Town Basin, Whangarei

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Te Kakano The Seed, Town Basin Whangarei

© Minette Hanekom

The Town Basin Whangarei is a picturesque international yachting marina alongside restaurants, cafes and specialty shopping, loop walkway, art, culture and entertainment, history and heritage.

The Town Basin, Whangarei

Eat, drink, shop & play

A Wonderful Place

For as long as people have walked this land and sailed these waters, the area around the Town Basin, Te Ahipupurangi-a-ihenga, has been a vital hub. Waka (canoes) assembled there in the earliest days, right beside the largest pa site in the country. It became a thriving port following pakeha (European) settlement, and for decades has been one of the most important international yacht havens in the South Pacific.

The Town Basin marina is now a haven for an international yachting community hub, uniquely positioned in the city centre and founded on the city’s reputation for a warm welcome. Enjoy the everchanging landscape that alters with the seasons, the ebb and flow of the tide, and the coming and going of boats, people, birds and animals.

Te Kākano

Te Kākano (The Seed) is an architectural sculpture in the shape of a koru using all the elements of Hundertwasser’s style. It is a beautiful and intriguing structure that has been created to give the builders and artists the opportunity to adapt their skills for the proposed construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery. The HAC will be 100 times the size of Te Kākano and building is planned to start in 2017.

Local's Tips

Let the Kids Play! Bring the whole whanau (family) to the Town Basin and enjoy an icecream or great coffee while walking, skating or cycling the Hatea Loop walkway

Works of Art & Craft

The Bach gallery offers a diverse range of high quality art and craft from Northland artists. Feel the heat of the furnaces while watching glass blowing at Burning Issues Gallery which specialises in NZ glass, ceramics and jewellery. 

Reyburn House, built in the 1870s, is Whangarei’s oldest house and is surrounded by lovely gardens adjacent to the Town Basin playground. Enjoy exhibitions by local artists.

The Sculpture Trail

The Sculpture Trail features installations in a range of media from bronze and limestone to steel, concrete and marble. Many offer interpretations of the story of Whangarei.

The towering Wave and Waka is part of the Sculpture Trail along the Hatea Loop
The towering Wave and Waka is part of the Sculpture Trail along the Hatea Loop


The Whangarei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi houses the city’s art collection, embracing both heritage and contemporary art work, and offers a captivating insight into the District’s history. The Museum also has many internally curated and national touring exhibitions.

Claphams National Clock Museum has the largest collection of timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere, with a collection of clocks, that can be rare and exquisite, or quirky and fun. There are many other surprises that will delight you and your children.

Restaurants & Cafes

Enjoy quality cuisine and refreshments and experience Whangarei manaakitangi (hospitality) in a picturesque, waterside location. Your choices include:


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, swinging, spinning! The Liberty Swing enables kids in wheelchairs to enjoy the freedom of a swing.  Barbeques are available for public use.

Walk, Stroll, Bike

The 4.2 km Hatea Loop Walkway – Huarahi o te Whai meanders 4.2 kilometres around the Hatea River.

Enjoy the Sculpture Trail created by local artists, including beautiful new murals by local and internationally renowned street artists.

Read fascinating stories of the Maori and European settlement of Whangarei on the Heritage Panels.

Walk across the elegant footbridge, ‘Kotuitui Whitinga’ and the international award-winning bascule (opening) ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bridge.

Hire a bicycle from Loop de Loop Cycle Hire.

Dogs on a leash are welcome at all times on the Loop. Take a short detour to the Dog Park at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island and they can run free.

The entire walkway is fully accessible and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Skatepark & BMX Track

Do some boarding at the skater designed park that has good open flow and awesome street art. Bike riders can have a heap of fun on the BMX track. Find out about the skatepark and BMX track here.

Let The Dog Out

Let your dog off the leash for a mad run at the Whangarei Public Dog Park.