Whangarei is called the “Meeting place of the Pacific” because of its many international yachting visitors.
The region boasts more artists per head of population than any other in New Zealand. All in all there are over 1,000 professional artists in Northland, art events and workshops are spread throughout the year.
The region also has strong farming, tourism, marine engineering, creative, forestry and wood processing industries which have resulted in a growing commercial centre.
There are not many other cities in New Zealand where you can see native and protected bush from nearly every point in the town centre. A number of 1,000 year old Kauri trees have survived in some places.
A short distance from Whangarei are the scenic Tutukaka Coast and the Whangarei Heads with dozens of gorgeous bays and beaches, from sheltered sandy coves to calm harbour bays and wild surf beaches, all within 30 minutes drive from town. The National Geographic Traveller magazine has rated 99 of the world's great islands and coastlines for sustainability and authenticity and Northland’s Tutukaka Coast tied for second place.
The Poor Knights Islands benefit from warm northerly currents and are teeming with marine life in their protected reserve, offering the best diving in New Zealand and the best subtropical diving in the world - a top 10 dive spot according to Cousteau!
Whangarei is located only 25 minutes by flight or 2 hours by car from Auckland, the 'Capital of the Pacific' with 1.5 million inhabitants.