The city of Whangarei is an excellent place to slide into the laid back Northland lifestyle. Watch the boats as you relax at a quayside café.

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The City by the Sea - subtropical Whangarei. Head for the summit of Mount Parahaki, the highest point in the city. It was once the site of the largest Maori Pa (fortified village) in New Zealand. The excavations are still visible and interpretation of the area is provided at the site, which can be accessed by a pleasant walk through native forest from the summit. 

Quayside at the town basin is a sophisticated yet leisurely centre for eating and entertainment. Modern landscaping blends perfectly with colonial architecture to create a gathering place for locals, visiting travellers and yachties from all over the world. As well as stylish cafes and restaurants, there are museums, art galleries and specialty shops.

West of the city centre, in the suburb of Maunu, there’s an excellent museum and a native bird recovery centre, which nurses birds back to health.

At Whangarei Falls, you can see the waterfall that’s often called the ‘most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand’. Drive further to Whangarei Heads and the Bream Head Scenic Reserve for outstanding walks and panoramic coastal and harbour views.

Whangarei is a good place to stock up on essential supplies if you’re planning to spend a few days at one of the region’s beaches. As an addictively laid-back beach city with plenty to see and great places to stay, you may find yourself sticking around a while.

Functional facts: Approx. population 74,460, i-SITE Visitor Centre, domestic airport.