Whangarei is a popular road trip destination in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. It’s about a 2 hours drive from Auckland Central. However, keep in mind that during peak hours, you may experience heavy traffic on high way 1. If that’s the case, use an alternative route via Kaipara Coast Highway. A scenic route that guarantees 2 hours of New Zealand’s beautiful landscapes.
In this post, we’ll cover some of the top things to do in Whangarei including our review on a budget family-friendly holiday park.
Road Trip Point of Interests
We usually put the local information visitor centre as our first stop for a destination. Whangarei visitor centre is a busy little shop that’s packed with information on the region and the whole of North Island. This is a great way to get your bearings and an overview of the attractions around the area. So grab some brochures and plan out your trip from there.
It’s a short and easy walk from our holiday park – Whangarei Falls Holiday Park to the base of the waterfall, even with our 10-month-old baby. You’ll be walking on paved roads and stairs, making it very achievable for parents with a baby carrier. Admire the waterfall from the lookout platform, and feel the power of this fall right underneath your feet. It’s a pretty amazing experience on its own!
Town Basin Marina Village
Take a stroll along the river on a Saturday morning, and check out their Artisans Fair Local Market on Canopy Bridge. Enjoy the atmosphere by the water with live music by talented locals. Try some Hangi or seafood chowder from the shops, and they’re authentic and rich in flavours.
Whangarei Quarry Gardens
With a gold coin donation, Whangarei Quarry Gardens is a great place for a morning walk. Admire various plantations along the footpath, and loop back when you reach the small lake and waterfall.
Natural Fizzy Spring
You may not come by this place as an attraction, but this is quite a cool natural wonder to watch on the side of a busy highway. It’s not clearly marked with signage, so we actually spent a little time looking for it. It’s right… here.
We were very fortunate to be able to find accommodation so close to New Year’s Eve. Whangarei Falls Holiday Park is only 300m from Whangarei Falls. We stayed in a little cabin this time, cosy and simple.
Road Trips from Auckland
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Would you sit by the waterfall for an hour and do nothing as we did?