09/06/2018 Off By Gayle Dickson



Those who love the outdoors will love Whangarei with its sub-tropical climate, stunning harbour and coastline and fertile hinterland area. Whangarei is home to a huge number of artists and crafts people and the district is full of galleries. An excellent range of cafés and restaurants also serve the district with the freshest of local produce. 


A’Deco is well known in the region for elegant dining and has won numerous awards including four time finalist in the Cuisine restaurant of the year and judged top Northland restaurant for the last eight years. Chef, Brenton Low, is a two time NZ Beef & Lamb Ambassador and a passionate advocate of local produce. The restaurant is set in a luxuriously-furnished 1939 art deco house with subtropical gardens. Lunch is served Wed-Fri and dinner is served Tue-Sat. Ph: 09 459 4957

Surf and Turf Fare – Killer Prawn Restaurant & Bar is still going strong after 17 years and treating diners to exceptional food and service, serving an extensive range of the freshest seafood and more alongside some exquisite New Zealand wines. Enjoy the warmth of an open fire in winter, sit outside in summer or relax upstairs in the snug any time of year. Killer Prawn is open Mon-Sat from 12 noon until late. Ph: 09 430 3333

Café Grub – The Cabbage Tree Café plates up some lovely food, with plenty of veggie options too. For many locals and visitors alike this café is their number one choice for lunch and afternoon tea with family and friends. It’s just a shame it’s not open at night time or on the weekends. Ph: 09 459 7580 


Bed & Breakfast – Brantome Villa just 10km from Whangarei is surrounded by fantastic Northland countryside. Guest rooms are a thoughtful mix of comfort and contemporary elegance nestled in tranquil, private, park-like garden with sweeping lawns down to the lake. One bedroom and two king bedded rooms with either bathroom or shower en-suites. A delicious breakfast is included, pre-booked dinner option is $50 per person and includes a bottle of wine. Rates from $150-$375 Ph: 09 435 2088

Self Contained – Marina Court Motel and Apartments is Whangarei’s only waterfront motel just 10 minutes walk from the Town Basin shops, cafes, museum and local walks. This is a small modest and basic motel but very friendly, affordable and clean offering one and two bedroom units with kitchen facilities and 100mb free Wi-Fi daily. Dogs are allowed at owner’s discretion. Rates from $95-$115 Ph: 09 430 8822

Best Little Luxury Getaway – Breakaway Retreat is a self-contained, luxury beachfront guest accommodation in McLeod Bay, 30km east of Whangarei at Whangarei Heads. It’s a purpose built, two bedroom house with open plan living, fully equipped kitchen, king bed, two single beds, two person spa bath, shower, laundry and BBQ all in a stunning location with spectacular sea views. It’s an ideal place for a family or a romantic retreat for two. Rates vary from $290-$390 per night. Ph: 09 434 0711

Caravan and Campsite – Whangarei Top 10 Holiday Park offers self contained units, en-suite units, cabins and power/tent sites. It’s a small park in a quiet, central scenic setting bordered by native NZ bush reserve and just one kilometre from the supermarket, shops and restaurants. The park has direct access to local walking tracks. Ph: 09 437 6856


Bream Head Walking Track. The area is a refuge for a variety of rare flora and fauna, including a kiwi sanctuary. This is a serious walk with magnificent coastal panoramas from the headlands to offshore islands and spectacular harbour views. The Bream Head Track takes around six hours to walk one way but shorter walks such as Peach Cove and Smugglers Cove are included in the reserve. Entrance from Urquharts Bay or Ocean Beach is well signposted. 

Glenbervie MTB Park offers some of the best mountain biking north of Auckland and it’s only a few kilometres east of Whangarei. Tracks statistics: Open track 119.47km, Single track 47.47km, Double track 2.27km – Total distance 169.21km. Total number of tracks 46 from grades 2 – 5+. There are maps available from i-site and local bike shops or check out their website.

Mangapai Horse Treks is a small, personal operation where riders are matched to horses to suit their abilities. Their aim is to ensure everyone leaves with a great experience and memories. Your ride will take you across a cattle station and through pristine native bush where you will see awesome rock formations and sea views. Located south of Whangarei, off State Highway 1.Ph: 09 432 2430 cell 021 298 2186


The Whangarei Art Museum is the venue for internally curated and national touring exhibitions – designed to showcase the full diversity of creative arts in New Zealand and Northland. Ph: 09 430 4240


Down at the Quayside Town Basin you’ll find a boat marina, cafés, restaurants and a variety of appealing shops plus a clock museum. Visit artisans at the Town Basin’s Victoria Bridge Markets where a canopy has been erected on the unused Victoria Bridge. There is also a new sculpture walkway and trails, and planning includes a riverside walkway and cycle track loop from the Town Basin. 


A new I-site facility is called the HUB Information Centre in the Town Basin where they supply helpful knowledge about all the wonderful things you can see and do while in the Whangarei District. I-site Ph: 09 438 1079 W: 


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