Five activities to get you out of the house this winter

Published on 09 July 2024


While it’s tempting to hibernate in cold weather, winter can be the perfect time to get out and explore your region.

Here are five activities you can do in Whangarei in winter.

Hilltop view of Matapouri Cove.

1)   Hit the beach

We love a winter beach walk. Even on a nippy day, a wander along a beautiful beach will blowout those winter cobwebs (and leave you happy to warm-up next to the fire with a good book).

With over 100 beaches in the district, there’s plenty to choose from. We love Kauri Mountain, or Smugglers Cove for a moody walk with wild waves, or Ruakākā and Waipu for a blustery walk with coffee in hand. Dip your toes in the rolling surf of Matapōuri, or if you’re looking for something with a more tropical vibe, Whale Bay offers pristine white sand, crystal clear water and stunning native bush.

Beaches in Whangārei

kiwi bird feeding next to gumboots at kiwinorth

2)   Play tourist

It’s often not until your guests come to stay that you realise you haven’t ticked off most of your cities must-do attractions. Why not play tourist in your own backyard? Pop to KiwiNorth to meet Thumper the kiwi and Dave the kokopu. Go back in time at Claphams National Clock Museum or head to the roof of the Hundertwasser Arts Centre. Wander the Quarry Gardens and search for hidden painted rocks, or chase down one of our six beautiful waterfalls.

ceviche at Aqua restaurant town basin

3)   Treat your tastebuds to a world tour

If you’ve been daydreaming of an exotic getaway without the price tag, why not take yourself on a culinary world tour? Whangārei is home to a range of fantastic restaurants and cafes serving international cuisines, from melt-in-your-mouth Korean Fried Chicken to Greek mezze plates, delicious Turkish pitas and Vietnamese Bánh mì.


4)   Hit the pavement

Whangārei is a walker’s paradise, with more than 40 bush walks throughout the district. Keep it simple with a walk around the 4.2km Hātea Loop Walkway (Huarahi o te Whai) or stretch your legs by conquering Parihaka via one of the three tracks.

Continue along the Hatea River to A H Reed Memorial Park for a canopy walkway through towering kauri and tracks to both Pukenui Falls and the iconic Otuihau Whangārei Falls.

Looking to escape the city? Go off the beaten track in the Pukenui Forest, or venture around the maunga by walking the Busby Head loop to Smugglers Cove.

Walks in Whangārei


5)   Discover a new interest or hobby

One thing we love about Whangarei is that there is something for everyone. If you’re tired of being stuck inside during winter, there’s a wealth of clubs and groups looking for like-minded people.

Volunteering Northland can match-make you to a community group or volunteer organisation (love to bake? Good Bitches Baking! Interested in history? Become a Heritage Hero!)

Oneonesix are always looking for art lovers to volunteer, or there’s always local sports teams and niche interest groups. Facebook community pages can be a good place to start. 

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