Whangarei is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. It is part of the Whangarei District, a local body created in 1989 to administer both the city proper and its hinterland. The district was created from the former Whangarei City, Whangarei County and Hikurangi Town councils. The city population was estimated to be up from 47,000 in 2001. The wider Whangarei area had an estimated population of 80,800 in 2011.
The Whangarei urban area has several suburbs: Kamo, Springs Flat, Tikipunga, Three Mile Bush, Otangarei, Mairtown, Regent, Kensington, and Whau Valley lie to the north of the city. South and west of the town centre are Morningside, Raumanga, Maunu, Horahora, Woodhill, Vinetown, and the Avenues, and to the east are Riverside, Sherwood Rise, Onerahi, and Parihaka.