Northland Recreation

With a balmy, sub-tropical climate, along with some of the finest beaches, countryside and natural attractions New Zealand has to offer, Northland is unmatched as a playground.
Looking for general recreation information?

Events and activities

From driving the Twin Coast Discovery Highway to swimming with dolphins in the Bay of Islands, these websites will give you an excellent overview of where to go and what to do in the region.

Bay of Islands & Northland | Tourism New Zealand

Northland | Northland Inc.

Sport and recreation

District councils around the region provide a range of recreation facilities including sportsgrounds, parks and gardens. Your local community center may also run many different social activities and groups for the community to join.

Check with your local council for the options available.

Facilities & recreation | Whangarei District Council

Northland Community centres | Citizen's Advice Bureau

Sports clubs and groups

New Zealanders enjoy a huge range of sporting activities - the Sport New Zealand site lists everything from Aikido to Zen Do Kai!  Check the site to see what’s available in your area and how you can get involved.  Joining a club or team is a great way to meet people.

Find a sport | Sport New Zealand

Clubs in Northland | CAB


Tracks and walks

There are many opportunities to stretch your legs, clear your lungs and get close to nature on the walkways and tracks you’ll find wherever you go in New Zealand. Check the Department of Conservation site to find the great walks available in the Northland region. 

Northland tracks and walks| DOC

Reserves & open spaces | Whangarei District Council


Northland offers plenty of opportunities for children to play in safe playgrounds, including a number of skateboard parks. Check with your local district council to find playgrounds and parks near you or, if you’re in Whangarei, check this site.

Playgrounds | Whangarei District Council

Fishing and Hunting rules

Both fishing and hunting are a big part of life for many Northland people. Check the Fish and Game NZ Northland page for full information to enjoy the region's recreational hunting and freshwater fishing opportunities.

Northland Fish and Game region | Fish and Game New Zealand

Northland is a wonderful place to be a recreational saltwater fisher. However, to stop overfishing, and conserve New Zealand's natural heritage, some areas are closed to fishing and some limits on daily catches will apply wherever you are. The catch limits apply to shellfish, such as mussels, paua or pipi, as well as to fish. Check the regulations in your local area before you fish or gather shellfish. You can find these on the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) website.

Fishing rules | MPI

Dog walking areas/ dog regulations

New Zealand has various laws about looking after and controlling dogs. District councils have their own bylaws. Check with your local council or, if you’re in Whangarei, visit this site:

Dogs | Whangarei District Council


Northland’s subtropical climate makes cycling in the region a year-round pastime and it has many excellent cycling trails. Check these sites for details.

Northland | Bike Northland

Northland Regional Council | Walking & Cycling

Art and culture

Museums and galleries in the area

Northland is rich in Maori history and was the first area to be settled by Europeans. And the great climate and abundance of local materials attracts many leading artists and craftspeople to the area. Check these sites for museums and galleries around Northland.

Northland | New Zealand Museums

Northland | Art Trails

Major shopping centres

There’s good everyday shopping in all of Northland’s larger centres. The largest shopping complex in the region is The Strand in Whangarei, with over 40 speciality shops under one roof.

The Strand shopping centre

Shopping in Whangarei | Whangarei NZ

Public markets

There are many community markets around the region selling produce, crafts and second hand goods. Northland also claims to have two of the best farmers’ markets in New Zealand. This site has details.

Farmers and local markets | Eventfinda

Interested in coming to New Zealand?

Sign up to receive relevant job opportunities from New Zealand employers and practical advice on how to make your move to New Zealand a reality.