Quirky museum for all ages
If you think that Clock Museum sounds really dull...visit Claphams Clocks. It is great fun, even if you never gave clocks one thought. The friendly staff will show you around and demonstrate the most amazing movements. You will never look at clocks the same way again!
It is for all ages and all levels of clock appreciation. Make sure you have at least 30 to 45 minutes at your disposal. It is resonably priced too. $8 for adults, seniors over 60 pay $6, $4 for kids and $20 for a family. The Town Basin, where the museum is, is also really cool. Lots of cafes and shops, sometime market on saturdays and heaps of beautiful boats to look at!
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
AH Reed Kauri Park
This park is a small remnant of the massive kauri forests that once existed in the area. It is named after Alfred Hamish Reed, publisher and author, who was at one time a Kauri gumdigger.
There are a number of tracks including a canopy walk amongst the 500 year old Kauri trees. Aother will take you to the Whangarei Falls.
I could only spend a short time here so did a short walk and missed the canopy walk.
- Hiking and Walking
Mt Parihaka and the War Memorial
Mt Parihaka at 241 metres dominates the landscape.
On top of the mountain is The Whangarei & District War Memorial which is dedicated to all who served. It is set in a park area near a carpark and there are several trails beginning here. The summit trail leads to the remains of an historic Pa.
There is a viewing point from which you can see over the city and harbour.
At night the memorial is lit up an can be seen from all over the city.
This is the lovely marina area of Whangarei, where you can meet people from all over the world, or test younger family members knowledge of the flags they see on the boats - where are they from? It is a great place to strech your legs, with a playground for kids and art galleries for adults. Kids and adults alike enjoy the Fudge Farm shop! There is also a gift shop or two to be found.
http://www.burningissuesgallery.co.nz/ (Glass blowing)
- Food and Dining
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Extraordinary Arts and Crafts shop
Wow what a cool shop that was, definitely more alive than the others we visited in New Zealand, very passionate owners in there! Maybe that's only on a Saturday but they had lots of different artists working and doing demonstrations, very entertaining and we talked to loads of interesting people. We bought most of our gifts for home before heading down to Auckland, lots of great stuff for kids, some unique pieces of handcrafts (all New Zealand made - some shops seem to have nothing but Chinese things, plastic Maori art etc. - avoid!), of course couldn't go home without yarns for the wife (big selection for those interested - also lots of glass jewellery the owner makes herself), and lots of small and inexpensive things, lots of art on the walls. It's not directly in the Whangarei Town Basin but you can see the blue shop from the carpark, it's very close and there's also easy parking in front.
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
AE Fun Park paintball go-karts clay shooting
Paintball, Go-karts and clay bird shooting
Situated on a spectacular 60 acre farm of rolling pasture and native bush; AE Paintball offers you unrivaled adventure and fun. Playing in the trees and a great many obstacles even full field lighting for night games. Paintball is a fun game for the recreational player and is a fast growing sport for the competitive player.
AE Go-karts situated on 2 acres of flat at the back of the park. race around a clay track drifting on every corner trying to beat your mates
Also available are toilets, shower, changing room, picnic ground, free BBQ, party room, eftpos. AE fun park also offers an on-line booking option, saving you time and money.
- School Holidays
- Theme Park Trips
When you take Heads Rd from Whangarei, you'll pass some lovely bays and towns. There's no bus going up here, so you'll need your own car. The road ends at Whangarei Heads, a very nice beach with a lovely surf (when I was there). We slept on a parking lot near the beach and had a lovely time when some locals came by.
Stroll through the Town Basin.
Town Basin, is a popular yacht anchorage for travellers through the Pacific. In the summer there is always an interesting collection of mulit-national flagged yachts and launches in the basin. There are also some nice spots to eat here and the famous clock museum, which has the biggest clock collection in the southern hemisphere. There is plenty of parking if you're stopping in enroute to somewhere.
- Road Trip
- Sailing and Boating
Visit the Whangarei Falls.
The Whangarei Falls make a rather classical waterfall sight. They are located in the north of the city in the suburb of Tikipunga on the road out to Tutukaka. Just follow Mill Road from the city centre, which then morphs into Kiripaka Road. When you come to the round-about at the end of that road turn right and within a few hundred metres you'll see the sign for Whangarei Falls on the right.
There is free parking, but make sure you lock your car and take valuables with you or leave them out of sight in the car.
You can just stop for a look at the falls from one of the three viewing platforms above them, or, as we did, walk down to the pool at the bottom. It is a nice easy bush walk and there are good views of the falls from below. I was disappointed to see so much rubbish lying around and floating in the pool when I visited, so please don't contribute to that.
- Road Trip
- Hiking and Walking
- Budget Travel
Parahaki View Top
Mount Parahaki (well it's a hill really) overlooks Whangarei and the viewing platform can be reach by road or by hiking up on the tracks. Walking up only takes about an hour and a half at a slow walking pace and it's very easy going, well sign posted etc. The view from the top is well worth the effort and a good place for a quick nibble or drink before heading back down again.
Serenity on a Sunday
I happened to be returning from the Bay of Islands early on a Sunday morning, when I decided to check out the Whangarei Falls (exit is clearly marked on the highway).
Because it was early Sunday morning, there was no one else in the parking lot. Note that there are numerous signs warning of break-ins to cars in the parking lot, so take your valuables with you.
After a short walk, I reached the bottom of the falls, and enjoyed the fantastic view. The sun was just rising over the top of the falls, creating a couple of rainbows. Again, because of the time, there was no background noise - no people, no cars passing by etc - just the sound of the waterfall and the occasional bird call. Perfect opportunity for a romantic picnic breakfast - too bad I was by myself!
Test Your Tastebuds
For the wine lovers, we have a local winery where you can put your tastebuds to the test and try out all the different wines to find something that tickles your fancy. If travelling in a group as an organised prearranged tour, your hosts will provide a selection of cheeses and crackers and as an added bonus you get to keep your wine glass.
Longview Estate is the oldest established vineyard in Northland. It consists of 7 hectares of grapes which include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Syrah, Chardonnay, Gerwurztraminer.
Open daily for tastings and sales.
Summer Hours: 8:30am - 6pm
Winter Hours: 8:30am - 5pm
(May - Sept)
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Wine Tasting
A World In Time
The Clapham's Clock Museum is said to be the largest collection of clocks, timepieces and music boxes in the Southern Hemisphere.
Origionally from England, Archibald Clapham who was born in 1882 was a mechanical engineer with a passion for clocks.....especially those of a humorous element. His origional collection was made up of some 400 pieces and was exhibited in many different places around Whangarei, but now thanks to the District Council, the museum is located at the Town Basin.
Clapham's Clocks has over 1500 timepieces on display. And for those of you who are running on a tight schedule, there is a grandfather clock that keeps correct time.
Winter hours are: 9am - 5pm and Summer hours are: 9am - 8pm. The museum is open 7 days a week.
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
The Fudge Farm is a specialty shop where you can get good old fashioned creamy fudge in many different flavours. Some of these yummy flavours include Chocolate Supreme, Tia Maria, Baileys, Rum & Raisin, Black Forest, Coffee Bean Supreme, Macadamia, Coconut Creme, Ginger, Peppermint, Orange, Russian Caramel, Strawberry & Creme, and Vanilla.
As well as Fudge, the shop also sells fudge cheesecake, fudge muffins, ice cream sundaes, parfaits, mousse and gateaux.
If you have a bit of a sweet tooth, then this place is definately for you.
The Fudge Farm is prepared to deliver around the world so you dont have to wait to visit Whangarei. Lucky for you huh lol
If you cant choose between all these flavours, they give free samples to help you make your mind up :-)
a scuba divers paradise
The Poor Knights Islands is an awesome playground for the serious. The water temperature is and visibility is significantly greater than in nearby coastal waters. Underwater caves, tunnels and archways are home to an extraordinary variety of sea weeds and friendly colourful fish.
Diving at the Poor Knights is rewarding at all times of the year. Mid January to late April presents excellent all round diving. The water is warm 20 - 23 Celcius (70F) and the water is clear, averaging 20 metres visibility.
From May to early September the visibility is excellent but the temperature falls to a winter low of 15 - 16 Celcius.
For the experienced diver there are excursions that will take you to the 2 shipwrecks that are 28 and 30 metres below water. The former HMNZS Tui, a former US Navy Ship and HMNZS Waikato, a leander class frigate are the wrecks you will get to explore deep down below the waters surface. Complimentary coffee and hot soups await you when you surface.
The Poor Knights Sightseeing & Eco-Adventure is a trip for everyone. You dont have to be a diver to enjoy NZ's oldest island reserve. On the island you will encounter plant and animal life that occur no where else on this planet, such as the Poor Knights Water Lily and the Tuatara, a living dinosaur.
Of course it wouldnt be a sightseeing trip if you didnt enounter dolphins and of course, seasonally, orcas and whales. Oh yeah, and between dives there are hot drinks, hot showers and fresh water rinses for underwater cameras. Also the boats have enclosed cabins, toilets and storage room for your personal equipment.
Check in at the dive centre is 8 - 8:15am. Departure time for the Tui is 8:30am and the Waikato is 11:30am and 2:30pm. Departure to the Knights is 8:45 - 9am and takes 40 - 60 minutes IF you dont see dolphins and whales on the way.
All dive gear, wetsuits inclusive are available for hire.
The Poor Knights Islands were named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world!!
- Diving and Snorkeling
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