Whangarei Falls @NewZealandtravlr 3 days 2 nights

Short break in Whangarei:
Gardens, parks and natural places

Duration:3 days, 2 nights
Best time to visit:Year round

  • Spring is perfect for camellia scented blooms
  • Summer for cool walks in the shaded native bush
  • Autumn for outdoor exploration
  • Winter for museums and indoor activities
Weather:Whangārei Weather Forecast and Observations
About Trip
Weekend in Whangarei
Gardens, parks and natural places

Whangarei with its subtropical climate, heritage buildings and links to Aotearoa New Zealand’s origins is a great place for a weekend break. While this weekend break is focused on the glorious gardens of Whangarei there are plenty of options from brisk walks to soak up the spectacular coastal views or perhaps time spent exploring the markets and shops of Whangarei. The best time to go is year round. Escape the chill of the South Island to a place where frosty mornings is a foreign concept. You might need an umbrella and a light jacket however there is always a Whangarei cafe to keep you warm.

Waterfalls in the bush, river and stones

Arrival mid-afternoon

Let’s get your bearings with a stroll on the Hatea walkway and dinner at the marina precinct. If you have time pop into Reyburn House Northland Art Centre to acquaint yourself with the emerging and established artists in the area. Enjoy the ambience of the heritage building. Reyburn house is the oldest existing settler home on Whangarei’s Hatea River. 1867. Whangarei Visitor Centre is located in The Hub, part of the town basin precinct and is worth a visit to update yourself with relevant details about opening and closing hours and walking track conditions.

Whangarei The Hub boardwalk sculpture installation

No.8 Whangarei
Restaurant & Bar

Home | No.8 Whangarei | Restaurant & Bar, a five minute walk from Reyburn House is your dining experience for the evening. With its harbourside views of the marina and relaxed atmosphere you can relax into the weekend and unwind from the busy week day.



Premium Lodge @TommyfromSydney

Premium Lodge

Lupton Lodge – No.1 Luxury Boutique Accommodation in Whangarei is a great place to stay for garden buffs with its historic dry stone walled rural grounds.  There is a private dining room, lounge, swimming pool, orchard and garden to wander through.  The lodge is approximately 10 minutes drive from Whangarei town centre.

Mid-range hotel


An active start to the day with a visit to the iconic Whangarei Falls. The memorising sheets of water and the misting spray make for a great photo location to capture your weekend moment. Then it’s off to a former quarry to observe what sheer hard toil can create a magical garden. The day finishes with a dinner where New Zealand contemporary fusion style matches the day’s experiences.

Paranui Falls @Nadly Aizat

Saturday Afternoon
Whangarei Botanica Gardens

Whangarei Botanica Gardens are a lush green contrast to the Quarry Gardens with ferns and a Japanese Gardens on show. The horticultural complex includes a heated conservatory for tropical plants, a cactus house, an extensive fernery, a small Japanese style garden and a shade garden area. The origins of Botanica began in 1970 with the construction of the Snow Conservatory, the complex even has its own waterfall. The Conservatory is home to the Marge Maddren Fernery. The Fernery is renowned for one of New Zealand’s largest collections of native ferns found in New Zealand and its offshore islands. It has three shade houses and a linking tunnel, ponds and a small waterfall and courtyard area.

Whangarei Quarry ferms and palms walkway

Saturday late afternoon
Free time
To explore Whangarei

For garden buffs adjacent to Botanica is Cafler Park. Cafler Park is one of the best known parks in the central city. The park can be accessed by foot from Water Street, from the city end of First Avenue or from the Forum North carpark. Within the park are the city’s rose gardens, a number of sculptures, manicured laws and colourful flower gardens. The Waiarohia River runs along its western boundary. A classic garden reminiscent of planting styles denoting the use of public spaces.

Cafler Park @Gardens to visit

Split Bar & Restaurant
Whangarei - Serving Fresh Seafood

Split Bar & Restaurant, Whangarei – Serving Fresh Seafood, NZ Beef & Lamb, Casual chic dining experience with outdoor seating great for a sub-tropical climate and a fusion menu reflecting the contemporary style of great New Zealand cuisine.

@Split Bar

Sunday morning
AH Reed Memorial Park

An exploration of the native bush together with a canopy walk through a Kauri stand brings New Zealand flora and fauna as a counterpoint to the cultivated gardens viewed yesterday. AH Reed Memorial Park is a remnant of the original Northland kauri forest. Visitors are privileged with views of kauri from the canopy walk where the giants of the forest are protected from kauri dieback disease and feet trafficking on their root system. The canopy walk is over the Waikoromiko stream, is 14 metres above ground and over 70 metres long. The park is a local favourite with dogs on a leash, people enjoying the cool bush in the heat of summer. There are plaques throughout the park describing the flora and fauna.

AH Reed Park @New Zealand experience

Sunday afternoon
Return home
Back to Auckland

Return home and plan your next trip to Whangarei perhaps when there is a garden festival in the offering or a change in season with the promise of Whangarei Quarry fragrant camellias in full bloom to walk among. Then there are trips to the Tutukaka Coast and Lake Waro to consider as well.

Whangarei @Bayleys

Travel Pack Information

Parihaka Scenic Reserve, Whangarei @A roaming appetite

  • Whangarei street mural art
  • Whangarei central city walks
  • Whangarei ten magical places to visit
  • Whangarei eight historic sites to visit
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