How to stay fit in Whangarei for free
Getting fitter and living a healthier life is a goal for many, but time and money often are the biggest obstacles to overcome. After all, gym memberships, personal trainers, workout or aerobic classes and the likes aren’t cheap and often require a long-term commitment. That doesn’t suit everybody’s budget or lifestyle, but if you live in Whangarei here’s some good news: You can exercise regularly without paying a cent! We explain where and how you can stay fit for free.
Completed in 2014, the Hatea Loop Track has become one of the most visited spots in Whangarei. Leading around the Town Basin and following the Hatea River on both sides, the roughly 4.7-kilometre track is a buzzing hub for outdoor enthusiasts and fitness lovers alike. Because it’s fully concreted it’s easily accessible in any kind of weather and perfect for a run or jog.
What’s more, along the track you will find an outdoor gym including instructions as well as various other exercise stations that are scattered around the loop. Create your own personal workout according to your needs, from sit-ups to pulling yourself up on monkey bars, from speed stepping to balancing across the beam, the choice is yours.
On Saturdays, you can also join the Whangarei Park Run, a 5-kilometre race for all ages using parts of the Hatea Loop. It’s timed and completely free of cost, but you are asked to register online beforehand so you can receive your official time each time you participate.
BMX track & Climbing wall
Along the Hatea Loop near Riverside Drive, you will find a BMX track and a small climbing wall which are also free of charge. Why not ride your bike around the loop, then take a few laps around the course before working your arm muscles with a climb? It’s the perfect full-body workout with cardio and doesn’t cost you a cent.
There are several free parking spots along the Hatea Loop. Short term parking is available on Reyburn House Lane near the town basin as well as in the gravel car park by the bridge Te Matau o Pohe. Alternatively, leave your car across the road from the town basin near the Whangarei Aquatic Centre on Ewing Road. Limited parking is also available on Riverside Drive close to the BMX track as well as by the marina.
Public toilets are available at the town basin as well as under the bridge Te Matau o Pohe. The Hatea Loop is fully concreted and suitable for wheelchairs and prams. Dogs are allowed but must be kept on a lead at all times. There are plenty of free water stations around for two-legged and four-legged fitness lovers.
For a more intense workout try walking or running up Mount Parihaka. Rising 241 metres above sea level, Whangarei’s very own giant can be as easy or as tough to handle as you want it to be. With 2 starting points, either from Mair Park on Rurumoki Street or from Dundas Road near the town basin, choose between a range of tracks that vary in length and steepness, allowing people of any fitness level to conquer Parihaka.
Local sports clubs often use Parihaka for their training sessions or team building experience, and once you make it to the top you are being rewarded with some magnificent vista. Make sure to take sufficient water supply and possibly a snack as well as protection from the elements depending on the season.
Return trips take about an hour on average. There is parking at Mair Park and Dundas Road as well as at the top of Parihaka, accessible via Memorial Drive. Public toilets are located at Mair Park and the car park at Parihaka summit.
Whangarei has an extensive network of trails and tracks that are great for a hike, jog or run. One of the most scenic ones is the track that follows the Hatea River, connecting the picturesque Whangarei Falls with the Town Basin. The track leads through AH Reed Park over boardwalks and past ancient Kauri trees.
It’s a one-way route which takes about an hour in total to complete. Parking is available on either side, so either have someone drop you off and pick you up again or make it a 2 hour return trip. Toilets are available at Whangarei Falls and the Town Basin as well as AH Reed Park.