Town Basin

Photograph showing the Town Basin Park, the Hatea River, a boardwalk and the dome of the Hundertwasser Art Centre in the background.

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

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.

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'.

Bookings for events and activities

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

You can apply online to hold your event or market at the Town Basin. 

Events or markets on Council-owned land 

Busking and other activities

You can entertain in the Whangārei Central Business District for one hour a day, three days a week with no speaker or amplifier, without a permit.  

If you would like to entertain for more hours or days and would like to have a speaker or amplified, you need to apply for a permit.

A permit is also required to carry out other activities in these areas.

Call in to the Forum North Customer Service Centre for an application or enquire online. 

Enquire online 

You are welcome to walk your bike through the Central Business District 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.  

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

Public Places Bylaw

Whangārei Art Museum Te Manawa Toi

Free to visit, Whangārei Art Museum is Northland’s public art gallery, open 7 days 10am - 4pm.

Whangārei Art Museum connects Northland with the world of art, presenting local, national and international voices with powerful and provocative exhibitions. It is also the permanent home of the city’s art collection, which embraces both heritage and contemporary artworks.

Whangārei Art 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

New playground

The new Town Basin Playground opened in 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.

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

Pūtahi Park

Pūtahi Park opened in March 2022. It provides an important link between Whangārei’s waterfront, the Huarahi o te Whai Hātea Loop Walkway and the central city area.

The park includes play areas for children, buried water-jets, a "great lawn" for events, artistic features and more. 

Pūtahi Park

 

Rolling Ball Clock

The 'About Time Project' presents the Rolling Ball Clock, unveiled on Thursday 7 April 2022 after more than 10 years of development.

Rolling Ball Clock website

This unique kinetic sculpture is a cultural project anchored in the community, demonstrating balance, equilibrium, movement, gears, wheels and chains. It also tells the time! 

The Rolling Ball clock operates between 9:00am and 9:00pm daily, and is intentionally turned off outside of these times.

Claphams National Clock 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

 

Hundertwasser Art Centre

Recently opened in early 2022, Hundertwasser Art Centre is a unique landmark on the Hātea loop in Whangārei.

The iconic building presents Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s artistic legacy from 1973 - 2000, highlighting his time in New Zealand.

Visitors will also discover Wairau Māori Art Gallery and Aqua Restaurant & Bar, a theatre, afforested roof, and a 'MuseumShop' with unique products.

Hundertwasser Art Centre website

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

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)

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 (The walk of health).

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

 

Location

Dent Street, Whangārei 0110  View Map

Google Map