley Walkway is not one of the well known walks in the area and you will have the track to your self most of the time, the track is moderate for most of the walk apart from the accent up the mountain and is suitable for the whole family to enjoy, the track can be muddy in sections when it has been raining so good hiking boots are recommended.