Tourism

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Kayaking at the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka Coast

Tourism is a vital feature of the Whangarei economy and the region’s second-biggest income earner.

The Whangarei District has a sub-tropical climate, outstanding coastline and beaches along with an enviable landscape with superb walks and hikes.

Whangarei city, New Zealand’s warmest city, is nestled between forest-clad hills at the heart of the Whangarei Harbour. With around 2000 hours of sunshine every year and the second warmest place in New Zealand, visitors can enjoy outdoor activities all year round – it does not snow here.

Nowhere in the District is more than 40 kilometres from the coast and the Tutukaka Coast has been rated as one of the top coastlines in the world. The Poor Knights Islands, a marine reserve and home to the world's largest sea cave, are considered one of the best dive spots in the world. Quality water activities, including scuba diving and snorkelling, are key visitor attractions and award-winning dive operators depart daily from the Tutukaka marina.

Whangarei provides an ideal hub for visitors to base themselves. They can make the most of the convenience of the small, attractive city's services and still be in easy reach of Northland's other attractions such as the Bay of Islands, Waitangi, the Far North including Cape Reinga and the Hokianga.

Over 300 Whangarei tourism operators leverage the Whangarei District's natural environment and status as Northland's commercial centre, offering a wide range of accommodation, activities and hospitality businesses.

Development of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery, the last authentic Hundertwasser building in the world, will be an iconic landmark and unique point of difference for Whangarei. It is estimated that it will attract over 140,000 visitors a year. International consultancy Deloitte estimates the Centre will bring $3.5 million a year in net economic benefit to the Northland region - a compelling investment story for development of new tourism product in Whangarei.