Sandy Bay : Surfing Haven Malcolm Pullman, Photographer
Like most other districts in Aotearoa New Zealand, Whangarei District is defined by its natural geography and characterised by its geology, land use and coastal development. The district is bounded to the south by the Brynderwyn Range, to the north by the hills that form Cape Brett and to the west by a series of ranges running up the middle of the island. The Pacific Ocean washes our eastern shores. Extinct volcanic cones dot the countryside and weathered volcanic cores and lava flows from forty thousand years ago punctuate the skyline or stand as islands offshore. Coal, limestone, kauri gum and clay have all contributed to our growth and development. Native forest provided the kick start to European settlement and pine plantations continue to sustain it alongside the pasture won from the bush.
The City of Whangarei began with a small settlement on the south bank of the Hatea River , clustered around a natural port known then as Ahipupu and known today as the Town Basin . It grew southwards from there around Walton Street to become the cultural, entertainment, commercial and service centre for Northland.
Visitors to the district are urged to make their first port of call the Whangarei Visitors' Bureau where they can obtain up-to-date local information including their regular forward programme called "What's On in Whangarei".