Mackesy Bush Reserve is 41 hectares of bush located in the Northland city of Whangarei and is part of the much larger Parihaka Reserve an extinct volcano that towers over the city.
Recently there have been major upgrades to the Mackesy Bush Reserve as part of the ongoing Kauri die back program, the old loop walk that went through a major Kauri grove has now been diverted and a brand new walkway has been created.
This new walkway starts on Riverside Drive or the existing Ross Track at the end of Dundas Road that winds up to the Parihaka summit, from both ends there are a large number of formed steps that take you to the top.
Starting from the Ross Track at the end of Dunders Road follow the walkway to the base of a waterfall and climb the steps to the top and around 50 meters past the top of the falls is the start of the Mackesy Bush Loop.
The walkway winds up the hillside on formed timber steps and there are a few of them, making the climb a little easier on the legs, towards the top there are fantastic views down into the valley below and over to Parihaka summit.
There is a junction in the tracks at the top and taking the track on the left follows the ridge line up to Memorial Drive, the track on the right is the continuation of the Mackesy Bush Loop and winds back down the ridgeline to Riverside Drive.
The Mackesy Bush Walk is rated as easy to moderate as there is a long ascent up the hillside and the effort is rewarded with stunning views over the bush reserve and parts of Whangarei City below, walk time is around one hour on well maintained tracks.