Town Basin

Waka and Wave sculpture at Town Basin.

Whangārei's Town Basin is a picturesque international yachting marina with 

It is a popular place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the unique interface of city, and harbour-side the Town Basin lends itself perfectly to a family outing.

The marina is also popular with international yachting visitors, many of whom make Whangārei a regular stop-over during the summer months.

Parking

Town Basin car park is accessible from Dent Street. 

Parking is available at Reyburn House Lane or the 2 large carparks accessed from Lower Dent Street and Finlayson Street.

Improved lights

The pedestrian lighting is about to be upgraded in the main part of the Town Basin retail area.  Work will start on Tuesday 27 April 2021 and is due to finish at the end of June 2021. 

Improved lights for Town Basin

Application for use

The area in and around the Town Basin can be booked for community-based events and activities.

Use this application form to apply for use:

Application form for use of Town Basin (interactive form)(PDF, 420KB)

Arts and crafts

The Town Basin is home to many art and craft galleries - featuring beautiful works by Whangārei, Northland and New Zealand artists.  

Don't miss the chance to watch the glass blowers in the Burning Issues Gallery workshop. The expert glass workers produce exquisite pieces of art work for the local, national and international markets.

An Artisan Fair runs frequently through the summer months next to Reyburn House, where you can enjoy a vibrant gathering of artists, buskers and food stalls.

An award-winning jeweller has also established a workshop at the Town Basin, and a co-operative of local artists display their work at 'The Bach'.

Busking and other activities

Clause 32 of the Public Places bylaw details rules about busking and other activities in the CBD or Town Basin. 

Busking is permitted for up to an hour a day to a maximum of three hours a week. A permit is required to exceed this time. A permit is also required to carry out other activities in these areas.

You are welcome to walk your bike through the CBD but you are not permitted to ride your bike or scooter or use your skateboard or roller skates in certain areas. Clause 33 details these rules and you can view maps of these areas in the bylaw’s appendices.  

Public Places Bylaw

Hātea river bridges

From the Heritage Trail and Art Walk, the walkway now extends across this elegant new footbridge, Kotuitui Whitinga, which spans the Waiarohia Stream.

The bridge completed the Hātea Loop walkway, Huarahi o te Whai (Pathway of Opportunity).

The walkway adjacent to Port Road then leads on to the international award-winning ‘Te Matau a Pohe’ bascule (opening) bridge.

The bridge, open to cars, cyclists and pedestrians, spans the Hātea River and takes you across to Pohe Island.

Read more about Hātea river bridges here:

Hatea River Bridges

Heritage Trail and Art Walk

An area alongside the water-front has been landscaped and enhanced to form a Heritage Trail and Art Walk with a number of sculptures commissioned from local artists.

Further along (about a ten minute stroll from the Town Basin) at Hihiaua Point, is the acclaimed Waka and Wavestone sculpture representing a Māori waka breaking through a towering wave.

The area around the Town Basin, Te Ahipupurangi-a-ihenga, has long been a vital hub for the region. Waka (canoes) assembled there in the earliest days, right beside the largest pa site in the country.

It became a thriving port following pakeha (European) settlement, and for decades has been one of the most important international yacht havens in the South Pacific.

Read more about the history of the Town Basin locations on Heritage Panels that tell the fascinating story of Māori and European settlement of Whangārei.

Māori history panels - Heritage trail(PDF, 2MB)

European history panels - Heritage trail(PDF, 3MB)

Markets

The Artisan Fair Market and Canopy Night Market are moving to a new temporary location next to Reyburn House for the 2019/2020 summer season. The site is next to the Hātea loop and is easily accessible.

The popular markets are normally based at the Canopy Bridge but will be moving to allow for construction of the New Town Basin Park.

Market goers will also have easy access to explore the ever-changing exhibitions of art by talented Northland and NZ artists at Reyburn House Art Gallery.

Artisans Fair Market

Artisans Fair Market is known for quality craft, art, food, music and entertainment.

  • Every Saturday from 9:00am to 1.30pm between October 2019 and April 2020
  • Where: In the area in front of Reyburn House.

The Artisans Market Facebook page

Canopy Night Markets

This market has a variety of food vendors providing a wide range of street foods and live entertainment.

  • Starts at 5:00pm
  • Where: Reyburn Lane Carpark

Check their Facebook page for upcoming confirmed dates:

The Canopy Night Markets Facebook page

Museums

Two very special museums reside at the Town Basin: the Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi and Claphams National Clock Museum.

Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi

The Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi is the permanent home to the city’s outstanding art collection that embraces both heritage and contemporary art work, and offers a captivating insight into the District’s history.

The Museum also has many internally curated and national touring exhibitions.

Whangārei Art Museum

Claphams National Clock Museum

Claphams National Clock Museum has the largest collection of timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere, with a collection of clocks, that can be rare and exquisite, or quirky and fun.

There are many other gadgets that will surprise and delight both you and your children.

Claphams National Clock Museum

Reyburn House

Reyburn House is a New Zealand Historic Places Trust Category 2 listed, and Whangārei’s oldest, colonial building. It sits along the waterfront and now operates as an art gallery, and is home to the Northland Society of Arts.

Built in 1870s, the building has been lovingly preserved and is surrounded by ladscaped gardens adjacent to the Town Basin playground.

Reyburn House Art Gallery

Town Basin playground

The new Town Basin Playground opened on 27 January 2021.

The popular playground has had a major makeover and now has lots of new exciting play equipment.

The popular climbing spiderweb frame remains and is joined by a two-storey slide tower, in-ground trampolines, a climbing circuit, new swings and lots more!

To make it safer for children, a raised mound with fencing has been built between the playground and the carpark and the adjoining part of the Hātea Loop has been moved away from the river.

You can enjoy ice cream or coffee while they use up some energy - climbing, sliding, running, swinging, spinning!

A barbeque is also available for public use, and a petanque area adds the to range of facilities for people of all ages.

Town Basin redevelopment

Due to open in late 2021, the new Town Basin Park will provide an important link between Whangārei’s waterfront, the Huarahi o te Whai Hātea Loop Walkway and the central city area.

To read more about the project, follow the link below. 

New Town Basin Park

Walkways

There are some walkways around the Town Basin. To read more about the walkways, please follow the links below.

Hatea Loop walkway

Hatea River walkway

Location

Dent Street, Whangārei 0110  View Map

Google Map