Whangaroa Harbour

Visit Whangaroa Harbour, Northland, NZ


  • Whangaroa is protected from the sea by a narrow harbour entrance. Its calm waters beneath steep hills can make it seem like lakes or fiords as it branches inland.

    The harbour and ocean is an aquatic playground but there is a lot more to it than fishing – great for fishing, diving, swimming and boating. The area has some spectacular coastal walkways, as well as nearby access to Puketi Forest for hiking or eco-tours. There are 2 towns in Whangaroa Harbour (Whangaroa & Totara North). Whangaroa’s mild climate makes it pleasant to visit all year round.

    Accommodation in Whangaroa Harbour (NZ)

    Whangaroa & Totara North both have accommodation options for every traveller, including motels, hotels, bed and breakfast and 5-star luxury lodges.  Holiday cottages, camping grounds and backpackers, and farmstay options are available.

    Many properties are close to the sea and many have stunning bush views providing a tranquil holiday environment.

    Transport around Whangaroa Harbour

    A water taxi is available around the Whangaroa Harbour with Bushmans Friend who also offer nature tours and House Boat charter.

    Transport from the Bay of Islands can be arranged in advance with a lodge, hotel or boat charter operator.

    Rental car, campervan and motorhome drivers need to take care on difficult roads to reach this 'off the beaten track' destination.

    Tourist Activities in Whangaroa Harbour

    The region is an ideal location for family activites such as sailing and barbeques, whether at a holiday park, rental cottage or other accommodation. There is beautiful safe swimming in nearby Tauranga & Taupo Bays.

    Surfing and scuba diving are popular activities on the coast and islands beyond the harbour entrance. The Cavalli Islands, a world-renowned dive location, are right on the doorstep. The sunken Rainbow Warrior wreck is another popular dive attraction.

    Whangaroa has been called the “marlin capital” of New Zealand. Big fame fishing charters sail regularly from the harbour. In some cases, the fishing and accommodation can be booked as one package.

    The town of Whangaroa has some interesting restaurants, and boasts a museum in Kaeo nearby. It also boats a golf course near Totara North.

    Walking Tracks

    Whangaroa's unique landscape and amazing scenery feature a beautiful harbour with spectacular rocky bluffs and a prominent ridge system of eroded volcanoes, clad in some of the last diverse coastal conifer/ broadleaf/kauri forest in New Zealand. The area around the harbour contains unique plant species, with small but important areas of mangrove/saltmarsh wetlands and tidal rivers containing banded rail and fernbird species. The open coast is characterised by rocky headlands such as the Mahinepua Peninsula, sandy beaches, and numerous islands. Typical of rich coastal areas, a wide variety of Maori and European archaeological features are also present.

    Popular walks in the area include Manginangina Kauri Walk, St Paul's Rock, Wairakau Stream Track, Dukes Nose and Mahinepua Peninsula Track. These stunning walking tracks take in a variety of forest and coastal scenery, and cater to a range of ages and fitness levels...

    Puketi Forest, a short distance south of Whangaroa Harbour, is one of the largest of Northland’s preserved native forests. It has short walking trails and multi-day hikes, using use overnight huts. The forest is home to some of NZ’s rare species, including the kiwi and kokako birds, and native bat. Guided tours are a good way to learn about the ecology. The forest has certain areas set aside for hunting. 

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    Whangaroa Harbour