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Whangarei Town Basin

Whangarei (Māori:Whangārei - pronounced: Faa - ngaa - re - i) is the major population centre of Northland and the northernmost "city" in the North Island of New Zealand with about 50,000 residents. It has a warm semi-tropical climate, with summer daytime temperatures around 24-26°C, regular rainy days year round and mild winters that rarely have frosts and are mild enough for the region to be described as the winterless north.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

InterCity [16] runs buses from Auckland to Kataia with a stop in Whangarei.

By car[edit]

Whangarei is around two hours drive north of Auckland. One hour south of the Bay of Islands and one hour east of Dargaville.

By plane[edit]

Whangarei Airport (WRE) is about ten minutes drive from the central city in the suburb of Onerahi. Taxis and a shuttle service as well as car rentals are available from the airport to town.

  • Air New Zealand [17] has several daily flights from Auckland. Flying time is 30 to 40 minutes.

Get around[edit]

By bus[edit]

Whangarei's only form of public transport is [18] being run by Citylink the Whangarei District and Regional councils. It covers most of the suburbs and the inner city. Tickets are $3 for adults and can be purchased from the driver. Look for the Green Busses and timetables are located at bus stops.

Whangarei Falls

See[edit][add listing]

  • Claphams Clocks - The National Clock Museum, Town Basin, 438 3993. Open Daily 9 - 5PM. One of the largest collections of clocks in the southern hemisphere.  edit
  • Heritage Park, (State Highway 14 on the road to Dargaville, about 5 minutes from the Whangarei City centre), 438 9630, [1]. Open Daily from 10AM - 4PM Closed Christmas Day. Exhibits relating to Whangarei and Northland as well as a Kiwi aviary and various historic buildings. Adult $10 Child 3 - 16 years $5 Child under 3 years Free.  edit
  • Whangarei Falls, (Located centrally at Tikipunga, 5km north east of the city.). - Known as the most photogenic waterfall in New Zealand, dropping 25 metres into a beautiful bush-fringed pool.  edit
  • Whangarei Quarry Gardens, Russell road, [2]. Spectacular subtropical plantings in a terraced amphitheatre with a lake fed by two waterfalls. Free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Walking. Whangarei has good opportunities for short and medium duration walks. Mair Park and the adjacent Parihaka Reserve in the center of town straddle the Hatea river and is extremely popular. Two tracks lead from the river up to the top of Parihaka which has beautiful views over the city. The A.H Reed Memorial Kauri Walk  edit
Kauri Walk
  • Swimming. The main public swimming pool is in the centre of town and has a wave pool as well as a regular lap pool, hydroslides, spa and a gym. Whangarei Aquatic Centre, 52 Ewing Road, Phone: 09 438 7957  edit
  • Beaches. In summer, and for the hardy any other time of the year, the beaches in and around Whangarei are the place to head for.  edit
    • Onerahi beach is not the best beach but it is the closest and over the weekends very popular with families for a swim over the weekend.
    • Ocean beach a lovely big white sand beach with normally a decent surf.
    • Matapori and Sandy Bay
    • Ngunguru
    • Marsden Point-Ruakaka-Uretiti-Waipu one long stretch of beach covering many beaches. Amazing swimming and views of Whangarei Heads.
  • Diving, [3]. Dive at the Poor Knights  edit
  • Big Game Fishing.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • The Piggery - High quality and hard to find (mainly secondhand) books
  • Reyburn House Art Gallery Gallery[19], Reyburn House Lane, Town Basin, Phone: 09 438 3074
  • Burning Issues Gallery [20], Quaside, Town Basin, Phone: 09 438 3108
  • The Warehouse [21], Port Road, Okara, Phone: 09 438 0346. Alot of locals go here

Eat[edit][add listing]

Around the Mall and Strand Arcade[edit]

  • Caffeine Cafe, 4 Water Street, 438 6925, [4]. Mo-Fr 7:00-14:30 Sa/Su 7:00 13:30. Serves excellent food and good coffee. FREE WiFi. Mains 10-17 $.  edit
  • Muffin Break, 145 Bank St, 09-4306539, [5].  edit
  • Indian Aroma Restaurant, 26 Bank Street, 430 2282, [6].  edit
  • Shiraz Indian Restaurant, 58 Walton Street, 438 3112, [7].  edit
  • Pimarn Thai Restaurant, 12 Rathbone Street, 430 0718. Lunches M-Sa 11AM-2:30PM, dinners M-Sa 5PM-10PM. Very popular Thai Restaurant. Reservations a must. 15-20.  edit
  • Killer Prawn, 26-28 Bank Street, 430 3333, [8]. 6.00PM till late. Popular restaurant and bar with very tasty food, seafood, steak, pizza and a huge wine list  edit
  • Asahi Japanese Restaurant, Cnr Vine st & Quality St, 430 3005. Delicious food at very very reasonable prices.  edit

Around the Town Basin[edit]

  • Mochaba - Good coffee, pleasant food but slow service. It shares a building with The Batch, an arts and crafts shop
  • Fring's Brauhaus - Small Brewery and Restaurant [22]

Other Areas[edit]

  • Suk Jai Thai Restaurant, 93 Kamo Rd, Kensington, 437 7287, [9]. "Lunch. The only Thai restaurant in Whangarei that has received the prestigious "Thai Select Premium" Award from the Prime Minister of Thailand in March 2013 to recognize Thai restaurants outside Thailand which serve authentic Thai cuisine of the highest standard.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Most of the towns bars and clubs are located in the central city in or around Vine street.

  • Grand Hotel
  • Shotgun Bettys
  • Heaven
  • Butter Factory
  • Split
  • Fring's Brauhaus

Sleep[edit][add listing]


  • Little Earth Lodge (Little Earth Lodge), 85 Abbey Caves Road (Next to Abbey Caves), 09 430 6562, [10]. checkin: 2pm; checkout: 10am. A purpose built backpackers lodge next to Abbey Caves. From $28 per person. (-35.708330,174.354029) edit
  • Whangarei Backpackers [23], 90 Bank street Phone:09 459 7070
  • YHA Youth Hostel [24], 52 Punga Grove avenue, Phone: 09 438 8954
  • Whangarei Falls Holiday Park, 12-16 Ngunguru Rd, Glenbervie (2 minutes walk from Whangarei Waterfalls), [11]. checkout: $22. 10-person shared accommodation, consisting of individual fixed bunk beds. The central area has table, chairs and fridge freezer.  edit


  • Pilgrim Planet, 63 Hatea Drive, +64 9 459 1099 (), [12]. A new guesthouse with views over the Hatea River and Mt Parahaka. There are six spacious and soundproof bedrooms, with ensuite (wheel-chair access ensuite downstairs), king, queen and twin bed options available. Guest only facilities include: fully equipped kitchen, spacious lounge with 32" TV, Sky TV, DVD library; computer with broadband access and free local phone calls, outdoor patio area, BBQ. Complimentary continental breakfast provisions are included in tariff. $110-120.  edit


  • Distinction Whangarei Hotel & Conference Centre, 9 Riverside Dr (Facing the town basin), +64 9 430 4080, [13]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 10:00. The hotel has FREE unlimited WiFi, a fully licensed bar and restaurant along with a spa, gymnasium and indoor heated pool. 115 air-conditioned rooms with tea/coffee-making facilities and 50+ Sky TV channels.  edit
  • Discovery Settlers Hotel Whangarei, 61-69 Hatea Dr (Near the town basin), +64 9 438 2699, [14]. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 10.00. All 54 refurbished rooms are well appointed with ensuite bathrooms, SKY TV and tea/coffee making facilities and FREE unlimited WiFi. Other facilities include the popular Settlers Bar & Grill, guest laundry, outdoor swimming pool. $99 - $199.  edit
  • Lodge Bordeaux, 361 Western Hills Dr, 09 438 0404, [15]. 15 studio, 1 and 2-bedroom apartments with a wide range of amenities from kitchen facilities to internet access, a heated swimming pool, and a BBQ area. $185 - $300.  edit

Get out[edit]

  • Poor Knights Islands — Dive and Snorkle by Charter or by private boat. Note: Can not land on the islands unless with a permit

Whangarei is 70 kilometres from the Bay of Islands and is the primary gateway to the rest of Northland. Alternatively you can take the road to Dargaville and travel north from there through the Kauri forests and along the rugged west coast beaches to Opononi and the Hokianga.

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