Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. Although commonly classified as a city, it is officially part of the Whangarei District, administered by the Whangarei District Council a local body created in 1989 to administer both the city proper and its hinterland.
The Whangarei urban area includes the suburbs of Kamo, Tikipunga, Otangarei, Mairtown, Riverside, Sherwood Rise, Onerahi, Morningside, Raumanga, Parihaka, Maunu, Horahora, Woodhill, Vinetown, The Regent, Kensington, and Whau Valley.
Captain James Cook and the crew of the Endeavour were the first Europeans to contemplate the Whangarei Harbour entrance. On 15 November 1769 they caught about one hundred fish there which they classified as 'bream' (probably snapper) prompting Cook to name the area Bream Bay.