Whangarei Travel Guide

  • Whangarei Heads
    Whangarei Heads
    by didgeridorien
  • Whangarei
    by cnango
  • Whangarei Heads
    Whangarei Heads
    by didgeridorien

Whangarei Highlights

  • Pro
    kiwi_goddess profile photo

    kiwi_goddess says…

     Lots of things to do and see. The people are relaxed and approachable. Accommodation is reasonably priced due to being a smaller city. 

  • Con
    Kiwigirlie profile photo

    Kiwigirlie says…

     Might be boring to some. 

  • In a nutshell
    skyangel_k1 profile photo

    skyangel_k1 says…

     Good day trip or stopover 

Whangarei Things to Do

  • 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...

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  • 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...

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  • Whangarei Falls

    Whargarei Falls, on the Hatea River, have a drop of 26 metres to a large pool. There is a loop walk to the bottom of the falls and the picnic area established in the 1890's (or earlier).

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  • 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...

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  • Town Basin

    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...

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  • 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...

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  • AE Fun Park paintball go-karts clay...

    Paintball, Go-karts and clay bird shootingSituated 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...

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  • Whangarei Falls

    These falls are 26 m high and you can do a very nice walk around it. You can also hop into the water at the top of the falls.

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  • Whangarei Heads

    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.

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Whangarei Hotels

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Whangarei Restaurants

  • Waste of time

    The only good thing about this cafe was the location. I ordered the Mondo's breakfast asking for no mushrooms specifying I'm allergic, surprise surprise there was mushrooms. When I asked that it go back to the kitchen the server rolled his eyes and pushed mushrooms off with his fork leaving mushroom sauce and juice all over the rest of the food....

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  • A dickens of a pub

    Great friendly pub atmosphere with Dickens period decor. Good service I had the special which was a Shepherd's Pie - a tasty lamb stew served in an individual casserole topped with mashed potato. It was a large serve but I took the rest home and had it for breakfast. Mum had the fish & chips and salad.

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  • Great Italian

    Amici's is a great, seemingly authentic (I say seemingly because I have never been to Italy) Italian restaurant in lovely Quality Street. The staff are very friendly, I have eaten here many times and am yet to have a bad experience! Check out the blackboard specials outside, some of these are great value. Choose whether you want to eat outside or...

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  • Pizza With Attitude

    Bogarts is a funky pizza place that has a really fun feel to it. It has unique designs inside the building that make it very modern and trendy. Somewhere where you can hang out with friends and or family and just relax, eat good food and enjoy the music. This restaurant is fully licensed, so enables you to enjoy a wine/beer with your meal.Aside...

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  • Good Food

    This cafe is one of my favourites. It is a little out of the way from the city centre of Whangarei, but well worth it in my opinion. It is a small shop in a suburban area. The food is averagely priced with well above average quality. The staff are very friendly and will cater to your needs/wants where possible.A great place to stop in, particularly...

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  • Good Turkish food.

    I stopped for lunch here on a recent trip to Whangarei. Filling meals are provided at reasonable costs.

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Whangarei Nightlife

  • party after dark

    Danger Danger! is a restaurant/nightclub which is very popular in downtown Whangarei. Danger Danger's famous meals consisting of a huge juicey steak, salad and fries all for the reasonable price of $9.90. They also have many other dishes on offer ranging from a 2 for 1 deal consisting of 2 burgers or pizzas for $5 on Tuesdays & Wednesdays, right...

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  • More pubs than you can shake a stick at!

    Whangarei has loads of different places to go to in about 500sq metres of the city centre. Every Friday night in the summer is always busy but especially Christmas Eve. There is The Dickens pub, The Red Iguana, Spinner, Danger Danger, Killer Prawn, Rhinoz just to name a few.You could easily visit all of these pubs if one didn't suit your fancy as...

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  • Whangarei Hotels

    12 Hotels in Whangarei

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Whangarei Transportation

  • Getting around Whangarei

    Getting around the town centre of Whangarei is simple - you walk. Public transport in NZ is sadly not as good as we would often like it to be, but it is improving year by year, and you can find information about the bus service here: http://www.nrc.govt.nz/Transport/Getting-around/Whangarei-Bus-Service/

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  • Getting Around Whangarei

    The Whangarei Bus Service is not too bad for getting around on. At certain times of the day it can be very busy, mostly due to school and work. The buses are quite small (not full sized coaches). Adult fare is: $2 per person, per rideChild aged 5 -14 is:$1 per person, per rideUnder 5 is freeBuses dont run every half hour or hour so ask a bus driver...

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  • InterCity Coachlines To Whangarei

    InterCity Coachlines travel everyday between Auckland and Whangarei as well as other cities around NZ. They have large panoramic windows and are air conditioned.Bookings are essential. Intercity coaches would be my second choice of coachlines to travel to Whangarei from Auckland (only due to price).Some of their buses have toilets on board, but as...

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Whangarei Shopping

  • A high street in this age of malls!

    Whangarei's main street (high street) is Cameron Street. The western end of it has been pedestrianised and is actually a quite pleasant area. So many cities have lost their souls to malls and 'mega-centres' populated by overbearing hanger-like chain stores. Whangarei's high street has all the big retail stores in human sized premises and surrounded...

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  • Shopping On The Harbour

    Here at the Quayside Town Basin, you will find many gorgeous souvenirs to remind you of your visit or to take home as gifts for your friends and family. At Country and Nautical Trenz you can pick up things like, key rings, shot glasses, natural wood photo albums, magnets, t shirts, pens, wine glasses, carved bone or paua (abalone) pendants and the...

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  • shoppers delight

    This shop has everything you need (or want) under 1 big roof. When I say under 1 big roof, i mean it. The Whangarei branch of The Warehouse is the biggest in Australasia!! Here you can buy clothing (including some NZ apparel, for example "Rugby League Jerseys, America's Cup Jackets" etc). You can buy anything from books to toys, bathroom and...

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Whangarei Warnings and Dangers

  • kiwi_goddess's Profile Photo
    Prevention Is Better Than Cure

    by kiwi_goddess Updated Sep 9, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Property theft is relatively high in comparison to any other crime in NZ and its on the rise. When visiting any parks, beaches, shopping centres, anywhere and everywhere, make sure you lock your car and hide all valuables from view.

    Pickpocketing is not so big over here, but just be aware of your surroundings. Most women carry a handbag on their shoulder or back and have no problems at all. Most men just carry their wallets in their back pocket of their pants and dont really have too many problems either. You only have more to worry about if you are amongst a large number of people, for example, a concert. On the same token, dont go flashing all your hard earned $$$ around.

    Violence in Whangarei isnt really very bad, but I would advise against walking alone at night time. Stay in well lit areas where possible and if you are travelling in pairs or more, you shouldnt have any worries.

    At night time if you are travelling from club to club there are 2 main streets within the city where all the pubs/bars/clubs are. These 2 streets form an 'L' shape and are totally safe for walking as there are always dozens of other people doing the same thing.

    The emergency telephone number in New Zealand for Police/Ambulance/Fire is 111.

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Whangarei What to Pack

  • Kiwigirlie's Profile Photo

    by Kiwigirlie Updated Apr 22, 2004

    Luggage and bags: A good shoulder bag to hold keys, money etc. Although crime in Whangarei isn't rife, it's always a good idea to keep your belongings with you. A shoulder bag helps

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: In the summer, all you'll need is a good pair of jandels, flip flops or thongs as the Aussies call them. A light weight top for the cooler evenings, a hat - especially if it's roasting and your togs (swimming costume)!!
    In the winter it gets cold and rains a lot so bring your winter woollies and a umbrella or a raincoat!

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Remember also to bring loads of sunblock! The sun in New Zealand is pretty fierce and you only have to be in the sun unprotected for about 10 minutes to be badly burned! This is from Ozone depletion (the Ozone Hole) down over Antartica. Skin cancer is a major problem in NZ and if you don't want to be another statistic than slap on the sunscreen! SPF 15 is ideally what should be used! In some places if you are camping you may need some insect repellent. There are no disease carrying insects in NZ.

    Photo Equipment: A polaroid filter would be an advantage for SLR cameras, especially if you are by the water.

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Whangarei Off The Beaten Path

  • Take A Freefall

    If you have the stomach for this sort of thing, then go ahead, take the plunge. I on the other hand, am not so keen on jumping out of a perfectly good airplane :-)No experience is necessary as it will be a tandem jump and you will be given a 15 minute briefing about landing and how to exit the plane. Tandem jumps are done at 10,000ft over the...

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  • Take A Hike!!

    Mount Manaia has a walking track, suitable for people of an average physical fitness level. Some skill and experience may be required for the more enthusiastic hikers as there is an alternative route from the summit - 40 minutes one way.Distance & Time3.5km / 1.5 hours to the summit, 2.5 - 3 hours return to the carpark.Mount Manaia is located at...

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  • Spectacular Glow Worms

    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...

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Whangarei Favorites

  • You can't go past the I-site.

    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...

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  • Beaches and Picnics!

    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! Growing up here will always be special just...

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