Escape from the big city on a dull winter’s day, relax and find harmony between people and nature. Enjoy picturesque waterfalls, river and forest walkways, beautiful farmland and picnics. In just two hours, you can fully immerse yourself in all the beauty that sub-tropical Whangarei has to offer.
Northland Inc Tourism Manager Paul Davis says: “Whangarei is known to many Aucklanders as the place to be during the hot summer months but it’s also a great spot to relax and unwind during winter.
“Being able to enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of nature is one of Whangarei’s special qualities, particularly with the new Hatea Loop riverside walkway, breath-taking scenery like the Whangarei Falls and beautiful New Zealand forest and beaches just a short drive from the city centre.”
Following the calm waters of the Hatea River, the fully accessible Hatea Loop walkway begins at the Whangarei Town Basin, a lovely international yacht marina, with restaurants, cafes, specialty shops, art galleries and museums.
The 4.2km walk links the popular Canopy Bridge with the spectacular multi-award winning bascule (opening) bridge Te Matau a Pohe, and the elegant Kotuitui Whitinga pedestrian bridge.
Enjoy the Sculpture Trail, with 14 special sculptures created by local artists, the Heritage Trail, which tells the history of the area and perhaps enjoy a picnic at one of the many picturesque places.
One of Whangarei’s most loved and well-known landmarks, the Whangarei Falls is not to be missed. The stunning waterfall is 26.3m high and cascades over basalt cliffs. The park surrounding the waterfall is a popular picnic spot.
The two viewing platforms above the waterfall provide a spectacular view of the magnificent forest below and the 1km (30 mins) loop walk is an excellent way to see the waterfall from every angle – a photographers dream!
Mount Manaia, just 30km from Whangarei city, was created as the result of volcanic activity around 20 million years ago and is now 403 metres above sea-level. There is no snow and it is a great hike for the energetic.
It has an excellent track and you will be rewarded with impressive views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marsden Point Oil Refinery, Bream Bay, Whangarei Harbour and the spectacular Tutukaka Coast to the north.
There is no better place to recharge, reconnect and enjoy a change of pace than in Whangarei.