Whangārei city and the Town Basin


Whangārei city is Northland’s only city and largest commercial centre, around two and a half hours drive from Auckland, the bustling economic and urban hub of New Zealand.

The central city

Everywhere is within walking distance as the land is flat and the city is compact. The very heart of the city is closed to traffic and has great retail shopping along with attractive gardens, seating and sculpture - enjoy your shopping and then take a seat and enjoy some 'people-watching'. 

In 2019, some of the world’s best street artists took part in the Street Prints Manaia, International Art Festival in Whangārei. 15 large scale art murals based on the theme “Tuia te muka Tāngata” “Weaving the Threads of Humanity” were created and you can see these beautiful murals throughout the city. Find out more and download or view a map of the Trail here.

The Whangārei Growers Market offers an abundance of locally grown produce along with preserves, honey, eggs, beef, flowers and more. It's held from 6am to 10.30am every Saturday at Water Street.

Eat, drink, shop & play

The Town Basin

The Town Basin precinct is an international yachting community hub, uniquely positioned in the city centre and founded on the city’s reputation for a warm welcome and as a haven from the Pacific hurricane season.

This water-side area is a wonderful destination for all visitors with cafes and restaurants, craft and art galleries, museums, specialty shops and children’s playground and petanque court. Enjoy the frequent markets and events amidst the ever-changing scenery of boats, people, birds and animals.

The Hundertwasser Art Centre is a truly iconic building; a unique architectural project dedicated to artist, visionary and ecological activist, Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Don't miss it!

Te Huarewa Toi Wairau Māori - Wairau Maōri Art Gallery is home to the finest examples of contemporary Maōri art and is designed to promote and enhance Te Ao Maōri. It is the first unique and dedicated public Māori Art Gallery in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Whangārei Art Museum is permanent home for the city's art collection and embraces both heritage and contemporary artwork.
Claphams National Clock Museum has the largest collection of timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere; be surprised and delighted by Victorian cuckoo clocks, rare antiques and many unique and fun clocks.
Reyburn House Art Gallery in a Historic Home belongs to the Northland Society of Arts and has frequent exhibitions by New Zealand artists.

The Hīhīaua Cultural Centre is the manifestation of the wish of local elders to reclaim, restore and renew Māori arts and culture. Out of their vision has risen what is now an award-winning architectural workshop, gallery and retail space filled with an eclectic exhibition of authentic Māori art and unique local creations from nationally renowned artists. Also enjoy frequent events, performances and learning experiences at this very special place of cross-cultural awareness and understanding.

The fully accessible 4.2 km Hātea Loop Huarahi o te Whai walkway loops around the upper Whangārei Harbour. Along the way, enjoy the Sculpture Trail featuring works by local artists and read the fascinating history of the area on the Heritage Panels. See the the impressive, international award-winning ‘Te Matau ā Pohe’ bascule bridge open everyday at noon. Discover magic inside the Timatatanga Hou / Camera Obscura.

Take a walk or jump on your bike

The city and suburbs are connected by a network of well developed paths and tracks for cycling and walking. Immerse yourself in the cool native forest by walking from the Town Basin to the Whangārei Falls (catch a bus back into the city). The full walk is about three hours one way or you can choose to do just a short section of the walk. The AH Reed Memorial Park is a five minute drive from the city centre and features a tree-top board walk and stately kauri trees. 

Pohe Island Bike Park is your ‘one-stop' cycling destination with a smooth-surface Circuit Track, Traffic Skills and Coaching area beginner bike skills track and world-class Pump Track; all just a heartbeat away from the inner city and connecting to a network of trails around Whangārei.

Kiwis, treasures, parks and gardens

Kiwi North and Heritage Park in Maunu, 10 minutes from the city centre, has loads of amazing things to delight you; trains, vehicles and engines, Māori taonga (treasures), military items, colonial buildings and household items, historical medical collection. Enjoy the Live Days, held monthly when everything is up and running and you can ride a miniature train!  

Laurie Hall Park features the ANZAC Memorial and WW1 cenotaph memorial, a playground for the kids and lovely gardens with grassed areas and picnic tables.

Cafler Park, with its gorgeous rose beds, can be accessed from Water Street, First Avenue or the Forum North car park. The Waiarohia River runs along its boundary. Botanica Whangārei, at First Avenue, has displays of colourful subtropical flowers and houses containing cool, green ferns and filmy ferns.

Whangārei Quarry Gardens is set in over 60 acres of a former quarry. The unique microclimate is ideal for growing an abundance of native and exotic subtropical plants. The gardens feature a lake, waterfall, walking paths, forest walks, a variety of garden styles and several historic remnants. Find a perfect picnic spot or relax in the café.

Whangārei Falls / Otuihau

A picturesque 26 metre high waterfall with native forest and lovely picnic spots. Enjoy the view from three easy to access viewing platforms or walk the short loop track to the base of the waterfall. Find out about Otuihau and other waterfalls in the District here.

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