Whale Bay is lovely in February and March when the weather is just right. Take a picnic, park your car at the top and walk down through the forest to the beach for a lazy day of eating, swmming, sunbathing and snoozing.
Then stop at the Matapouri shops for a quick ice cream on the way home!!! Wonderful!
Fondest memory: Growing up here will always be special just because of the people I have met and my family live here. The strongest memory I have is getting into the car (with vinyl seats - so they were roasting to touch) and going to the beach. We were constantly in the water or playing in rock pools. And then jumping back in the car with sandy feet, drinking L&P to cool off.
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.