Opononi Resort

State Highway 12, Whangarei, North Island, New Zealand
Opononi Hotel Limited
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  • Families50
  • Couples67
  • Solo100
  • Business100

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Forum Posts

Help I'm a Fish!!

by Scouski

I'm flying into Auckland on Feb 11th 2005 for my first visit to NZ, .... so, I'm trying to find someone who can help me to find a scuba diving tour to the Poor Knights, while my travel partner attends her friends wedding in Christchurch. I am considering getting a flight to Whangerei, but the one dive shop in that area that I called for prices quoted me $180NZ for 2 dives....... is this the usual price?? Its much more expensive than what I usually pay at other destinations.

Secondly, if there are any friendly divers in that vacinity who think they would like to buddy with me for some innocent fun and socialising then drop me a line.

Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by Bonin

You certainly do not look like a fish!!!!

Jorge Daniel Barchi.
240 Cerrito Street.
Buenos Aires.

Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by danielinnz

Hey Vicki, I'm not a diver so I will not offer to join u but I could cope with the socialising part! I did find this site

If you are going to be in Auckland you could just get a bus up to Whangarei and then out to Tutakaka (dive base). It is only a 2.5 hour drive. About 30 minutes by plane I guess.

Another site you might find helpful is

There are a few places to stay around Tutakaka, nothing flash but quite adequate :-)


Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by kiwiphil

Hey there Vikki
Your best bet would be trying this site http://divenewzealand.com/ you should find what you need on here as it also has links to charter operators.Enjoy your dive!!!...but dont forget diving in the south island!

Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by JustAnotherTourist

Okay, I know this is going to sound crazy, but if you really want an experience, try to get in contact with Evan, (for the life of me I can't remember his last name) - a real Kiwi character - they don't make them like this anymore. Our tour around with him in Northland was one of the true highlights in a year down under.

I looked on the web, and this might be him listed under Harpoon Charters. There are other operators listed. Good luck!

Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by LisaGr

Hi Vikki,
I'm travelling around Aus and NZ for about five weks, ending in Auckland. I should be arriving there also on Feb 11 and flying home on Feb 14.

I am hoping to do my open water dives in Australia (Byron Bay), so by the time I get to NZ I will be certified.

Maybe we can buddy? Have you made any progress with your plans? Have you found a decent place to stay?


Re: Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by Scouski

Looks like I'm gunna dive in the Coromandel if you're up for it? but it will be after the 14th Feb i'm afraid.

Re: Re: Help I'm a Fish!!

by LisaGr

I guess it won't work, I'll sadly be heading back to the us on the 14th.

If your plans change and you can do it earlier, let me know.

Good luck.


Travel Tips for Whangarei

You can't go past the I-site.

by worldkiwi

I-site is a national network information centres that you can't beat if you need advice or information about what to see and do in the regions. The Whangarei I-site is well sign-posted and has plenty of free parking. It is on Otaika Road (which is actually part of State Highway 1). There is a cafe there and loads of brochures and free maps. You can find places to stay and visit and the I-site staff can even book these things for you! The I-site staff are really helpful and I am always impressed with the service these places offer.
As you walk in, notice the cleverly designed posts outside that look like tree ferns.

New Zealand Refining Company Ltd

by kiwi_goddess

As you approach Whangarei from the south, there is a small township by the name of Ruakaka. The turn off into Ruakaka off the main highway (opposite the Bream Bay BP Gas Station) takes you to the New Zealand Oil Refinery Visitors Centre. It is well sign posted. Here, they have a 130sqm scale model (including a 20 minute sound and light show) that reveals the workings of the site. There are also various photographs and models that show the refinery-to-auckland pipeline. Your visit here will last about half an hour but well worth it considering admission is free.

After your visit, relax at the cafe over a cup of coffee or visit the nearby beaches with beautiful scenic views of Mount Manaia.

The Visitors Centre is open 10am - 5pm daily. (Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday).

Best View Of Whangarei City

by kiwi_goddess

Mount Parahaki stands at 242 metres and has spectacular views of Whangarei city. There are concrete steps from the carpark up to the viewing platform and war memorial at the top. The flare at the oil refinery can also be seen in the distance by day and at night.

The memorial is of an obelisk that has a red crucifix on each side. The crucifix is lit up bright red at night time.

There is also a walking track down to Mair Park.

From the city, drive over the twin bridges over the harbour heading out towards the Onerahi airport. Turn left onto Memorial Drive just before the BP Gas Station. Follow this long winding road to the parking area of Parahaki. (Approx. 15 mins drive).

Be sure to lock your car and hide your valuables!!!

Spectacular Glow Worms

by kiwi_goddess

Abbey Caves are located about 4km from Whangarei city. They are situated in a spot that would be very easily missed on Abbey Caves Road at Whareora. When in doubt, ask. The locals in the area will put you on the right track and are usually very obliging.

It is a chance to marvel at the glow worms that dot the caves. The limestone formations are an absolutely incredible sight too. Many hours could be spent here just exploring at your own pace.

Contact the Whangarei Information Centre (92 Otaika Road) to find out about guided tours if you dont have the heart to go it alone. Phone (09) 438 1079.

Beware when going through the caves as often if there has been a bit of rain, the water inside can get pretty deep. When I last went, the water came up to my armpits.

Bring a good flashlight, spare batteries, good walking shoes and your common sense.

Whangarei or bust

by fiberfreaks

"Whangarei is beautiful and full of friendly people"

This was my husband's and my second trip to New Zealand.We traveled from Auckland south last time and decided to head north this time.Boy, am I glad we did.The Northland region is absolutely specatular.We were first entranced by the scenery then fell madly in love with the people there.
You have to buy some carvings or turnings in their native woods,Kauri,Rimu,Macrocarpa,Totara...and more.The bush is lush with wonderful trees ,ferns,flowers and Birds and no poison ivy!You have to love that.Even their weeds look better than ours in the states.They don't have that many bugs either just one poisonous spider that very few people I talked to had seen.But the lushness comes at a price ...bring along a raincoat and umbrella.
Make sure to try their fish,chances are it was just caught,and their fruit and veg.They have pockets of volcanic soil scattered about so the produce is brilliant....great avocados ..and cheap.
Their are numerous artists and galleries in the area,try the Bach,Reyburn house,Burning issues,and Annie Rose glass studio in the Town Basin,and The Craft Quarry off of highway 1 next to the Subtropical quarry garden.


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