Whangarei offers a great choice of fun, family-friendly things to do. There are loads of free activities along with tours and experiences that are heaps of fun for everyone.

Make the most of adrenalin pumping tree top challenges, enjoy glow in the dark mini golf and for the older kids, choose from paint ball, horse trekking or kayak adventures. A cruise to the Poor Knights Islands will leave your family with memories to last a lifetime.

Local's Tips

FEED THE DUCKS Discover Parihaka Reserves and Mair Park for a beautiful bush walk along the Hatea River – take some bread to feed the resident ducks, or for those with energy to burn, race up to the Parihaka Lookout for a stunning view over the city

FISH & CHIPS AT THE BEACH Do what the locals do – pick up a meal of fish and chips from a takeaway shop and eat at one of the many safe beaches in the District.

SWIM BETWEEN THE FLAGS Ocean Beach, Ruakaka and Waipu Cove are patrolled by lifeguards from Labour Weekend in October to Easter in April. Keep everyone safe by swimming between the flags

Playgrounds & Parks

There’s loads of green space playgrounds throughout the city including the popular Town Basin playground, (with wheelchair accessible liberty swing) where kids can swing, climb, spin and slide to their heart’s content. A map of all parks in Whangarei can be found here.


A beautiful coastline with many beaches offer sheltered swimming, trees to climb and playgrounds. Pack up your swimwear, towels, sunblock, a picnic and enjoy. Most have toilets close by and some have public BBQs that you can cook a meal on.

Take A Kid Fishing

Sprat fishing - a good old-fashioned kiwi experience. Pick up a handline and some bait, and drop a line from one of the many jetties scattered throughout the District.

Walk & Cycle

Burn off some energy around the 4.2km Hatea Loop – Haurahi o te Whai walkway that follows the Hatea river, crosses the harbour and loops back to the Town Basin – reward yourself with an ice cream. Find out about more walks here.

Skate & BMX

Enjoy the Skateboard Parks at Riverside Drive, Onerahi and Ruakaka. Have a heap of fun on two wheels at the 400m undulating BMX dirt track by the skate park at Riverside Drive.

Fun at the Museum

Kiwi North – Whangarei Museum and Heritage Park and you may come face to face with foraging kiwi and tuatara. Marvel at a full size waka (Maori war canoe, an old jailhouse, moa bones and a fascinating vintage and rail machinery collection. Interactive live days are held regularly.

Claphams National Clock Museum will have your kids intrigued and laughing with delight at the many fun and quirky pieces in the collection.

Packard & Pioneer Museum has a fascinating collection of over 50 Packard cars, vintage vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, earthmovers, steam vehicles, pioneer household items and much more. 

Drop into a Library

Whangarei Libraries have a wonderful selection of children’s books and resources. Activities to entertain and delight are held regularly.

For more information and ideas for child-friendly things to do in Whangarei, drop into one of our Information Centres and have a chat to one of our friendly information consultants.