Whangarei Heads has all the water based activities you can think of, as it consists of both harbour and coast. There are calm harbour beaches and a large surf ones at Ocean Beach and Pataua. Fishing, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, diving and surfing can all be enjoyed. There is also a Marine Reserve.
Kayaks can be hired. For small fun-type ones, ring 09 434 0098, and for kayak trips or hiring ocean-going kayaks, see Pacific Coast Kayaks.
There are several places you can launch your boat, some suitable for all vehicles, others on sand and suitable only for 4-wheeled drive vehicles. Boats can be hired - 12ft with motors, from “The Deck”, McLeod Bay, Phone 09 434 0866.
There is a world-class diving area just north of the Whangarei Heads, at the Poor Knights Islands. See Dive Tutukaka for information on diving trips and also for big-game fishing.