The Whangarei Heads is situated in the "Winterless North" 30 mins from Whangarei at the end of the Whangarei Harbour. There are several large harbour beaches (Parua Bay, McLeod Bay, Reotahi, Taurikura, Urquhart Bay) and at the end of the road is Ocean Beach, with its good surf. Fishing, waterski-ing, diving, kayaking and windsurfing are all popular, and there are fishing and diving charters available to the Hen and Chickens Islands. NZ's newest Marine Reserve is in this part of the Harbour. There are several boat ramps. See Waterbased Activities and Pacific Coast Kayaks.
There are magnificent walks from 15mins to Smugglers Cove to climbing Mt Manaia (441m - 1.5 hours) and walking the Bream Head Ridge Track. See Tracks and walks. There is also Northlandís first three-day private unguided walk situated in the Whangarei Heads.
The Pines Golf Club is at Parua Bay and it welcomes visitors. Clubs are available to hire. See Golf.
In the area food is available at the Parua Bay Tavern Restaurant (the Jetty), The Deck at McLeod Bay, the Parua Bay Cafe/Store and the Taurikura Store. See Whangarei Heads Dining
The wider Whangarei area has all the amenities of a small city and there is world-class diving and game fishing north of Whangarei at Tutukaka and the Poor Knights Islands.
The area has several local artists with small galleries. See Art Trail
Whangarei Heads has a lot of interesting history both European (Scottish) and Maori. See History