We decided to hike all the way to the falls from Town Basin on the Hatea River Walk. Really beautiful and a great day! We stopped at the i-Site on SH1 on the way into town to get the pamphlet called Whangarei Central Walks. The we went into town, parked and grabbed a snack at a cafe, then we hit the river walk!! It was a really nice, very doable walk with stop-offs along the way to various sights: Mair Park, Mt Parihaka Lookout, AH Reed Memorial Park (Kauri tree preserve), and finally Whangarei Falls. The walk is about 6 km one-way to the falls, where we rested longer and had a picnic. We also did the hike up to Mt Parihaka Lookout which added another 2+km, to make a total ~14km hike all together. It didn't feel like a long hike, but rather several smaller ones joined together. There are toilets and water sources along the way so that helped. You can also easily drive to each of the parks and sights if you want a shorter hike.