Whangaroa is a town set on the shore of the very deep Whangaroa Harbour, on a slightly secluded location off State Highway 1. Big-game fishing is the main activity here; Whangaroa calls itself the Marlin Capital of New Zealand and fishing expeditions and charters can be arranged here. Social life seems revolves around the Whangaroa Big Gamefish Club, which hosts many fishing tournaments and has a restaurant and bar in its atmospheric old clubhouse.
There are some nice secluded beaches around Whangaroa and some great views to be had from surrounding hillsides, particularly St Pauls Peak, which requires some basic rock climbing up the last several metres. Nearby Matauri Bay is an excellent diving spot and is the watery resting place of the original Greenpeace flagship, the Rainbow Warrior. The wreck can be dived.
The tiny service town of Kaeo is at the southern end of Whangaroa Harbour, on State Highway 1. There is a single hostel in town (plus a farm hostel nearby) but almost nothing else. It’s about 32km north of Kerikeri and a 8km from Whangaroa.