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5 Epic Things to Do in Whangaroa

Tourism NZ Alistair Guthrie

Discover the Whangaroa Harbour.

The Whangaroa Harbour is a true hidden gem in the Northland region. Arguably, it’s one of the most stunning coasts you will find on the North Island with its fiord-like cliffs plunging into the ocean. What’s more, the Whangaroa Harbour is only 45 minutes north of the Bay of Islands, yet so many travellers miss it! Make sure you discover this place for yourself and do the things to do in Whangaroa that we list in this article!

The best ways to see the majestic Whangaroa Harbour is by foot on one of the many hiking trails, or by sea, whether it’s a guided cruise or a fishing tour. Once you’ve ticked these Whangaroa activities off your list, add to your itinerary in the following towns:

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1. See amazing views from the St Paul’s Rock Track

Accessible from the Whangaroa township, the St Paul’s Rock Track is a must-do walk in the Northland region! Climb through the native bush for about 30 minutes to reach the volcanic plug of the mountain – known as St Paul’s Rock – and take in the sensational views of the Whangaroa Harbour.

Location: Car park at the end of Hospital Road, Whangaroa.Tourism NZ Alistair Guthrie

2. Go fishing for Marlin

Whangaroa proudly boasts being the “Marlin Capital of New Zealand” so if you’re into fishing, don’t miss the opportunity to get out on the water. There are a few fishing charters available in the harbour that will have all the gear (and know-how) that you need. Find out more about What You Need to Know About Fishing in New Zealand.

Location: Whangaroa Harbour.

3. Hike the Wairakau Stream/Lane Cove Track

For another amazing hiking track in the Whangaroa Harbour, take the Wairakau Stream Track. This 2-hour one-way hike is full of adventure with two stream crossings, possibly muddy sections after rain, and rocky terrain. The track emerges at Lane Cove and the Lane Cove Hut where you can stay overnight if booked online in advance. This walk can be linked with the Duke’s Nose Track (see below).

Location: On Totara North Road, turn onto Campbell Road where the walk starts around 400m down the road. You will need to park on the grassy verge, as there is no parking area.

4. Walk the Duke’s Nose Track

This 45-minute one-way hike starts behind the Lane Cove Hut and climbs to some spectacular views overlooking the Whangaroa Harbour. Make your way to the Duke’s Nose, otherwise known as the Kairara Rocks. There are some metal wires at the end of the trail to help you climb the Dukes Nose rocks.

Location: Via the Lane Cove Track (see above) or by boat to the Lane Cove Hut.
Tourism NZ Alistair Guthrie

5. Tour the Whangaroa Harbour by boat

Capture the fiord-like cliffs and eroded volcanic landscape from the water by taking a Whangaroa Harbour cruise. There are a couple of operators at the Whangaroa Marina that can take you for guided cruises to explore beautiful bays and beaches, as well as tell you about the fascinating geology of the area. There are also water taxi services that can transport you to and from the hikes mentioned above.

Location: Whangaroa Marina.
 Tony Foster on Flickr

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