Five reasons to visit Whangārei this winter

Published on 09 July 2024


While summer has its moments, there's something wonderful about a mid-year weekend away. If you've been pondering a change of scenery, we're here to help.

Here are five budget-friendly reasons to plan a winter escape in Whangārei.

Isolated Kauri Mountain beach during winter  

1) Love beaches? We have over 100 to choose from. 

There’s nothing quite like having a beautiful white sandy beach all to yourself. Imagine wandering along three kilometres of uninterrupted coastline, the wind tossing your hair, the waves lapping at your feet, and only curious seagulls for company.

If that sounds like heaven, drive to Kauri Mountain Beach in Whangārei Heads. Located down a winding gravel road, this pristine beach is often deserted. Need to warm up afterwards? Why not stop at the pub for a pizza, or pick up fish & chips for a classic Kiwi lunch?


2) Whangārei has a thriving arts scene 

Whether you love funky street murals, Māori crafts, artisan glassblowing, local theatre productions, or bright and bold dedications to Austrian visionaries, there’s something to satiate your creative desires in Whangārei. You’ll find like-minded locals who love to share their passion and craft, and perhaps a piece or two to adorn your walls.


3) Treat your tastebuds in 150+ cafes and restaurants 

Wood-fired roast lamb pizza, roadside hangi, Greek mezze plates, smoked brisket with caramelised onion and blue cheese pies, Korean fried chicken, Vietnamese summer rolls, pāua wontons, Nutella Tim Tam brownies… shall we continue?


4) Our walks come with rewards 

From the city centre, you can walk to the top of Parihaka via a beautiful bush track and enjoy panoramic views over the city. Continue along the river to A H Reed Memorial Park and not only will you find a canopy walkway through towering kauri but tracks to both Pukenui Falls and the iconic Otuihau Whangārei Falls.

If you prefer a gentle stroll, or if you have kids to entertain, wander the 4.2km Hātea Loop Walkway (Huarahi o te Whai). This family-friendly path meanders past the Hundertwasser Arts Centre, Claphams National Clock Museum, the Town Basin, playgrounds, art installations, water fountains, and the instantly recognisable Te Matau ā Pohe bridge (time your visit for 12pm to see the bridge rise).

Once complete, indulge in a coffee or cocktail from one of the many bars and restaurants.


5) It’s easy to get here (we promise) 

Let’s put the past behind us. With the Brynderwyns open and Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway cutting down the driving time, it’s never been easier to get to Whangārei. Why not stop along the way and explore Waipu’s Scottish charm or Bream Bay’s sweeping beaches?

If you’ve spent enough time in the car on your daily commute, Air New Zealand offers 20-minute flights from Auckland to Whangārei.

Are you interested in learning more about what to do in Whangārei? 

If you're keen to find out more about Whangārei, listen to the Winterless North episode of the Whangarei District Council podcast, 'Whangārei Matters'. 

Listen here or watch on YouTube.

Bags packed?

Make your first stop our isite Visitor Centre. Conveniently located on State Highway One, our friendly team can help you to make the most of your time in Whangārei. Come On Up!  

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