The Town Basin Whangarei, a picturesque international yachting marina with restaurants, cafes and specialty shopping, loop walkway, art, culture and entertainment, history and heritage…don’t miss it.

Local's Tips

Photo opportunity! Te Matau ā Pohe, the international award winning bascule bridge and part of the Hatea Loop walkway, opens at 12 noon every day.

For as long as people have walked this land and sailed these waters, the area around the Town Basin, Te Ahipupurangi-a-ihenga, has been a vital hub. Waka (canoes) assembled there in the earliest days, right beside the largest pa site in the country. It became a thriving port following pakeha (European) settlement, and for decades has been one of the most important international yacht havens in the South Pacific.

The Town Basin marina is now an international yachting community hub, uniquely positioned in the city centre and founded on the city’s reputation for a warm welcome.

Enjoy the everchanging landscape that alters with the seasons, the ebb and flow of the tide, and the coming and going of boats, people, birds and animals.

Enjoy quality cuisine and refreshments and experience Whangarei manaakitangi (hospitality) in a picturesque, waterside location. Your choices include:

The Quay 
Love Mussel Wine & Tapas Bar
Mokaba Cafe
Riverside Cafe
Serenity Cafe
Portobello Restaurant, Distinction Hotel
Settlers Bar & Grill, Discovery Hotel

Te Kākano (The Seed) is an architectural sculpture in the shape of a koru using all the elements of Hundertwasser’s style. It is a beautiful and intriguing structure that has been created to give the builders and artists the opportunity to adapt their skills for the proposed construction of the Hundertwasser Art Centre with Wairau Maori Art Gallery. The HAC will be 100 times the size of Te Kākano and building is planned to commence in 2017 when all necessary funds are raised.” 

The Bach gallery offers a diverse range of high quality art and craft from 100 Northland artists. Feel the heat of the furnaces while watching Glass blowing expert Keith Grinter at Burning Issues Gallery which specialises in NZ glass, ceramics and jewellery. 

Check out paintings on a large scale at SPIKE Art GalleryReyburn House, built in the 1870s, is Whangarei’s oldest house and is surrounded by lovely gardens adjacent to the Town Basin playground. Enjoy exhibitions by local artists.

The Sculpture Trail features installations in a range of media from bronze and limestone to steel, concrete and marble. Many offer interpretations of the story of Whangärei.

Enjoy specialty shopping including treats like handmade fudge (the salted caramel is divine) and jewellery handcrafted by a master. Find other treasures with a kiwi and coastal flavour.

The Whangarei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi houses the city’s art collection, embracing both heritage and contemporary art work, and offers a captivating insight into the District’s history. The Museum also has many internally curated and national touring exhibitions.

Claphams National Clock Museum has the largest collection of timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere, with a collection of clocks, that can be rare and exquisite, or quirky and fun. There are many other gadgets that will surprise and delight both you and your children.

Let the kids loose at the playground at the Town Basin and enjoy an ice cream or coffee while they use up some energy – climbing, sliding, running, swinging, spinning! The Liberty Swing enables kids in wheelchairs to enjoy the freedom of a swing.  Barbeques are available for public use.

The 4.2 km Hatea Loop Walkway – Huarahi o te Whai meanders 4.2 kilometres around the Hatea River.

Enjoy the Sculpture Trail created by local artists, including beautiful new murals by local and internationally renowned street artists.

Read fascinating stories of the Maori and European settlement of Whangarei on the Heritage Panels.

Walk across the elegant footbridge, ‘Kotuitui Whitinga’ and the international award-winning bascule (opening) ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bridge.

Hire a bicycle from Loop de Loop Cycle Hire.

Dogs on a leash are welcome at all times on the Loop. Take a short detour to the Dog Park at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island and they can run free.

The entire walkway is fully accessible and is suitable for pushchairs and wheelchairs.

Do some boarding at the skater designed park that has good open flow and awesome street art. Bike riders can have a heap of fun on the BMX track.

Take your time to enjoying the Town Basin.