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Family fun

Whangarei what to do on a rainy day

@NZHerald

Where to go and best things to do

Indoors, warm and dry there is plenty to do in Whangarei. Family, friends and kids will not utter the word bored. The city offers harbour strolls around several museums from the new Hundertwasser Art Centre to a quirky museum focused on the Packard motor vehicle. The day is sorted with time spent warm and toasty in a horticultural hothouse or in the wet world of marine exploration. Perhaps your ideal day is to go underground and explore caves at Kawiti, in nearby Kawkawa. Plenty to do and things to see regardless of the weather.

Weather in Northland, Whangarei

Winterless North means no frosts with an average winter temperature between 12 -16c. Just a nip in the air with the promise of winter rain. Pack an umbrella and enjoy your holiday.

Packard Motor Museum vintage fire engines, New Zealand
Packard Motor Museum vintage fire engines
  1. PACKARD MUSEUM

In a former Dairy Factory and a number of large warehouses is one of New Zealand’s largest collections of motor vehicles, motor bikes and military vehicles. The Packard Motor Museum provides an informative educational experience based around the automobiles, machinery, stories and lives of those who led the industrial revolution and created and shaped transportation. You will hear the beat of a Ford T classic motor vehicle as the crankshaft is turned and the roar of a 1950’s New Zealand police issued motorbike. It’s fun, informative. Remember to take a selfie of your teenage girl against the bonnet of a Ford escort complete with the model in a cool1970’s mini skirt and jacket.

Nearby

In the former administration buildings of the dairy factory is a cafe with great coffee and a friendly cat.

  1. HARBOURSIDE STROLL – MUSEUMS & ART GALLERIES

There are cosy cafes aplenty, shaded corners from raindrops and museums from the internationally respected Whangarei Art Museum to Clapham Clock Museum. For school holiday programmes and exhibitions check out Reyburn House Art Gallery. The new star on the block is the Hundertwasser Art Centre where tiling is anything but in ordered lines.

Whangarei clock museum, New Zealand Whangarei clock museum
Whangarei model of Hundertwasser Art Centre, New Zealand Whangarei model of Hundertwasser Art Centre
  1. DIVE TUTUKAKA Tutukaka snorkelling and diving cruises.

Wet outside the marine world is a perfect place to spend the day.

The Poor Knights Islands offer world class sub-tropical diving. The Islands are a total Marine Reserve, where water temperatures are warmer & visibility is clearer than on the New Zealand coast. The layered underwater landscape results in a special environment in which subtropical and temperate marine life co-exist with extraordinary variety, glorious colour and in large numbers. Check out What’s so great about Tutukaka for more inspiration what to do nearby

Tutukaka is the base for boat tours for diving and snorkelling around the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka Marina, New Zealand Tutukaka is the base for boat tours for diving and snorkelling around the Poor Knights Islands, Tutukaka Marina
Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve, New Zealand @Wanderlusters Poor Knights Islands Marine Reserve @Wanderlusters
  1. Botanica Whangarei

A horticultural glasshouse complex is a great rainy day idea. The fernery, the exotic palms and cacti create a tropical world where it does not matter about the weather outside. Admission is free and Botanica is wheelchair accessible.

Botanica Whangarei, New Zealand @bbillustrationsart Botanica Whangarei @bbillustrationsart
Botanica Whangarei, New Zealand @misschirst Botanica Whangarei @misschirst
  1. KAWITI GLOW WORMS – Go underground

Kawiti Glow Worms and lunch in Kawkawa to check out Huntawasser public toilets. The glow worms and cave system.  Located right in the heart of the Waiomio Valley, the Waiomio Glowworm Caves are home to thousands of luminous glow worms, breathtaking rock formations and lush green rainforest.

Explore the well known milky way, a cavern filled with glow worms as far as the eye can see. Journey underground through networks of stalactites and stalagmites to hidden chambers like the Waiomio night sky where the glow worms are so close you can almost touch them. Forward bookings are recommended.

Kawiti Glow Worm Caves, New Zealand @ToursByLocals
Kawiti Glow Worm Caves @ToursByLocals

Unique journeys, personal adventures.

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