The Luxury Guide to Whangarei© David Kirkland - Northland Inc
The Luxury Guide to Whangarei

The Luxury Travel Guide to Whangarei

© David Kirkland – Northland Inc

How to Plan a Luxury Trip to Whangarei

Escape the hustle and bustle and head north to the subtropical harbourside city of Whangarei. Tucked on the inner harbour of the scenic and coastal Whangarei Heads, Whangarei is a place to discover breathtaking scenery, indulge in fresh local cuisine and connect with the Maori culture in intimate private tours. You’ll find unique off-the-beaten-track experiences all within a short drive of the city, whether it’s a luxury farmstay or scuba diving the uncrowded waters of the Poor Knights Islands. We’ll guide you through it all in this luxury guide to Whangarei.

Luxury Activities in Whangarei

  • Enjoy a farm experience and indulge in spa treatments at Helena Bay Lodge
  • Dive the famous Poor Knights Islands
  • Immerse in the Maori culture on Tu Tika Tours
  • Test your swing at the stunning Waipu Golf Club
  • Tour Northland in a private 4WD with Rogue Pony
  • Ride from beaches to mountaintops on a horse trekking tour
  • Indulge in fine dining at TopSail, Tonic and more
  • Catch a “red fish” on a private fishing charter

Learn more about each experience in the 8 Luxury Activities in Whangarei.

The Luxury Guide to Whangarei©

Luxury Experiences

Whangarei offers a wealth of experiences for that special trip of a lifetime, whether it’s diving the famous Poor Knights Islands, indulging in a massage treatment at the luxury Helena Bay Lodge or trekking the beautiful beaches of the Whangarei Heads on horseback.

Arguably one of the best diving locations in New Zealand, the Poor Knights Islands is just off the shores of Tutukaka, approximately 28km (18 miles) from Whangarei city centre. These ancient volcanic islands not only take your breath away with this towering arches and expansive sea caves, but the marine life is colourful and diverse thanks to the warm currents swept here from the Coral Sea. Experience the Poor Knights Islands through scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding with Yuko Dive or Dive! Tutukaka. Alternatively, day tours to the islands from Auckland are available with Cheeky Kiwi Travel, which you can learn more about on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Those lucky enough to stay at the luxurious Helena Bay Lodge on the Tutukaka Coast have a fantastic array of experiences available to them. Explore more than (324ha) 800 acres of rolling coastal farmland on Polaris 4WD Rangers, test your shooting skills on the clay bird shooting range, feed the farm animals on a farm and garden tour, and the list goes on. The luxury lodge even has its own spa should you want to finish your day of adventure with some pampering.

An alternative way to experience the great outdoors of Whangarei includes a round of golf at the stunning Waipu Golf Club – an 18-hole course with breathtaking views of islands, ocean and Bream Bay. Find Waipu Golf Club off State Highway One in Waipu, just 34km (21 miles) south of Whangarei.

For more inspiration for your stay, be sure to check out the 8 Luxury Activities in Whangarei.

The Luxury Guide to Whangarei© Pxhere

All-weather Luxury Activities

It’s no secret that the weather doesn’t always play ball in New Zealand and the same can sometimes be said for Whangarei. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you have to spend the whole day back at your accommodation sipping on local wines (although, that’s also not a bad idea).

Those wishing to connect with the indigenous culture of Whangarei should consider the cultural experience with Tu Tika Tours. They offer two-hour and five-hour tours – the full experience including a traditional Maori welcoming ceremony in the home of your Maori hosts, morning tea with traditional Maori cuisine, a weaving class, a Maori song, a tour of Whangarei, a Maori cooking lesson and more! Prepare yourself for a spiritual, enlightening and personal experience. Find out more about Tu Tika Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

Those with limited time to enjoy Northland, but still want to experience Whangarei, can still 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 more. They also have a tour option from Auckland. Find out more about Rogue Pony Tours on Viator and Tripadvisor.

The Luxury Guide to Whangarei© David Kirkland - Northland Inc

Luxury Dining in Whangarei

While Whangarei’s restaurant scene is a smorgasbord of international cuisine, some of the most premium dining experiences showcase the best of New Zealand fare.

Perched on the coast of Whangarei Heads, TopSail (206 Beach Road, Onerahi) offers contemporary New Zealand fine dining from Wednesday to Saturday.

For something closer to the city, try Tonic (239 Kamo Road) offering impeccably-presented Western cuisine. They are open for dinner Tuesday to Sunday and lunch Thursday to Friday.

In the city centre, Split Bar & Restaurant (15 Rathbone Street) mixes up tasty cocktails, as well as fresh local seafood, beef, lamb, wine and beers.

For more recommendations, head over to The Foodie Guide to Whangarei.

More About Whangarei

That’s it for the luxury travel guide to Whangarei. Find even more tips to make your luxury getaway exceptional in The Luxury Travel Guide to New Zealand.


Laura S.

This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor in chief and co-founder of NZ Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in New Zealand over 10 years ago and with a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to travel New Zealand. She knows Aotearoa inside-out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience New Zealand’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also editor of several other South Pacific travel guides and is the co-host of NZ Pocket Guide’s live New Zealand travel Q&As on YouTube.

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