Getting to Whangarei

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The entrance to Whangarei from the Brynderwyns

Whangarei city is approximately two hours drive north of Auckland or a short 35 minute flight from Auckland Airport. Sail into Whangarei Harbour and berth at Marsden Cove Marina or the Whangarei Marina in the heart of the city

By land

Self-driving offers you the opportunity to explore along the way to Whangarei. The journey is well signposted and traffic is generally light. State Highway One is a scenic route with many attractions along the way, or you can follow the Twin Coast Discovery Highway from Te Hana and drive the idyllic East Coast – follow the brown tourist route signs. Be aware that if you detour from main routes, you may encounter unsealed roads.

Car rental companies are located at airports and many other locations and offer a wide range of vehicles. One way hire may be available. You will need to be at least 21 years of age to rent a vehicle and have a current driver’s licence or international driving permit.

Motorhomes are also available for hire and offer perhaps the greatest flexibility for overnighting in holiday parks and camping grounds in beautiful coastal and rural locations.

Coach or Bus
National and regional bus services are widely and conveniently available, departing daily from Auckland International Airport and many other centres. The bus terminal in Whangarei is located at the Town Basin, a short walk from central Whangarei city. Hop on, hop off services are available as are charter packages.

By air

Daily direct flights are available from Auckland and Wellington airports, and you can take connecting domestic flights from most other NZ airports.

By sea

There are no scheduled passenger shipping services however, Whangarei is a popular port of entry to NZ for international yachties. All arriving vessels must send an Advance Notice of Arrival to New Zealand Customs Service at least 48 hours before arrival. This can be done by email to

When nearing New Zealand, make radio contact by calling Maritime Radio on 4125 kHz or 6215Khs or Whangarei Harbour Radio on VHF Ch 16. Customs will be informed and you will be directed to the nearest Quarantine Port of Entry. For Whangarei, this is in Marsden Cove Marina at 35*49.839’S 174*28.530E.

Full details on entry requirements can be found at the Whangarei Marina website.

Visitor Guides & Maps

View or download visitor guides and maps for the Whangarei District, including the City and Town Basin, Tutukaka Coast, Whangarei Heads and Bream Bay here.

Driving in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand can be very different from driving elsewhere in the world. It is  important to understand our rules, and how our roads may differ from what you are used to. We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit; please take a look at the Driving in New Zealand and Drive Safe website, with information in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Portugese, Spanish and Arabic.

Read Fact Sheets with useful information about self-drive holidays and driving in New Zealand, translated in Chinese, Korean, German, Thai, Portugese, Spanish and Japanese.