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The Bream Head Scenic Reserve, Whangarei Heads
The Bream Head Scenic Reserve is intensively managed to keep it predator free. Two full-time and one part-time ranger work in the reserve to keep it free from rats, mice, wild cats and mustelids. The volunteers who meet once a month at Busby Head follow the same protocols that have been established in the reserve - and the results have been outstanding.
With predator numbers very low native bush is regenerating, and bird life is abundant. Kaka and bellbird are a regular sight and there is evidence this spring that kaka are nesting and breeding in the reserve. The kiwi population in the reserve is estimated to be over one hundred and their calls are heard regularly at night. Last year a new species of skink - the Bream Head Skink - was discovered in the reserve and they are now breeding successfully too.
A great place to walk
There is an extensive system of walking tracks through the reserve from Ocean Beach to Urquhart Bay and then there is a walking track that runs from Urquhart Bay to Smugglers Bay and around Busby Head and the gun emplacement - a ruin from World War II - information boards tell you all about it. It takes about an hour and a half to walk this full circuit, or if you have walked the ridge from Ocean Beach you can add this on, if you have the energy! What you don't see as you walk the tracks are the traplines that control the predators and make Bream Head a truly special place to visit.
For more information about the work being undertaken in the reserve have a look at the Bream Head Conservation Trust website.
For more information about walks in this area have a look at the Bream Head Coast Walks website, for walking packages.