Whangārei offers heaps of super fun activities for kids. Choose from horse trekking, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, learning to surf, ‘tree-mendous’ treetop adventures, paintball games, monster scooters, mountain biking and a waterpark with an inflatable obstacle course. And a cruise to the Poor Knights Islands will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.
Walks, parks & playgrounds
The Hātea Loop is 4.2kms of fun with wide spaces, sculptures to climb, wildlife to spot and boats to watch. Don’t miss Te Matau ā Pohe (the bascule bridge) open around midday each day. Throw a fishing line off the jetty on the Hātea Loop – Huarahi o te Whai.
The walk between AH Reed Memorial Park and Otuihau – Whangārei Falls is magic for kids. Follow the river, cross the bridges, discover loads of places to picnic, run and play. And there’s sure to be a rope swing from a tree over the river if they want to take that leap! Have a ‘race’ from Mair Park to the top of Parihaka.
There’s loads of green space playgrounds throughout the city including the popular Town Basin playground. Here’s a map of parks and playgrounds in the Whangārei district.
Fun on wheels
Check out the skate parks at Riverside Drive, Onerahi, Ngunguru and Ruakākā along with the BMX track, the circuit and pump tracks, and coaching area at Pohe Island Bike Park. Here's more information on other cycling activities.
Beaches, BBQs, snorkeling & kayaking
Whangārei offers many sheltered beaches, often with shady trees and grassy areas to sit on. Some have playgrounds, picnic areas, BBQs and public toilets. Check out Tamaterau, the estuary at Pātaua South, Waipu Cove, One Tree Point, Whangaumu – Wellington Bay, Kowharewa Bay, McLeod Bay and Ōakura. Here's a handy map of public toilets on the coast and throughout the District.
Play in, on and under the pristine waters of the wondrous Poor Knights Islands and discover the unique and incredibly varied plant, animal and fish life.
Take a kid fishing
Sprat fishing; the classic kiwi experience. Pick up a handline and bait from a local store, and drop a line from one of the many jetties scattered throughout the District. For starters, try the inner harbour jetties at Onerahi, Urquharts Bay or McLeod Bay. The pedestrian bridges at Whananaki and Pātaua North and South are also perfect for throwing a line over and for jumping off when the tide is in.
Kiwi, tuatara, jail, bones, trucks & jeeps, crazy cuckoo clocks & more
Visit Kiwi North – Whangārei Museum and Heritage Park and you may come face to face with real live foraging kiwi and tuatara. Marvel at a full size waka (Māori war canoe) an old jailhouse, moa bones and a fascinating vintage and rail machinery collection and steam trains. Super fun live days are held regularly.
The Claphams National Clock Museum will have your kids intrigued and laughing with delight at the many fun and quirky pieces in the collection.
Packard Motor Museum has a fascinating collection of over 50 Packard cars, vintage vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, earthmovers, steam vehicles, pioneer household items and much more.
Drop into a library
Whangārei Libraries have a wonderful selection of children’s books and resources. Activities to entertain and delight are held regularly.
For more information and ideas for child-friendly things to do in Whangārei, drop into the Whangārei i-SITE and have a chat to our friendly information consultants.
Phew! After all that, it’s time to treat everyone to a ‘sweet as’ icecream!