Premium Tours in Whangarei
Looking for something extra special in Whangarei? Perhaps for a special occasion or “just because”? The northernmost city in New Zealand provides an unforgettable stay with some of New Zealand’s best scuba diving on its doorstep, as well as luxurious farmstays, horse trekking on serene private beaches, enlightening Maori tours, and, well, we hardly need to spoil it all. Check out the list of luxury activities in Whangarei below to discover more of Whangarei’s premium experiences.
For more advice on planning your visit, be sure to check out The Luxury Guide to Whangarei.
1. Enjoy a Farm Experience and Get Pampered at Helena Bay Lodge
Stay at the luxurious Helena Bay Lodge on the Tutukaka Coast and you’ll have access to an exciting array of experiences. Choose the way you spend your time here, whether it’s exploring more than 800 acres of rolling coastal farmland on Polaris 4WD Rangers, testing your shooting skills on the clay bird shooting range, feeding the farm animals on a farm and garden tour or something else. The luxury lodge even has its own spa which is all the more heavenly after a day of adventuring.
Location: Helena Bay, 42km (26 miles) north of Whangarei city centre.
2. Dive the Famous Poor Knights Islands
A renowned diving spot, the Poor Knights Islands is just off the shores of Tutukaka. Cruise around these ancient volcanic islands with towering arches and large sea caves in between dives to discover colourful and diverse marine life thanks to the warm currents swept here from the Coral Sea. The Poor Knights Islands can be experienced through scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding with Yuko Dive or Dive! Tutukaka. Alternatively, day tours to the islands are available from Auckland with Cheeky Kiwi Travel.
Location: Tutukaka, approximately 28km (18 miles) from Whangarei city centre.
3. Immerse in the Maori Culture
Connect with the indigenous culture of Whangarei through an authentic Maori tour with Tu Tika Tours. The Harding family offer two-hour and five-hour tours including transport to and from their family home. The full experience includes a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony, morning tea with traditional Maori cuisine, a weaving class, a singing lesson, a tour of Whangarei’s top sights and hidden gems, a Maori cooking lesson and more! Be prepared for an enlightening, personal and fun-filled experience.
Location: Pick-ups available from the local area.
4. Test Your Swing at the Waipu Golf Club
Experience the great outdoors of Whangarei in a unique way at the Waipu Golf Club. The superbly-maintained 18-hole course features breathtaking views of islands, ocean and Bream Bay Beach.
Location: Off State Highway One in Waipu, 34km (21 miles) south of Whangarei city centre.
5. Tour Northland in a Private 4WD
Do you have limited time to enjoy Northland, including Whangarei? Fit it all in on a private tour in a Jeep Wrangler or Toyota Highlander 4×4 with Rogue Pony! Starting from any Bay of Islands accommodation, the three-day all-inclusive tour includes a visit to Whangarei’s Kiwi North, as well as glowworm caves, the Waipoua kauri forest, waterfalls, Ninety Mile Beach and much much more. Accommodation and meals are also included. Alternatively, there is a tour option from Auckland.
6. Ride the Beaches and Mountaintops on Horseback
Whangarei and its surrounding coast and farmland are arguably best explored on horseback. While you have plenty of options for horse trekking between Tuidale Stables and Coastal Riding Whangarei Heads, one of the premium experiences for experienced to intermediate riders is the Full-day Ride and Ocean Swim with Sandy Bay Horses on the Tutukaka Coast. The tour includes a climb up high farm tracks with commanding views of the Pacific Ocean and a picnic lunch at a private beach where you’ll have the opportunity to take the horses for a swim.
Location: Tuidale Stables – Bream Bay, Sandy Bay Horse Trekking – Matapouri, and Coastal Riding Whangarei Heads – Whangarei Heads.
7. Indulge in Fine Dining
Discover the real flavours and hospitality of New Zealand dining at Whangarei’s premium restaurants. Perched on the coast of Whangarei Heads, TopSail offers contemporary New Zealand fine dining from Wednesday to Saturday. In the city, try Tonic for its impeccably-presented Western cuisine, open for dinner, Tuesday to Sunday, and lunch, Thursday to Friday. Finally, Split Bar & Restaurant in the city mixes refreshing cocktails, as well as fresh local seafood, beef, lamb, wine and beers.
Location: TopSail – 206 Beach Road, Onerahi, Tonic – 239 Kamo Road, Split Bar & Restaurant – 15 Rathbone Street.
8. Catch “Red Fish” on a Private Fishing Charter
Try your luck at catching some of the “red fish” of the Whangarei waters, including Granddaddy Hapuku, Pink Maomao, Red Pig Fish, Crayfish and more on a private fishing charter. Oakura Bay Fish, Dive & Cruise offer a range of small-boat fishing charters ranging from a two-hour “Learn to Fish” trip to a 10-hour “Serious! Full-day Fishing Adventure”. Weather permitting, trips also include cruises to the Hole in the Rock or the Poor Knights Islands.
Location: 207 Oakura Beach Road, RD4 Hikurangi, approximately 48km (30 miles) from Whangarei city centre.