Everything you need to know about Whangarei life...
Location: Located just off State Highway One about two hours North of Auckland, about one and a half hour South of the Bay of Islands.
Population: There were just over 150,000 people living in Northland in 2014 and around 57,000 of these live in the Whangarei district.
Climate: Highs of around 24-28 degrees throughout Summer and about 10-14 degrees in winter. Long days full of sunshine in Summer and short days with plenty of rainfall in Winter.
Economy: The Northland economy has been built upon tourism, farming, timber and marine engineering.
People: Northland as a whole region has a rich Maori heritage and around a quarter of the Whangarei population identify as Maori.
The education facilities around Whangarei includes a great mix of public and private, religious and non-religious schools. With plenty of options available around the heart of town for students of all ages, it is a great place to raise a family. Many local organisations around the city support the schools so there are lots of events and fundraisers helping to build community spirit. There are three Intermediate schools in town and a number of high schools including Pompallier, the Catholic College and Whangarei Girls’ and Boys’ High Schools which both offer boarding. There are lots of schools around the district and to see a full list of them below.
Whangarei has plenty of first class healthcare services in the region including Northland’s largest hospital, the Northland District Health Board. Kensington hospital is a private hospital, also located within the city, offers private care for many surgical patients and White Cross located on Bank Street is an accident and urgent care clinic. A range of GPs, physios, dentists and optometrists are located within the region so wherever you are, the health services you’re looking for aren’t far away.
Most people travel by car in Whangarei as parking is relatively inexpensive and many professionals choose to ride share with colleagues to avoid congestion on the roads. Because of the rural nature around the district, car is the most practical form of transport. There is the CityLink Whangarei public bus service that operates locally and a bonus is children under five travel for free. Families are lucky that most schools are in great residential zones so walking to school is very common which is a money saver and lifestyle boost!
Whangarei’s Libraries are like little learning hubs for the community. Some are big, some are small but they contain diverse collections of resources and some very insightful and friendly staff members. To learn more about them please visit the Whangarei Libraries website.
One of the most beautiful things about Northland is the natural environment. There are over a hundred walks you can do throughout the area (many within 30 minutes of Whangarei city centre) and they all bring spectacular views, plenty of wildlife and a brilliant connection to the earth. To learn more about the walks and nature trails around Whangarei please visit the DOC Walking and Tramping website.
The sporting culture is one of the greatest things about the North. From the Northland Taniwha rugby team in the ITM Cup through to grassroots rugby, netball and hockey competitions, there are sports for spectators and sports for you can join in. To learn more about them please visit the Sport Northland website.
One of the best things about living in Northland is our beautiful beaches. White sandy beaches, crystal clear water, surf beaches as well as protected coves – we really do have it all. One of our favourites is the gorgeous Matapouri Bay, less than 30 minutes from the city centre. To view an interactive map and learn more about the local beaches please visit the Whangarei District Council website.
Activities & Fun
There is so much to do around Whangarei from Golf Courses to adventure parks, to horse riding and museums, so you shouldn’t ever have a boring weekend! To learn more about the activities around Whangarei (perfect for school holidays!) please visit the Whangarei: Love it here website.
Dining & Restaurants
There are so many amazing restaurants across our beautiful region. Head to the Parua Bay Tavern for a night watching the footy and eating great fish and chips, or for a night out with friends and some gorgeous food try Quay at the town basin, for an organic produce breakky head to Nectar Café on Bank Street or for coffee, cake and the most spectacular coastal view try Helena Bay Café. These options are amongst plenty of others including international cuisine and some very good, very indulgent bakeries and sweet shops. To learn more about dining and restaurants in Whangarei, visit the Whangarei: Love it here website.