Summer essential info

Published on 09 January 2023

Picture of someone holding a 'Go' sign

Our special rules and provisions help keep everyone safe and happy over summer. 

Both Forum North and our Ruakākā Service Centre have resumed normal opening hours after the Christmas break. 

Rubbish and recycling

Christmas day and New Years Day are both on Sundays this season, so there will be no changes to the usual weekday collections during that time.

Extra coastal collection dates

Extra coastal area collections start on 30 December 2022 and will continue until 4 February 2023. 

Northern Coast areas

  • usual collection on Mondays
  • second collection Fridays in beach settlement areas

Bream Bay Coast

  • usual collection on Tuesdays
  • second collection on Saturdays in beach settlement areas

If you are on a rubbish collection route

Please ensure you have your rubbish bag and recycle bins at the kerbside by 7:30am on rubbish day. The recycle bins will be emptied and returned to the kerbside – take them in and start filling for your next collection.

If you ARE NOT on a rubbish collection route

Please take your rubbish bags and recycling bins to the nearest intersection with a collection route by 7:30am on rubbish day, or you can take them to your nearest rubbish and recycling station.

Please note: wheelie bins are not included for these extra pickups.

More info

Information about what you can and cannot recycle, standard collection days and more.

Rubbish and recycling

Transfer stations summer hours

All transfer stations are closed on Christmas Day, 25 December 2022.

On other days, the summer hours apply for rubbish and recycling stations:

Location Hours and Days

8:00am - 1:00pm (Monday to Friday)

8:00am - 5:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)


Closed (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday)

7:30am - 4:30pm (Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday)


8:00am - 1:00pm (Monday to Sunday)


8:00am - 12:00pm (Monday to Friday)

10:00am - 4:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)

Re:Sort centre

7:30am - 5:00pm (Monday to Friday)

8:30am - 4:30pm (Saturday and Sunday)


Closed (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)

7:30am - 12:30pm (Tuesday and Thursday)

12:00pm - 5:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)


Closed (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday)

1:00pm - 5:00pm (Tuesday and Friday)

8:00am - 5:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)


8:00am - 1:00pm (Monday to Friday)

8:00am - 5:00pm (Saturday and Sunday)

View more about transfer stations, please follow the link below.

Rubbish stations


Dogs are allowed on most beaches before 9:00am or after 5:00pm between 20 December 2022 and 31 January 2023, but please stay away from areas where dogs are banned.

For all-day outdoor exercise, Bream Bay has two year-round dog exercise beach areas. These are well sign-posted.

There is also a dog park at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island where dogs can run off the leash, play with other dogs and enjoy play equipment.

To keep wildlife safe, dogs are banned year-round from nine beach and estuary conservation areas in our district, and from all bush reserves. Many of these places are habitats for kiwi and other endangered birds. Keep an eye out for the signs about them.


  • clean up after your dog and follow all the usual good safety measures 
  • don't leave dogs in cars, the temperature can rise to a terminal point in a very short time even when windows are cracked 
  • always take water and a bowl for the dog to drink from 
  • breaching a dog control bylaw can result in a fine of $300

To find out more about the rules applying to dogs and animals please see:

Dogs and animals

Dogs on beaches



Horses are allowed on most beaches in our District, including two year-round, all-day horse areas. Some special rules apply in summer, and there are some beaches where horses are banned. Year-round riding areas: 

  • Ruakākā Beach from Mair Road to Karawai Street 
  • Uretiti from the camping ground to Tip Road 

Summer rules: In summer horses are allowed on most beaches from 5:00pm to 9:00am – the cooler and quieter parts of the day. Remember to keep horses away from swimmers. 

To protect wildlife, horses are banned all year around in several areas. 

Horses on beaches 

Public places bylaw 

Camping in public places

Several of our District’s ‘first-come, first-served’ freedom camping sites will be closed over the summer peak to help protect the environment and ensure day-to-day beach goers can find a place to park. Sites that will be closed to freedom camping from 18 December to 8 February are the designated sites at Whangaumu Wellingtons Bay, Kowharewa Bay, Matapōuri (Wehiwehi Road), Woolleys Bay West and Sandy Bay.

The Reyburn/ Finlayson House Lane Carpark is now a prohibited site for all camping. New sites for fully self-contained vehicles have been designated at Hātea East Carpark (year-round), and at Tikipunga and Onerahi Sports parks from 18 December to Northland/ Auckland Anniversary day each year.

The designated sites in the main carpark at Ocean Beach remain open, but the grass overflow carpark there is now permanently closed for all camping.

Certified self-contained vehicle users may stay for three nights anywhere parking or camping are not prohibited, provided they use their onboard facilities and are considerate of residents and other road users. 

Campers wanting to be sure of a place to stay should have a ‘Plan B’ and consider booking at one of our District’s commercial or Department of Conservation campgrounds. More information:

Freedom camping


Alcohol bans

Drinking alcohol in public places is banned on all beaches and public land within 300 metres of the coast (including Whangārei Harbour) and Whangārei’s central business district. There are also bans in place for six suburbs within the urban boundaries of our District as well as six coastal villages.

Have a look at our Alcohol Control Bylaw for more information. 

Alcohol control bylaw

Driving on beaches

To help keep everyone safe on our beaches, Council controls vehicles on beaches in the Bream Bay area through a bylaw. 

Driving on beaches is strictly prohibited at Ruakākā between the Surf Club and a point 500 metres north of Marsden Village (including the Ruakaka River Mouth area). Importantly this  includes the areas in front of the Ruakākā Wildlife Refuge. 

Spending time on our Langs Beach should be much safer this summer, with the speed limit on the beach reduced to 20kph, and access to the beach only from the south-east of the vehicle access point. Driving is prohibited on the north-western part of the beach from a point 20m north-west of the vehicle accessway off Cove Road (near the public toilets).

Ruakākā: Driving on beaches is banned at Ruakākā between the Surf Club and a point 500m north of Marsden Village (including the Ruakākā River Mouth area).

This includes the areas in front of the Ruakākā Wildlife Refuge. 

Langs Beach: The speed limit on the beach has been reduced to 20kph, and access to the beach is only from the south-east of the vehicle access point. 

On the most popular north-western part of the beach, vehicles are banned from 20m north-west of the public toilets. 


All road rules apply on beaches

  • The beach belongs to everyone – share with care. 
  • Drive slowly and carefully near other beach users. 
  • Check speed limits - most beaches have a limit of 30km p/h. 
  • Watch out for vehicles, and supervise children closely. 
  • Drive to the conditions – they can change rapidly. 
  • Keep vehicles off dunes. 
  • Avoid shore birds and other wildlife. 
  • If we each follow the rules and drive safely, we should all have a safe summer.

If someone is being unsafe report it to *555.  

School holiday programmes

We have published a list of local school holiday activity providers, with programmes running until the end of January 2023. 

School holiday programmes 

Planning your holiday

Discover all the wonderful things to see and do around our district, including events and dining along with handy visitor maps and guides to download.

We also invite you to pop into the Whangārei i-SITE and chat with our friendly information consultants who will share their local knowledge and help plan and book your experiences and accommodation.

Whangarei i-SITE visitors Centre