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Celebrate Summer – Whakanui i a Raumati

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MIL OSI – Source: Whangarei District Council – Release/Statement

Headline: Celebrate Summer – Whakanui i a Raumati

This page contains information about all you need to know about camping in public places, cars, motorbikes, dogs and horses on beaches, alcohol safety, rubbish pickups, fun stuff this summer.

11/01/2018 8:50 a.m.

​Make it a great summer. Here is all you need to know about camping in public places, cars, motorbikes, dogs and horses on beaches, alcohol safety, rubbish pickups, fun stuff.

The best kind of summer is one everyone enjoys and looks back on with a smile. At Council we contribute to that outcome with a few rules that keep people safe, by upping some of our services, providing a 24-hour call service, supporting fun activities, and providing parks and reserves for people to enjoy.


If you want to take your horse for a swim at the beach, make sure it is early morning or late evening and make sure it is not in a banned area. 

Horses are also banned year-round from nine beach and estuary conservations areas in our District. Have a look at the Public Places Bylaw page on our website for more information. 

Bream Bay has two year-round horse exercise areas and two areas which are horse-free (no horses) year-round. 

These are well sign-posted at the access-points to the beach.  

Remember: horses are banned on beaches between 9am and 5pm, from 20 December to 31 January.


If you want to take your dog for a swim or for a walk along the beach, remember to do it before 9am or after 5pm, and that some beaches have total dog bans. 

Dogs are banned on beaches between 9am and 5pm from 20 December to 31 January, although Bream Bay has two year-round dog exercise areas. These are well sign-posted.

There is a dog park at William Fraser Memorial Park on Pohe Island, where dogs can run off the leash, play with other dogs and enjoy play equipment.

Dogs are banned year-round from nine beach and estuary conservations areas in the District as well as all bush reserves.  Many of these places are wildlife reserves and habitats for kiwi and other endangered birds. Keep an eye out for the signs about them. 

Remember to clean up after your dog and follow all the usual good safety measures.

Don’t leave dogs in cars, the temperature can rise to a terminal point in a very short time, even when windows are cracked.

Always take water and a bowl for the dog to drink from. 

All bylaw breaches in relation to dogs can result in a fine of $300.

Remember to find out more about the Dog Management Bylaw from the link below:

Driving on beaches

Reckless use of a vehicle on a beach can kill.

  • All road rules apply on beaches.

  • The beach belongs to everyone – share with care.

  • Drive slowly and carefully near other beach users.

  • Watch out for vehicles, and supervise children closely.

  • Drive to the conditions – they can change rapidly.

  • Keep vehicles off dunes.

  • Avoid shore birds and other wildlife.

If we each follow the rules and drive safely, we should all have a safe summer. If someone is being unsafe report it to *555.

Remember: vehicles are banned in two locations at Bream Bay, in front of Marsden Village and in front of the Ruakaka Surf Club. These are well sign-posted at Tip Road and Rama Road. For all other vehicle accessible beaches in the District, there is a 30km speed limit.  

Camping in Public Places 

We now have a new bylaw to control camping in public places in our District. 

The bylaw allows campers whose vehicles are not self-contained to stay in 18 areas, and tenting is allowed in six of those.  People who use these sites must move on after one night.  

Each of these places has a 24/7 public toilet and a designated site for vehicles (and tents), to make sure there is room for other users. 

Vehicles that have certified self-containment systems are allowed to stay in the rest of the public places in the District (except for the prohibited sites) and can stay at each location for up to three nights. 

We’ll be keeping an eye out

Between 20 December and Waitangi Day our enforcement team will be monitoring 33 mainly coastal priority sites to ensure people are aware of the rules and to move campers on if required.  

Visits will vary from early morning, to daytime, to late evening to support compliance. 

Remember : camping is prohibited in 38 places, make sure you don’t stay at one of them!  They are sign posted, and more information is available on our website. 

Safe carparks sunny smiles

For the eighth year in a row our capable and friendly Summer Safe ambassadors will be keeping cars safe at carparks at popular beaches, waterfalls, caves and other holiday adventure spots. 

Every weekend and on most public holidays between 2 December 2017 and 2 April 2018 volunteers will staff the carparks at Abbey Caves, A.H. Reed Memorial Park, Parihaka, Whangarei Falls, Whale bay, Ocean Beach, Ruakaka, Waipu Cove, Uretiti and Mt Manaia. 

They will be showing visitors the friendly, safety conscious and caring side of the District, promoting other tourist destinations about Whangarei, the other Summer Safe Carparks that have CITY SAFE ambassadors, I-Sites located at the Town Basin or Tarewa Park and fundraising for their own organisations. 

These organisations include the Blue Club (police volunteers), T.S. Diomede Sea Cadets, Onerahi Lions Club, Hatea Lions Club, Tikipunga Community Trust (TikiPride), Tutukaka Coast Promotions, Ngunguru School Parent Teacher Association, Whangarei Heads Volunteer Surf Lifesaving Patrol, Ruakaka Surf Lifesaving patrol, Waipu Cove Surf Lifesaving Club, Bream Bay Beach Ambassadors and the Mount Manaia club. 

They will be supplying visitors with the safety message, Hide IT, Lock IT, Report It, visitor handouts, information on camping in public places, Whangarei’s walking and cycling trails, SunSmart information, tsunami information, sunscreen, hand sanitiser, first aid kits and rubbish bags. 

Easily identifiable, their brightly coloured safety vests will only be outshone by the smiles and the sun. 


Since July this year, Fire and Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) has taken over the responsibility for declaring and administering rural and urban fire seasons, and issuing any associated permits.   For information on our fire season status visit the Fire Emergency NZ website (link below)

Check Fire Season Status 

Please keep an eye and ear out for any advertising of fire restrictions or bans.

When it rains

With summer comes heat and sunshine, but in Northland it can also bring heavy rain and storms that can wash contaminants off the land, into storm water systems, streams, rivers and the sea.

If you can’t see your toes when you are in knee deep water, the water is probably not clean enough  for swimming. Keep out of the water until it is clear (generally five days after the storm ends) and do not consume shellfish or wetfish caught in the storm area.

Clean swimming water

Can I swim here?

Check out the Land Air Water Aotearoa (LAWA) website:

LAWA website

This new online tool means Northland residents and visitors can enjoy our rivers, lakes, and beaches with confidence this summer. 

Developed by Land Air Water Aotearoa shows the most up-to-date water quality information for 60 sites across our region and is freely available on LAWA.org.nz/swim

It comes two weeks after Northland Regional Council staff started their weekly summer-season water quality monitoring. Each week they collect samples from 60 sites across the region and send them to Council’s laboratory for water quality testing. 

“On LAWA’s ‘Can I swim here?’ site with places where bacteria levels are too high for swimming are marked in red and places where the levels are safe are marked in green.” 

The LAWA website contains valuable information for swimmers on other swim-smart things to look out for before taking a dip. This includes advice on checking if the water is clean and clear, avoiding swimming for two days after heavy rainfall, and looking out for other possible hazards.

LAWA is a partnership between councils, Cawthron Institute, Ministry for the Environment and Massey University and has been supported by the Tindall Foundation.

Conserve water

Remember rainfall in summer can include droughts as well as deluges. Homes in remote and rural locations often depend on water collected from roofs, stream or bore. Make conserving water a daily habit and the water supply should last longer.

Make sure your water is clean

If you are using rooftop, bore, stream or other private water supplies you will already be very cautious about making sure it lasts. We recommend you also make sure it is safe to drink. You can do that by calling Council and asking how to get water tested.

If you are on the metered town supply, remember that conserving water can mean immediate cost savings and can ward off water restrictions. 

Be brainy with alcohol

For many, alcohol is a traditional part of relaxation and celebration, but overindulging and failing to eat sensibly when drinking can lead to a wide array of problems.

Alcohol Bans

Drinking alcohol in public places is banned on all beaches and public land within 300 metres of the coast (including Whangarei Harbour) and in Whangarei’s Central Business District.   

There are also bans in place for six suburbs within the urban boundaries as well as six coastal villages. Have a look at our Liquor Management Bylaw for more information.

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