Getting Here

Location of Whangarei Heads

Whangarei Heads is approximately 30 km south-east of Whangarei, the largest city in Northland, New Zealand. We are three hours north of Auckland, two hours south of the Bay of Islands, thirty five minutes from Whangarei airport.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city and its airport is the gateway for international travel to NZ. There are frequent trans-Tasman flights to major Australian cities and a wide range of long haul routes via Asia and the Americas.

Travel Options from Auckland to Whangarei

Travelers arriving at Auckland Airport have the choice of flying to Whangarei Airport or finishing the journey by car or on public transport.

The motorway known as State Highway 1 is well signposted for Whangarei (largest town in the Northland region) as it leaves downtown Auckland and crosses the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

The motorway ends around 25km north of Auckland but State Highway 1 continues all the way to Whangarei. The drive is a pleasant two and a half hours with frequent views of the coast and opportunities to break the journey.

Directions from Whangarei to Bream Head Coast Walks

Drivers entering Whangarei (from north or south) should follow the signs to the Town Basin or Whangarei Heads. If arriving from the south follow the signs to our new harbour bridge, this bypasses the city centre and Town Basin. From the new bridge or the Town Basin follow the signs to Onerahi.

Just after the Onerahi New World supermarket turn left at the roundabout into Whangarei Heads Road (Hammer Hardware is on the corner).  Follow this road around the harbour to Parua Bay (about 20km). Go past the pub and up the hill, then just after the shopping centre, garage and school turn right to Whangarei Heads. Follow this road through McLeod Bay, over the hill past the Deck store, and Mt Manaia and down the hill into Taurikura.

Just past the tennis court turn left into Ody Road. We are 3.95 km along this road, look for the sign on your left. This trip should take about 30 minutes from Onerahi.

The last 3kms are on a metal road.

Gibbs Farm – Sculpture Farm

Overlooking the Kaipara Harbour the sculpture park is home to a series of major site specific artworks commissioned from some of the world’s most significant artists.

The farm is open only by appointment – well in advance!

Brick Bay Sculpture Park

Located at Snells Beach this outdoor gallery includes a scenic sculpture trail, restaurant and vineyard.


Located at Matakana this contemporary complex has three sculpture-filled gardens, art galleries, a vineyard and a restaurant.

Matakana Village

The Matakana Village has many interesting shops, including my favourite shoe shop and nearby in Sharp Road “The Knitting Truck” for all your knitting and craft needs.

Waipu Scottish Migration Museum

Waipu and Whangarei Heads are linked by a common settlement story with many Nova Scotians making the journey here.  This museum has won a reputation as one of New Zealand’s finest small museums.

Waipu Caves

From the caves, a 2-km walk leads you through a picturesque karst limestone landscape across farmland and regenerating bush to a point where you can take in the magnificent views. Within the entrance to the caves themselves, you will find stalactites, stalagmites and glow worms.

More info here

Waipu Township

Waipu township has thrived since state highway one was diverted, explore many second-hand shops, health shops and interesting places to eat.

Our favourite is the Waipu Pizza Barn and Brewery

Hatea Loop Walkway

Situated in the heart of Whangarei, this 4.6km multi use walkway is busy day and night! Sited next to the Town Basin on the Hatea River, the walk passes a playground, a sculpture park, fitness equipment, a Clock Museum, two lifting bridges, a Camera Obscura, a Rolling Ball Clock, a BMX track, interesting shops and a great selection of cafes and restaurants.

Hundertwasser Art Centre and Wairau Maori Art Gallery

Situated in theTown Basin of Whangarei this world-renowned museum allows you to experience amore human type of architecture in harmony with nature.  Discover Friedensreich Hundertwasser – thepainter, visionary and environmental activist.

The Wairau MaoriArt Gallery is the first dedicated public Maori Art Gallery and features thefinest examples of contemporary Maori art.

What’s in the area

Whangarei Heads is a walkers’ paradise with walks to suit all fitness levels and interests. We have information about these at the house, and are very happy to give you extra detail and advice. Mount Manaia is an iconic “must do” walk, as is Bream Head/Te Whara for those of you wanting more of a challenge. You need a car at each end of this walk, not many want to walk the return trip! Smugglers Cove, Peach Cove, Reotahi Marine Reserve and Mount Aubrey are all walks well worth exploring too.

We have a 40-minute bush track on our property.

We are surrounded by beaches, safe family beaches such as Taurikura and McLeod Bay, as well as surf beaches at Ocean Beach and Pataua.

If you love fishing this is the place for you! There are places to rock fish, beach fish, dive, drag a net and launch your boat. We can put you in touch with local fishing charter operators.

If you fancy a round of golf, The Pines Golf Club is 20 minutes away and they welcome casual players.

Places to eat

The Deck (McLeod Bay) – cabinet food and a dine-in menu

McLeod Bay Fish and Chips

Smith and Local (Parua Bay) – cabinet food and a dine-in menu

New Day Café (Parua Bay) – café and Indian food

Parua Boys Bakery (Parua Bay) – hot bread shop

Parua Bay Tavern – pub bistro food in a stunning location


The Deck at McLeod Bay has a limited grocery supply

Four Square at Parua Bay has everything at very reasonable prices

The Bottle-O Parua Bay for your liquid refreshments