Ara Roa » Activities » Whangarei


Whangarei Town Basin

The Town Basin Whangarei is home to a picturesque international yachting marina with great restaurants, cafes and specialty shopping.  In addition to the fantastic Gallery ‘ Burning issues’ you can view glass artists in action at their glass blowing workshop. The Town Basin loop walkway, art, culture and entertainment, history and heritage is all there for you to enjoy.

Let the kids loose at the playground at the Town Basin and enjoy an ice cream or coffee while they use up some energy. Climbing, sliding, running or swinging.

Enjoy the latest addition of Hundertwassers folly building “Te Kakano” – the colourful koru shaped building with a seating area. The folly allows local craftspeople and builders to master the construction techniques necessary for the Hundertwasser Art Centre due to commence building in late 2017. This is traditional for Hundertwassers buildings.

An Artisan Fair runs frequently through the summer months – consequently adding to the vibrant atmosphere created by this gathering of artists, buskers and food stalls.


Te Kakano at the Town Basin in Whangarei

Te Kakano – Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s folly building.

The Hatea Loop walk and sculpture trail

The Hatea Loop Walkway – Huarahi o te Whai is a fully accessible 4.2 km walkway. It begins at the Town Basin Whangarei incorporating the Whangarei Town Basin Marina precinct, Sculpture and Heritage Trails. Sculptures are created by local artists, including the dramatic Waka and Wave stone sculpture at Hihiaua Point.

A Maori waka (canoe) breaking through a towering wave, marks the entrance to the Whangarei Town Basin. Walk across the elegant footbridge, ‘Kotuitui Whitinga’ and the international award-winning ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bascule opening bridge.

Read the fascinating history of the area on the Heritage Panels. Most noteworthy are the legends of how Whangarei got its name and information about the tribes of Whangarei. Te Tangata Whenua – the people of the land, descended from their ancestors who migrated from the Pacific.

The entire walkway is accessible for walking, jogging, pushbikes, all sorts of mobility aids and scooters, and is furthermore suitable for pushchairs. Dogs on leads are welcome. Push bike and E bike rentals available at the local “Loop de Loop”



Whangarei Art Museum

Whangarei Art Museum, home to the city’s art collection that embraces both heritage and contemporary works. In addition it offers a captivating insight into the District’s history. Entry through “The Hub” information centre.

Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls is a picturesque waterfall, falling vertically for 26.3 metres over basalt cliffs. It is located in Whangarei Scenic Reserve off Boundary Rd in Tikipunga. There is easy access to the three viewing platforms and well-maintained Scenic Reserve. This waterfall is one of New Zealand Must See Waterfalls and is currently the most visited attraction in Whangarei. Dramatic views and a circular walk around the falls consequently make for great viewing

AH Reed Kauri Park

The A H Reed Memorial Park is a magnificent remnant of the original Northland kauri forest. A raised walkway through the forest canopy allow you to easily view maturing kauri trees known to be at least 500 years old. The bubbling Wai Koromiko Stream runs through the middle of the park and the Paranui Falls, at over 23 metres high, are well worth a visit. This park is very close to Whangarei but you will feel completely surrounded by forest.

Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a community garden project created by volunteers in the forested western hills of Whangarei City.  As a result of Northland’s wonderful subtropical climate mixed with the sheltered and heat-radiating properties of a stone quarry, an ideal microclimate offers a haven for growing a plethora of native and exotic subtropical plants. You will find Quail Cafe nestled in the gardens. A great spot to re-fuel and relax. The Whangarei Quarry Gardens are located off Russell Rd in Kensington.

Whangarei Growers Market

Every Saturday morning between 4500 to 6000 shoppers flock to the local growers market at the Forum North carpark in the centre of town. This market was the first of its kind in New Zealand and is now the largest. Over 100 growers and stall holders selling produce they have grown themselves. Seems like the place to be on a Saturday morning!

Enjoy the vibrant atmosphere while enjoying excellent coffee, being entertained by buskers and taking the opportunity to chat with growers. It has become a ‘true heart of the community’ event for Whangarei families.

Where: Water St, Whangarei When: 6:30am – 10:30am every Saturday year round.

Parihaka Scenic Reserves

Mount Parihaka is an old eroded bush clad volcanic cone. Is almost visible and recognisable from probably anywhere in the city. Early European settlers contributed 143.5 ha to the bush reserve hence now home to a variety of bush walks. The summit is a popular destination for it’s panoramic views over the city and the harbour. The viewing platform is opposite a memorial to commemorate those lost in the two world wars.

The Mountain Bike Club maintain a network of mountain bike trails on Parihaka.

Kiwi North – Museum Kiwi House and Heritage Park

Visit the nocturnal Kiwi House & see the resident kiwi foraging for food as they would in the wild. Learn about Kiwi conservation, spot our native gecko and tuatara. A family friendly environment with something for all.

The Whangarei Museum is home to nationally significant Taonga (Maori treasure), early settler displays and ever changing exhibitions.

More information on Kiwi North

Adventure Forest

Adventure Forest offers high thrill activities packed with fun – Set your pace for an amazing journey through the tree-tops along high wire circuits packed with thrill and action. There are circuits for all ages and abilities. Countless wire traverses, tight ropes, exciting swings, treacherous nets, wobbly bridges and of course lots of flying foxes in addition.

Bring your friends or family and share a great adventure.Explore the edge of your comfort zone, build up confidence and challenge your balance! Great family fun!

The Adventure Forest is located 160 Maruata Rd Glenbervie Forest Whangarei

More information on Adventure Forest

Abbey Caves

The Abbey Caves Reserve comprises of naturally sculptured limestone outcrops, bluffs, enclosed depressions, sink holes and three significant caves, Organ, Middle and Ivy.

The Abbey Caves are completely undeveloped and unguided. Entry is at your own risk and cannot be done without a good torch, sturdy shoes and a helmet.

The climb down at the mouth of the caves should be the most difficult part of the journey. It is mostly firm level footing in ankle to thigh deep water.

All of the caves have thousands of glow worms. Even if you don’t go caving, a visit to this Reserve is well worthwhile and will leave you in wonderment. There are plenty of places to picnic or just lie back and enjoy the sound and scent of nature.

More infomation about Abbey Caves