Northland's biggest city Whangarei offers a great deal of attractive options, and it's well worth a visit. Here are a few special highlights....
During summer, the local beaches are beautiful and pristine but not dissimilar to the plethora of wonderful beaches that line the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island.
Whangarei Museum has a vast collection of over 50,000 objects relating to local history, all donated by the Mair family. It includes a host of early European and Tai Tokerau Taonga Maori pieces from the region. The Heritage Park is home to a number of other historic buildings – the Clarke Homestead, Riponui Pah School and the Women’s Jail – as well as the Kiwi House: a fabulous opportunity to see some of New Zealand’s rare native wildlife and have an encounter with the endangered – and very shy – North Island Brown Kiwi.
If you are into fishing head to Whangarei Heads in the Whangarei Harbour. Once provided as a passage for Maori canoes and sailing ships, it's a pretty special place and is now a mecca for fishing, sailing and nearby baches provide an amazing view. Not forgetting nearby Tutukaka and the Poor Knights Islands which are just as beautiful as the Whangarei Heads - both lush with beaches and forest, providing a well deserved break from the city. Check out the famous Whangarei Falls on the road to the Tutukaka Coast.
The Zion Wildlife Gardens just outside of Whangarei lets you get up close and cosy with white tigers and endangered lions in a peaceful country setting. An amazing day trip for all of the family.
Whether you're flying direct or planning a road trip, Whangarei is a great destination all year round.
Editorial by Katherine Robinson