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Compare Whangarei Airport Car Rental Deals

Big savings on car hire at Whangarei Airport

Compare the best Whangarei Airport car rental deals from Avis, Hertz, Budget and Thrifty.

  • Low prices
  • Choice of brands
  • No booking fees
  • No credit card fees*
  • Instant confirmations
  • Free cancellation on most cars
  • Free amendments on most cars
  • 24/7 customer service

* Some rental car suppliers may charge a credit card fee for amounts payable on arrival.

4WD rental

Car Hire Options at Whangarei Airport

There's a limited range of car hire companies operating at Whangarei Airport.  You'll find them here and can easily compare their best deals — meaning you don't have waste time trawling the Internet for options or pay exorbitant walk-up prices at the airport rental counter.

To maximise your savings it's a good idea to book your car early, especially for travel during peak periods. Just put your travel details into the Quote box at the top of the page to instantly compare a huge choice of vehicles at the very best prices.

Whangarei is extremely popular holiday destinations for New Zealanders and international tourists alike.

During peak periods demand for rentals cars can outstrip supply. So to avoid missing out, it's a smart idea to lock in your booking as early as possible.

On-Airport Rental Brands

At Whangarei Airport all the car rental companies we offer have check-ins the arrivals terminal. So this avoids you having to waste time waiting for shuttle transfers to off-airport depots.

Car rental counters are located in the airport terminal.

Use our price comparison search tool to find the best prices for these on-airport car rental brands at Whangarei Airport:

Maximum Choice. Best Deals.

  • All the best deals in one place from over 25 different rental brands across New Zealand.
  • Instantly compare the best deals. No need to waste your time checking out multiple websites.
  • Easily filter results by price, brand, or type of vehicle.
  • And if you're finding it difficult to decide, check out the customer ratings to hear from those who've been there and done that.
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I tried Mates Rates after reading some positive reviews. Was not disappointed! You can spend a lot of time searching for a rental car, but found the best deal there

Pru C - New Zealand

Best deal we could find after looking at all the rental car websites.

Lorenz G - Australia

Quick and easy

Chris W - Australia

Best site to compare car rental prices and get the best offers

Devansh - New Zealand

价格好,容易

Eddie W - New Zealand

Easy, I had no problems at all. Prices seemed to be ok. I didn't check others. Definitely recommend.

Adrianne H - New Zealand

Better prices and variety than going direct

Heather H - New Zealand

Best car hire rate I could find. Recommended to a friend and she said same.

Jane A - New Zealand

Very easy to use. Really good specials for a run around car. Would recommend.

Ian M - New Zealand

Easy to compare the different rental companies in one place. Lots of choice which is great. Prices seemed cheaper than other sites including when I looked at booking direct

Glen M - New Zealand

Second time I’ve used MateRates. Always a good deal.

Trevor B - New Zealand

Great value! I'll be telling my friends.

John W - Australia

Glad I found your site – we left things to the last minute and couldn’t get a car at a price that made sense. Problem solved!

Greg H - New Zealand

We left everything to the last minute and were having trouble finding a car. Then we found your site and got a car in Queenstown at a decent rate. Will tell our friends!

Fiona W - New Zealand

Easy and efficient. Competitive prices with good choices. Worth a try.

Tom H - England

Good comparison site. Saves time.

William S - New Zealand

We booked ahead from Germany. Prices very reasonable, and a good choice of cars. Saved us time and money — would use again.

Andreas B - Germany

Thanks for making things easy. Found a 4WD for much less than we had seen on other sites, and booked it — no worries.

Mark W - Australia

Whangarei Airport Car Hire Tips

Why renting a car makes sense

If you're visiting Whangarei and staying put in town, then a rental car isn't essential. The airport is only 8 km from the centre of town and there are frequent bus services, plus shuttles and taxis.

Public transport can be great and a real cost saver. BUT the problem is it severely constrains where you can go. And when. If you’ve got limited time, do you want to waste it standing around waiting for buses? We didn’t think so!

Taxis are another option. They give travel flexibility but relying on them can quickly become painfully expensive as fares add up.   

Low daily rental rates plus unlimited kilometres means that hiring a rental car is usually your most cost effective option and allows you to make the most of your limited time.

One of the key reasons for renting a car when you’re visiting Whangarei is the freedom and flexibility it offers. With a rental car you’re free to explore at your own pace and on your schedule — not someone else’s.

We offer some suggestions at the bottom of the page about places around Whangarei you might want to visit. Having a rental car makes getting to them easy.  

Driving from the airport

Whangarei Airport is less than 10 minutes from the centre of Whangarei 

Once you've collected your rental car, take the road out of the airport (Handforth Street). This then becomes Church Street and follow this for 2 km to the roundabout. Continue through the roundabout on Onerahi Road for 2 km. The road then becomes Riverside Drive and follows the river which is on your left. Continue 4.5 km and cross the bridge which takes you into central Whangarei.

Return with a full tank

Stop at a nearby petrol station and top up the tank before returning your vehicle. The extra 5 or 10 minutes this takes will definitely save you money.

If you return the car with the tank not full then the rental company will charge a high price to top up the tank. These charges can be excessive, such as a $2.50 a litre surcharge on top of the fuel cost. Not a nice surprise to later find this charge on your credit card.

As you can see from the map below there are plenty of petrol stations around the airport. 

Attractions Near Whangarei

Whangarei Heads

A rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to make the most of your time exploring Whangarei and surrounding areas. Here are a few of the many attractions you might like to consider checking out. For more ideas, check out the Whangarei Tourism website....

Poor Knights Islands

The township of Tutukaka lies beside a shining harbour best known as the gateway to the Poor Knights Islands. The town’s marina is the place to launch trips out to the world-famous marine reserve — charter boats for diving expeditions depart regularly from here, while yachts and launches are also regular fixtures.

What makes the Poor Knights so special? The water is mild and warm, and clear, meaning great visibility underwater. Separated from the mainland and having been allowed to evolve over a long period, the marine environment and the wildlife are quite unique.

The Poor Knights marine reserve extends beneath the surface for nearly 1 km around the islands (which are millions of years old). The ancient and rocky volcanic walls, caves, tunnels, and arches are teeming with underwater life; myriad rare and endangered creatures can be found here. Well over 100 species of fish live around the Poor Knights and they are friendly and inquisitive, coming up close to and interacting with people while diving, snorkelling or swimming. You’ll also be awed by the sheer diversity and vibrant colours of the corals, kelp, sponges and anemones. The world’s biggest sea cave and insect are both found here. Little wonder that this protected area is in line for World Heritage status.

Even the above-water portion of your trip is bound to be an adventure. The Tutukaka Coast is located on the migratory path for lots of different species. On these legs of the trip (half an hour each way) you may well see bottlenose or common dolphins; even orca, pilot or minke whales off the coast. Meanwhile, hawks soar overhead, and the sound of kingfishers, bellbirds and parrots provide a natural background track.

When driving to Tutukaka in your rental car, allow 30 minutes to reach your destination from Whangarei.


Whangarei Falls

When in Whangarei, don’t miss the town’s namesake waterfall! The Whangarei Falls are approximately a 10-minute drive north in your rental car from the city centre. It’s an outstanding swimming spot and makes for some impressive photographs as a keepsake.

Whangarei Falls is part of the Whangarei scenic reserve and the Katea River — a picturesque, sheer curtain of water that plunges for 26 metres over cliffs of basalt. This area was traditionally popular with local Maori as a prime eeling spot. The sound of warblers and wood pigeons adds an extra dimension to your walk through the native bush, ferns and trees (including regal manuka, totara and nikau). There are three viewing platforms around the falls — the two platforms above the waterfall have an incredible bird’s eye outlook over the water and the forest below.

Take the loop walkway around the falls in order to get a look from every possible angle — this crosses the river via a metal bridge, and descends to the base of the falls by a flight of steps. Here you’ll come across a picnic table and a good viewing area. It then crosses the river again then winds up the hill back to the car park, where further picnicking areas can be found. This track can be completed in about half an hour.

If you’ve got a couple of hours to spare, there’s the Sands Road Loop, which also starts from the car park. After crossing the river, this track heads towards the A H Reed Memorial Kauri Park, then eventually onto the Hatea River Walkway and back to Whangarei Falls.

From Whangarei Falls you can also embark on longer walks to Mt Parihaka (2 hours, return) or the Town Basin (4 hours, return).

Mt Parihaka

The ancient volcanic cone of Mt Parihaka — less than 10 minutes from Whangarei in your rental car — is unmistakable. Towering at 241 metres, it’s visible from many spots in the city with the outline of the World War II memorial obelisk sitting at its peak glowing red at night.

Parihaka is also notable for being the site of a former pa (Maori village). It would have been home to a few thousand people and today you can see the remnants of their homes, terraces, storage pits and defensive fortresses along the ridge line.

There are three walking tracks that lead up the slopes to the summit of Mt Parihaka, named after early European settlers, as well as a network of mountain biking trails. The walking tracks weave through the native bush that covers the mountain, and they are generally well maintained and easy to follow.

If starting from the car park on Mair St, the Dobbie and Drummond tracks can be reached from the Hatea Walkway there. (Bring something to feed the ducks at the Hatea River — sweetcorn, oats, seeds, and rice are favourites.) The Dobbie Track, also known as the Hokianga Track, includes a walk through a bushy valley and a grove of enormous kauri. The Drummond Track passes a memorial plaque to Norman Drummond, who once donated 24 acres of bush to the community.

Then there’s the Ross Track, which departs from the end of Dundas St. It follows a stream up the hill, passing the entrance to a little gold mine, and a detour to an old pa site that saw a bloody battle in the 1700s.

From the top of Mt Parihaka, you will enjoy panoramic views over the terrain below. You can make your way down along the same route, or tackle an alternative path for something different.


Mt Manaia

Rising 403 metres above the entrance of Whangarei Harbour, Mt Manaia is part of a cluster of basalt peaks. It has a distinctive and imposing silhouette and provides some of the best views over the entire district. Located out at the Whangarei Heads, it is roughly a 30-minute drive from the town centre in your rental car.

According to Maori legend, the main rock formations around Manaia represent five people: the chief Manaia, his two children, the chief Hautatu and his wife. Manaia had captured Hautatu’s wife, and the group were all struck by lightning as they ran in pursuit, and turned to stone.

The beauty of the coastal forest here is second to none. You can expect to see a variety of ferns, flowers, and trees around Mt Manaia, including impressive totara and kauri. The Whangarei Heads are also teeming with wildlife and birdsong: the environment attracts kiwis, skinks, wood pigeons, geckos, kakariki and bellbirds.

Before ascending to the jagged rocky peaks of Mt Manaia you’ll need to embark on a challenging climb, which takes around an hour to the summit. The track is in good condition and there are some steps to make negotiating the incline easier. There are several good lookout points along the way, such as the Bluff Lookout.

Once at the top there are 360-degree views in every direction — the vistas include Bream Bay to the south, Whangarei Harbour to the west and the Northland coast to the north. You can even see to the Marsden Point oil refinery, and the Hen and Chicken Islands. Along with Mt Manaia, these islands are the remains of massive volcanic eruptions some 20 million years ago.