Warkworth, a tranquil residential community just an hour north of Auckland, may surprise visitors with its hidden treasures. Here a the top three things to do in Warkworth during our half-day tour.
1. Parry Kauri Park
The Warkworth & District Museum was our first stop in the charming Parry Kauri Park. We strolled through the park’s lush native bush on the well-built boardwalks. A museum shop provided a free brochure with information on the various native trees and plants found along the trail.
During the early years of European settlement, the Mahurangi and the Rev. McKinney initially owned Parry Kauri Park, the first minister of the Presbyterian Church in Warkworth. The Simpson family later bought the property and generously made the trees and bushes available for public enjoyment.
The park was named after Harry Parry, a former kauri bushman, and the drive leading to the trees and museum was named after Tudor Collins. Both men played an important role in raising the fund to save the kauri, which eventually became a reserve in the 1920s.
Two immense old kauri trees within the park are named after their previous owners, reminding them of their connection to the land.
The Mid-North Branch of the Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society placed signs along the boardwalk, which encircles the park.
Watch the video we shot at Warkworth. It is at the end of this article. 👇👇
The museum within the park showcases exhibits related to the gum-digging era, including a bushman’s cabin, saws, enormous pieces of kauri gum, images of gum-digging, and displays of kauri-digging tools. The museum also houses fascinating artifacts and ancient tools, making it worth visiting during your time in Warkworth. Since we wanted to enjoy the boardwalk during our half-day tour, we skipped the museum tour.
Across the parking lot, other kauri logging-related artifacts pull logs out of the bush. A massive, old Kauri tree, with a large grassy area, is next to the car park.
The Kauri trees have an impressive history of being utilized by the Maori, settlers, and shipbuilders.
However, native Kauri tree die-back is an ongoing issue, so staying off the tree roots is vital as ensuring that shoes are disinfected before walking on the boardwalk.
The easy 20-minute circular boardwalk provides a relaxing stroll through the woodland. The walk is easy and is suitable for people of all ages.
The trail consists of several loops and a viewing platform, allowing us to experience different parts. It took us 30 minutes to complete the trail at our own pace.
The best part? It’s free to enter, making it an excellent destination for a pleasant walk without breaking the bank.
We walked through various young and old kauri trees and other native bushes containing nikau palms, ponga ferns, and more.
We were impressed with the beautifully maintained pathway, providing a very easy walk suitable for people of all ages.
The trail is well sign-posted, and the trees and other natural features are thoughtfully labeled, providing an informative and enjoyable experience.
2. Warkworth Town Wharf
Warkworth Town Wharf is a popular spot for locals and visitors at the end of Alnwick Street in Warkworth. It’s a charming little wharf that stretches out into the Mahurangi River, offering lovely views of the water and surrounding countryside.
There are picnic tables and benches, perfect for people who bring a packed lunch from nearby restaurants.
The boardwalk at Warkworth Town Wharf is a scenic walkway that stretches along the Mahurangi River, offering stunning views of the water and the surrounding nature. The boardwalk will eventually lead to a road bridge towards the left side.
As I strolled along the boardwalk walkway, I found several great spots to sit back and watch ducks swimming in the river.
3. Cement works ruins
Other things to do in Warkworth include visiting the cement ruins. After a bit of rain, we decided to visit the ruins. Despite it being the end of April, we were surprised to see people swimming. Some of the trees growing out of the ruins were impressive.
While you’re here, check out the remains of the cement works from the fence.
Unfortunately, the main concrete buildings have been deemed unsafe and fenced off.
A sudden downpour caught us off guard, and we were forced to run back to our car, cutting our visit short.
Watch the video we shot at Warkworth. 👇👇
If you have read this blog post this far, don’t miss out on the video shot at Warkworth. Click the image below to watch on YouTube (shot in high definition!). If you like New Zealand, check out our Wenderholm Regional Park story.