The city of Whangarei is a thriving city with a vibrant arts community. Quayside is a popular place to relax and watch the boats from a café.
The City by the Sea - subtropical Whangarei. Head for the summit of Mount Parihaka, 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, visitors 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 natural history museum complete with Kiwi bird house. Nearby, a native bird recovery centre 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 longer than expected.