Things to Do in Whangarei for Couples
Venture to one of New Zealand’s warmest climates and less-visited cities, Whangarei. New Zealand’s northernmost city is surrounded by stunning coastal scenery, a top scuba diving location, amazing beaches and harbours its very own inner-city finds of gardens, arts and romantic restaurants. With that in mind, Whangarei is a worthy option for a romantic weekend away or stop on your New Zealand honeymoon itinerary. Discover some of the amazing experiences to have together in this list of romantic activities in Whangarei for couples.
For more travel advice, head to The Honeymoon Guide to Whangarei.
1. Embark on an Uncrowded Multi-day Walk at the Bream Bay
While there are many fantastic walks in Whangarei that we list in the 12 Whangarei Walks You Can’t Miss, Bream Heads Coast Walks takes the trophy when it comes to romantic hikes. The three-day walking experience is on private farmland, making for a serene uncrowded experience. After a couple of days taking in the stunning ocean vistas, beaches and more, you’ll unwind at the walk’s lodge accommodation with fabulous homemade meals included.
Location: 395 Ody Road, Taurikura, approximately 34km (21 miles) from Whangarei city centre
2. Learn How to Surf Together in Tutukaka
Nothing strengthens the bond quite like learning something new together. With that in mind, how about learning to surf at Whangarei’s surrounding beaches? NZ Surf Academy offers adult surf lessons at Sandy Bay, Wooleys and Matapouri beaches on the Tutukaka Coast, while Tutukaka Surf Northland NZ is another great surf school at Sandy Bay.
Location: Tutukaka Coast, approximately 30km (19 miles) from Whangarei city centre.
3. Buddy Up in a Scuba Diving Trip to the Poor Knights Islands
Speaking of learning a new skill, you could also become qualified scuba divers at one of the top dive locations in New Zealand, the Poor Knights Islands, just off the coast of Tutukaka. A mesmerising array of marine life is present in the protected waters surrounding the islands making the Poor Knights Islands a must for nature-lovers. There are scuba courses available or enjoy a one-off dive with options for all levels with Dive! Tutukaka or Yukon Dive. Alternatively, day tours to the islands from Auckland are available with Cheeky Kiwi Travel, which you can learn more about on Viator and Tripadvisor.
Location: Tutukaka, approximately 28km (18 miles) from Whangarei city centre.
4. Check Out the Art and Cafe Scene of The Town Basin
It’s not all active adventures in Whangarei, as you can certainly enjoy some downtime. A great place to relax is at The Town Basin, an attractive bustling part of Whangarei city centre by a marina awash in history. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants to indulge at in between exploring the arts and crafts scene. For instance, head to the Steve Haywood Master Jeweller (10 Quayside Way) to handcrafted jewellery in the making or watch the art of glassblowing at the Burning Issues Gallery (8 Quayside).
Location: The Town Basin in Whangarei city centre.
5. Surround Yourselves in Beauty at the Quarry Gardens…
There a couple of beautiful gardens you can stroll through hand-in-hand in Whangarei, starting with the Whangarei Quarry Gardens. The garden’s subtropical plants turn an old quarry into a place thriving with life and colour, offering plenty of photo opportunities. There’s also an on-site art gallery and cafe to complete your visit.
Location: Russell Road, just off State Highway One, approximately 4km (2 miles) from Whangarei city centre.
6. … And Botanica Gardens
And those second gardens to check out is Botanica. Although quieter, Botanica is well worth a quick visit with its selection of native ferns surrounding an eel pond, a Japanese garden and undercover cactus houses. The gardens are close to the city centre and won’t take you long to visit.
Location: First Avenue, Whangarei city centre
7. Watch the Sunset from Ruakaka Beach
There’s a reason why a stroll on the beach at sunset is a cliche! One of the best beaches to watch the sunset near Whangarei is Ruakaka Beach, just a 30-minute drive away. Bring a picnic blanket and a bottle and Champagne and toast to your anniversary, honeymoon or the good life together. For more beach options, take a look at the 10 Best Beaches in Whangarei.
Location: Off State Highway One, approximately 30km (19 miles) from Whangarei city centre.
8. Explore Whangarei Heads on Horseback
Another romantic option for honeymooners is horse trekking on the beach, of which you have plenty of choices near Whangarei. Tours such as Tuidale Stables, Sandy Bay Horse Trekking and Coastal Riding Whangarei Heads offer a range of trips for experienced to first-time riders with options to ride on hilltops to even swimming with your horse off the beach.
Location: Tuidale Stables – Bream Bay, Sandy Bay Horse Trekking – Matapouri, and Coastal Riding Whangarei Heads – Whangarei Heads.
9. Treat Your Loved One to Dinner at a Romantic Restaurant
Whangarei offers a wide array of eateries for a special night out. A top choice is the fine dining restaurant TopSail (206 Beach Road, Onerahi) specialising in contemporary New Zealand cuisine along the Whangarei Heads Road. Alternatively, closer to the city centre, Tonic (239 Kamo Road) is worth booking a table for also offering a contemporary twist New Zealand-style food. However, if you fancy travelling the world with your tastebuds, then pleasant dine-in experiences with quality meals include Suk Jai Thai Restaurant (93 Kamo Road) and Indian Aroma Restaurant (23-25 Vine Street).
10. Test Your Teamwork in a Double Kayak
You’ll know whether you’re meant for each other once you paddle together in a double kayak! To take the pressure off, make sure that you kayak somewhere stunning like the Whangarei Harbour, the Tutukaka Coast or even the Poor Knights Islands. Pacific Coast Kayaks offers a seemingly never-ending menu of kayak tours ranging from half-day adventures to overnight expeditions.
Location: 70 Beach Road, Onerahi, approximately 8km (5 miles) from Whangarei city centre.