Whangarei District begins just 106km north of Auckland. Whangarei city is about a two hour drive.

Local's Tips

DRIVE THE TWIN COAST DISCOVERY HIGHWAY. Look out for the brown tourist route signs - from Te Hana and travel the idyllic East Coast including beaches of Langs Beach and Waipu Cove. Be aware that if you detour from main routes, you may encounter unsealed roads.


Self-driving offers you the opportunity to explore along the way. The route to Whangarei is well signposted and traffic is generally light.

Car rental companies are located at airports and many other locations. They offer a wide range of vehicles and you will find something that suits your budget. One way hire may be available – ask when you make your enquiry. You will need to be at least 21 years of age to rent a vehicle and have a current driver’s licence or international driving permit.

Motorhomes are also available for hire and offer perhaps the greatest flexibility for your journey. The Whangarei District has some outstanding options for overnighting including holiday parks and camping grounds, conveniently located in city and town centres or in the most beautiful coastal and rural locations.

State Highway One is a scenic route with many attractions along the way, or you can follow the Twin Coast Discovery Highway from Te Hana and drive the idyllic East Coast – follow the brown tourist route signs. Be aware that if you detour from main routes, you may encounter unsealed roads.

Coach or Bus
National and regional bus services are widely and conveniently available, departing daily from Auckland International Airport and many other centres. The bus terminal in Whangarei is located at the Town Basin, a short walk from central Whangarei.

Hop on, hop off services are available as are charter packages.


Daily direct flights are available from Auckland and Wellington airports, and you can take connecting domestic flights from most other NZ airports.


While there are no scheduled passenger shipping services, Whangarei is a popular port of entry to NZ for international yachties. All arriving vessels must send an Advance Notice of Arrival to New Zealand Customs Service at least 48 hours before arrival. This can be done by email to yachts@customs.govt.nz.

When nearing New Zealand, make radio contact by calling Maritime Radio on 4125 kHz or 6215Khs or Whangarei Harbour Radio on VHF Ch 16. Customs will be informed and you will be directed to the nearest Quarantine Port of Entry. For Whangarei, this is in Marsden Cove Marina just after the oil refinery at 35*49.839’S 174*28.530E.

As per NZ Immigration requirements, valid passports will be required for entry and if necessary a relevant visa. Please check this prior to departure for New Zealand.
Full details on entry requirements can be found at the Whangarei Marina website.


View or download visitor guides and maps for the Whangarei District, including the City and Town Basin, Tutukaka Coast, Whangarei Heads and Bream Bay here.


Driving in New Zealand can be very different from driving in your home country or elsewhere in the world. It is very important to understand our rules, and how our roads may differ from what you are used to. We want you to have a safe and enjoyable visit - please take a look at the Drive Safe and Driving in New Zealand websites to help ensure this. Find information in simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Arabic here.

Fact sheets with useful information about Self-Drive holidays and driving in New Zealand, translated for Chinese, Korean, Thai, Portugese, Spanish and Japanese can be found here.  

Find useful information to plan a safe journey in Whangarei and Northland here.