Whangarei is subtropical Northland’s largest centre, a gateway for the attractions of the region.
Whangarei is situated on the northeastern coast of New Zealand’s North Island. It is Northland’s only city and is built around one of New Zealand’s deepest harbours. The city enjoys a warm subtropical climate and is surrounded by forested hillsides, orchards and farmlands.
A popular spot in the centre of the city is the Town Basin. This waterfront area is a collection of cafes, restaurants, shops, art galleries and museums, all built in a colonial style. Whangarei also has numerous parks and reserves. A bush walk through Parahiki Scenic Reserve to the top of Mt Parahiki offers great views of the city.
The city’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it an ideal base for those interested in aquatic pursuits. A warm current in the area brings a variety of fish species here, and the nearby Poor Knights Islands group is an excellent dive location. The area is also popular with deep sea fishers. For those desiring more sedate activities, the nearby beaches of Matapouri Bay and Sandy Bay have excellent beaches.
A short drive north of the city is the picturesque Whangarei Falls. The viewing platforms offer excellent views of the 26 metre (86 feet) falls and the area is an excellent picnic spot.