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.
Discover the subtropical Whangārei, a city of adventure, culture and natural beauty. Head for the summit of Mount Parihaka, the highest point in the city. It was once the site of the largest Māori Pā (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.
The Whangārei 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. Explore the City Centre Street Art walk with 15 large scale art murals, the Hundertwasser Art Centre, and Wairua Maori Art Gallery.
Experience the warmth of Māori culture in Whangārei with Tu Tika Tours. Be welcomed into your hosts home, try homemade māori bread, learn well-known waiata (māori songs), make a flower from kōrari (NZ flax), and prepare your own hāngi (earth oven).
West of the city centre, in the suburb of Maunu, there’s an outstanding natural history museum complete with a Kiwi birdhouse. 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.