10 places to see in whangarei

Troy Chillingworth

Top 10 Fun Things To do in Whangarei

Whangarei is located in the northern parts of New Zealand and offers tourists and local visitors stunning sightseeing and experiences. This little-known subtropical region along the coast is unfortunately often overlooked by tourists travelling to NZ and is the perfect place to enjoy a memorable, relaxing holiday.

Whether you’re looking to relax on holiday while basking on tropical beaches or wish to do some awe-inspiring sightseeing, there’s an abundance of things to do in Whangarei. This magical destination, also known as the ‘City of 100 Beaches,’ offers some of the most stunning beaches in New Zealand. 

We’ve summarized these exciting experiences and other things to do in Whangarei below:

1. Whangarei Falls. 

2. Clapham National Clock Museum.

3. Abbey Caves Reserve.

4. Kiwi North.

5. Whangarei Quarry Gardens.

6. AH Reed Kauri Park.

7. Town Basin Marina. 

8. Reyburn House Art Gallery. 

9. Packard & Pioneer Museum.

10. Big Cats Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary.

1. Whangarei Falls

There’s something quite spell-binding about watching waterfalls cascade down sheer cliffs, and when you visit the majestic Whangarei Falls, it’s no different. 

Located just a few minutes away from the city centre, you can look forward to a wonderful sight, particularly if there has been a good rainy season.

This waterfall offers a mesmerizing sheer drop of four columns of water, and if you’re lucky, you may spot some wildlife and indigenous birds in this scenic reserve. The Whangarei Falls is a photogenic and memorable sight for all.

2. Clapham National Clock Museum

Touring museums while travelling abroad allows you to explore different cultures and rich histories of the country you’re visiting. Clapham’s National Clock Museum is something special while you’re in Northland in New Zealand, a home to thousands of clocks dating back over centuries.

No matter what age you are, the hundreds of different clocks in all shapes and sizes will astound you. Visitors will love these quirky clock collections, and some are simply out of this world in the way they work. Where it concerns things to do in Whangarei, this is a sightseeing attraction not to be missed.

3. Abbey Caves Reserve

The Abbey Caves Reserve is another jewel in Whangarei, consisting of a fascinating formation of three unspoiled caves that seem as if time has forgotten them. Exploring this fantastic location is perfect if you love hiking, and best of all, it’s free.

You will gasp at the dramatic rock formations, and in the dark recesses, you may spot glow worms that can seem rather spooky! It’s recommended to wear good hiking shoes, and don’t forget to take a reliable flashlight or mounted headlight for the best sightseeing experience.

4. Kiwi North

Not to be missed in things to do in Whangarei is Kiwi North, consisting of large rolling farmland spanning many acres offering visitors some beautiful sightseeing and home to the only Kiwi house in the region. 

Kiwi North is one of New Zealand’s heritage sites, so definitely one worth visiting and with so much to see and experience in this region, it’s well worth spending a day, or even two there to make certain you enjoy it to the fullest.

5. Whangarei Quarry Gardens

Many countries all over the world offer beautiful botanical gardens. Whangarei Quarry Gardens is no different and will take your breath away with all the beauty to be found here. 

You will see some incredible indigenous plants that thrive in this subtropical region, and you can stop for a snack at the Quail cafe in between exploring these stunning gardens.

With these fabulous gardens located over sprawling acreage, visitors can consider choosing guided tours in electric golf carts to rest their feet while enjoying running commentary from guides about many of the plants and the history of these spectacular gardens.

6. AH Reed Kauri Park

This little-known attraction is often overlooked by tourists and has beautiful sights for everyone, so make sure to take along a quality camera to capture them all!

The AH Reed Kauri Park is a memorial park indigenous to local Maori tribes that frequented it as a great hunting and fishing spot. While visiting, you’re sure to see some colourful birds and wonderful unspoiled greenery, including towering palm trees and native forestry.

7. Town Basin Marina

Don’t overlook the Town Basin Marina when looking for things to do in Whangarei, reminiscent of the many boardwalks found in coastal regions all over the world. This basin is also a famous yachting club hub in the South Pacific, often visited by the rich and famous’s luxury yachts.

For history buffs, pop into the local museum to explore the area’s history, and make sure to pick up some souvenirs at the local Bach gallery that offers some exquisite art and crafts from local northland artists.

8. Reyburn House Art Gallery

The Reyburn House Art Gallery is perfect for artists who love exploring art from different cultures. You can find fine art and craft on display in the oldest settler’s house in Whangarei.

Check out the local schedules and look out for exhibition times that offer an in-depth, rich cultural experience in visual art that’s simply breathtaking with all of its details.

9. Packard & Pioneer Museum

Should you have overlooked visiting Packard and Pioneer, you will certainly be disappointed later. This gorgeous museum is an interesting thing to do in Whangarei for a cultural experience in local history.

This incredible museum, which features the industrial revolution’s local history, offers visitors some interesting machinery that acted as a pivot for the technology we enjoy today.

Look out for local exhibitions and showings at the museum, which will help you enjoy educational information, making it perfect for enthusiasts that love machinery, engines, and motorcycles.

10. Big Cats Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary

You could round off your list of things to do in Whangarei with a visit to this awesome wildlife sanctuary, where you can see some of the indigenous cat families of New Zealand. Watch as these big cats are fed in their enclosures, and when a wildlife guide is on-site, you will glean some interesting details about the resident cats on show.

Visiting this delightful park to see these majestic animals up close is extremely exciting, and one of the adventurous and fun things to do in Whangarei.


Northland and Whangarei, New Zealand, offer unique vacation experiences and adventures for tourists and locals, so definitely something to add to your bucket list. This epic destination has a great climate with a warm summer, perfect for relaxing on the beach, and mild winters great for sightseeing, so you can visit any time of the year.

Visitors can look forward to enjoying some great sightseeing and adventure experiences while learning about the rich culture in this wonderful region often overlooked by tourists.


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