Whangarei in New Zealand's Northland region provides an abundance of beautiful sandy beaches and stunning ocean views and Smugglers Bay is one of these, this stunning secluded beach is located at the entrance to Whangarei Harbour.
Smugglers Bay is just one of many great features of the Smugglers Bay loop walk, starting off at the car park the walk can be taken in both a clockwise direction or anticlockwise direction either way you will still be able to see all the great views that this walk provides.
We decided to walk the track in the clockwise direction, the first part of the walk is through open farmland and a short time later you arrive at the crest of a hill with a stunning view down onto Smugglers Bay, to the left is the start of the Mount Lion Walk a strenuous climb up to the peak of Mount Lion.
Heading down the hill to Smugglers Bay the walk follows the bay around then ascends back up the small peninsula, a short while later you arrive at a junction, to the left takes you out to the end of the peninsula and a short climb up a steep outcrop provides stunning views out to Bream Head and down onto Smugglers Bay.
Returning back down the track and following through the junction the track follows a narrow ridge line lined with native trees and a short while later you will arrive at the second look out ,there is a seat here to rest your legs and take in the fantastic views out across Bream Bay to the South.
Proceeding on from the second look out the track nears Busby Head, here you can climb a very steep goat track to the summit of a very large hill the views at the top are stunning if there has been rain it is best not to climb as the decent back down the grass is difficult.
The track now descends back down a winding walkway to the base of the hill and the ocean side, following the rocky coastline the walk heads around the point to relics from world war two, there is a gun emplacement here along with several deserted buildings an out post and several other relics from the era.
From the gun emplacement the walk follows the coast along well trodden cow tracks with views down onto urquharts Bay and a short time later you arrive at the point where you started, the walk will take around 1.5 hrs and is suitable for all the family there are a few steep sections and fantastic views, the track is well maintained and walkable year round in most conditions.