Whangarei: There is definitely a nark in town.

Most photogenic waterfall in NZ, more artists than anywhere in NZ, largest sea cave in the world, a Rugby World Cup 2011 host ...and of course, the nark!

Nope, not a tattle tale, the nark is a clock that travels backwards. Clapham’s Clock Museum has over a thousand clocks, some dating back to 1720, and is believed to be the largest collection of clocks in the Southern Hemisphere. Give it a whirl!

People often used to bypass Whangarei in favour of driving to the Bay of Islands, but WHY!!! Whangarei has really up scaled recently. Twenty years ago you could be forgiven for stopping for pie & petrol, but now it is a destination in its own right.

Whangarei has the most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand. This 25m waterfall is quite overwhelming, and when peering down you feel a gravitational pull. Don’t be tempted to take the shortcut to the bottom, as it’s a loooong way down! Take the track...

A trek up Mt Manaia is a must do. I haven’t done it myself...but I’ve HEARD it’s great (nowhere to get a latte at the top!) A whopping 460 metres above the northern shores of Whangarei Harbour, you get picture postcard views and probably 2 kilos off the bathroom scales in the morning. Looking back about 20 million years ago (think pre ice-age), there was some pretty major volcano action up there.

On the subject of old things; did you know that New Zealand boasts the world’s only surviving dinosaur the Tuatara? Which is alive and well on the Poor Knights islands, along with the largest sea cave, and some of the best sub-tropical diving in the world. 

Arthurs Emporium: It’s been there for 30 years, and is now a local institution! If you need a whats-it for your thingamy-bob, that’s the place you’ll find it. A HUGE store with the same staff for ‘seemingly’ ever...

On the food front; A Deco was the ‘Winner 2010 Northland Matariki restaurant of the year’; Killer Prawn has been voted ‘one of New Zealand’s 10 best restaurants; Reva’s on the Waterfront has become a meeting place for artists, musicians, yachties and travellers. Honestly, there are so many more amazing cafes, restaurants and bars in Whangarei; just couldn’t name them all.

Fudge and Chocoholics! Whangarei Town Basin is officially the home of the creamiest fudge made in New Zealand. A piece of Russian Caramel followed by a latte chaser...bliss.

Quick snippets:

  • Poor Knights; international icon
  • Abbey Caves: Glow worms
  • Whangarei 'Growers Market’ every Saturday morning (for locally grown produce)
  • Quayside: Sunday brunch on the waterfront
  • Forum North: Performance & Expo centre
  • Quarry Arts Centre resident artist studios

Just a wee bit famous: Most photogenic waterfall in NZ, more artists than anywhere else in NZ, the largest sea cave in the world, and host of two Rugby World Cup 2011 matches.

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