The Complete Food Guide to Whangarei
The Northland city of Whangarei is not all waterfalls and breathtaking coastal scenery (although there is a lot of that). It’s also a city with its own culture of cuisine, from contemporary New Zealand fine dining restaurants to cultural tours enabling you to make your own Maori hangi! Want to learn more? Dive into this foodie guide to Whangarei to explore the activities and accommodations for food-lovers.
Things to Do in Whangarei for Foodies
- Go on a gastronomical journey with Piwakawaka Tours
- Learn to make your own Maori hangi with Tu Tika Tours
- Mingle with the growers at the Whangarei Growers Market
- Do a wine tasting at Te Whai Bay Wines
- See tropical fruit plants and indulge in a coffee at the Whangarei Quarry Gardens
- Fish for your dinner on a local fishing charter
- Taste raw manuka honey at Helmsdale Hives
- Taste artisan cheese at the Grinning Gecko Cheese Co
- Dine at the city’s delectable restaurants.
Learn more about each experience in the 9 Things to Do in Whangarei for Foodies.
Foodie Activities in Whangarei
Treat your tastebuds to the local cuisine and enjoy interactive food tours in and around Whangarei. From learning how to prepare traditional Maori dishes to mingling with the producers at the local market, there a few amazing ways to enjoy a gastronomical experience in Whangarei.
Your full-day Maori experience with Tu Tika Tours includes morning tea with homemade Maori bread and locally-made condiments, but that’s just the beginning. After learning how to weave, experiencing a traditional welcoming ceremony and more, you’ll spend the rest of the morning preparing and indulging in your own hangi lunch cooked on hot rocks in an underground oven. Find out more about Tu Tika Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
For more food exploration of Whangarei, check out the Delicious Whangarei Tour with Piwakawaka Tours. After a morning boost at a local espresso bar, you’ll visit a honey manufacturer and cheese factory. Fuel up with some local snacks at Langs Beach before being transported to an olive grove and a boutique chocolatier, ending with a winemakers lunch at a vineyard. Find out more about Piwakawaka Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.
For something free to do, head down to the Whangarei Growers Market on a Saturday morning to enjoy a true hearty community event. Chat with the friendly locals, pick up some fruit and vegetables, try preserves, honey and olive oil, and enjoy the music from the buskers. Find the market on Water Street.
The Best Restaurants in Whangarei
Of course, every local has their favourite and no two opinions are the same when it comes to restaurants. However, foodies will find enough variety in Whangarei to suit their tastes, whether it’s a creative bagel from Biggie Bagels (7 Bank Street) or a fine dining affair at TopSail (206 Beach Road).
For quality New Zealand cuisine, set your sights on Tonic (239 Kamo Road) or Split Bar & Restaurant (15 Rathbone Street). Otherwise, Suk Jai Thai Restaurant (93 Kamo Road) or Indian Aroma Restaurant (23-25 Vine Street) do excellent Asian food.
Fat Camel (12 Quality Street) serves flavoursome Israeli cuisine with some excellent vegetarian and vegan options. Head to the Serenity Cafe (The Town Basin) for delicious Kiwi savoury pies and hot breakfasts. For coffee, check out Luna Espresso (116 Bank Street) which uses a Northland coffee roaster, Tohorā Coffee.
For some of the cheap eats we recommend, see The Guide to Whangarei on a Budget.
Alternative Things to Do in Whangarei
While indulging in Northland cuisine is a good way to spend your time in Whangarei, it’s by no means the only way. Be sure to complement your trip with some of the following activities:
- Check out Whangarei Falls and the AH Reed Kauri Park
- Walk the Hatea Loop Walkway
- See a talking tui and a kiwi bird at the Whangarei Native Bird Recovery Centre
- Do a road trip around Whangarei Heads
- Explore Abbey Caves
- See kiwi birds at Kiwi North
- Walk or drive up Mt Parihaka
- Dive, snorkel or kayak at the Poor Knights Islands
- Marvel at the timepieces of Claphams Clocks.
Learn more about each activity in the 10 Whangarei Must-Dos.