Three Days in Whangārei

Flying into New Zealand can be magical. Seeing the rugged landscape, fresh glacier lakes, snow-capped mountains, and endless black sand beaches is truly an indescribable feeling. While most people head here to discover the never-ending green wilderness, New Zealand is also home to a sub-tropical oasis. Located in the northernmost part of New Zealand is the Northland region. Here, golden sands, tropical weather, and aqua blue seas are a stark contrast to the typical landscape many associate New Zealand with! 

One of the main towns in this beautiful Northland region is Whangārei. Whangārei is a subtropical city of culture, beauty, and a thriving community.  When you visit here, you’ll be in one of the best places to catch the sun and have a great holiday. 

Whangārei might be your first stop on a fully-fledged road trip of the entire country, or you could be visiting from a nearby city, area of New Zealand, or across the pond in Australia. However you choose to spend your time in this beautiful country, let’s make your time in Whangārei that extra bit special. Here’s our blog on three days in Whangārei.

Day One AM: Arrive and Drive Around the Town Centre

A great way to get settled in a new place is simply to explore it! Whangārei town centre is the perfect place for a leisurely drive. With a mix of colonial and modern architecture, it’s a stylish yet friendly place to get the grips of your surroundings. Make sure to stop for a cup of coffee at Nectar Cafe or Mokaba Cafe, before trying to find all 15 large scale art murals that line the walls of the town on the City Centre Art Walk

Day One PM: Have Some Lunch and Enjoy the Art

Today is all about the town centre - wherever you’ve arrived from, you’re likely not up for a big adventure yet, so exploring the inner town boundaries is the perfect way to make the most of the day without tiring yourself out any further. After you’ve spent the morning on the City Centre Walk, why not grab a bite to eat at Biggie Bagels or The Quay before heading to the Wairau Māori Art Gallery and Hundertwasser Art Centre. Finally, head back out to the city for dinner! You'll be spoilt for choice with many options, including Split Bar and Restaurant and Jimmy Jack’s Rib Shack and Craft Bar. 

Day Two AM: Bay Horse Trekking in the Ocean

The Sandy Bay Horse Trekking is one of the most popular activities for people visiting the Whangārei region. With a range of different treks available, depending on your riding experience, you’ll have an incredible morning. With ocean views throughout, it’s not something you’ll forget anytime soon!

Day Two PM: Head to the Falls

After the early start this morning, you’ll be excited to head to the magnificent Whangārei Falls and Taheke Falls this afternoon. Located just outside the main town, Whangārei Falls is just a ten-minute drive from the town centre. The waterfalls are beautiful. Standing at 26.5 metres high, the water cascades over basalt cliffs into the pool below. You can enjoy these falls either on the short circular walk or a longer hike via the Hatea River Walkway. This spot is also incredibly popular for swimming in the summer months, so don’t forget your swimming costume in case it’s a hot day! Today is all about being out and about in nature, so pack some lunch and head over to Taheke Waterfalls for an afternoon stroll. The walk will take you about two hours from start to finish and promises some gorgeous bushland and beautiful waterfalls across the Taheke Scenic Reserve. 

Day Three: Get Ready to Dive Under

Scuba-inventor Jacques Cousteau once described the Poor Knights Islands as one of the top ten dive sites in the world, and today, you’ll get to see exactly why. The Poor Knights Islands are just 23-kilometres from Whangārei by boat, so get up early and head to the water, where you’ll join one of the many day charters that take tourists to explore this beautiful area. The Poor Knights Islands are simply gorgeous: the remains of a group of ancient volcanoes, they are now a plethora of caves, arches, and tunnels home to an array of sea life. 

Well, there you have it! Three jam-packed days exploring the best of the best in Whangārei. Be sure to charge your camera and phone and pack plenty of sun cream, as this special place in New Zealand has sunshine, plenty of gorgeous views, and adventures too. The easiest way to get around Whangārei and the surrounding areas is by car, so make sure to pop into a Thrifty location when you arrive to find the perfect rental car for you. 


To explore everything Whangārei has to offer, hire a car from Whangārei Airport or Whangārei Downtown today!

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