Whangarei (Ruakaka) Racing Club Guide

Known as Ruakaka Racing The Whangarei Racing Club was originally founded in 1820 at Kensington park in Whangerei. In 1976, it was moved to its current location at the end of Peter Snell Road, Ruakaka, next to the Bream Bay. The race club has a race bus which takes racegoers to Whangerei which is the nearest town. By car the club is 25 minutes drive south of Whangerei and 90 minutes drive north of Auckland. There is many local taxi services available for those who wish to grab a vehicle to or from the track. As they say about this track “where the turf meets the surf”.

About the Whangarei Racing Club

The main aim of the race club is to promote the sport of horse racing by conducted race meetings and typically many race meetings are scheduled every year. However, if the other race courses in North Island are waterlogged, more races may be held. Additionally also is used for horse training, holding events and functions.

The main Summer Festival Race is held in January, with races held on every Saturday in June, July and August. During spring, the Northland Breeders Stake is one of the races in the race meeting. The facilities of the club are also used by the local pony club and it is also involved in fund raising for local charities.

About the Track

The race course at the club is of length 1850 meters and typically many hundreds of races every year are held here. The races take place between 12 pm and 5 pm daily and there is usually a gap of thirty to forty minutes between each race. For each race meeting there are eight races held usually. Visitors are not allowed to enter the saddling area for the horses. However, they can watch the horses being led to the race course and after the race. After each race, the first six horses are led to the grandstand area, where there are checked for the weight of rider and the saddle. The riders are also asked if any rules were violated.

If there was any interference while racing or any similar violation, a siren will be sounded and an inquiry will be conducted. In most cases there is no problem, and those who have bet on the races can collect their bets. There is a TAB terminal at the race course, so that visitors can place their bets. Horse racing fans who are unable to attend the live races can place a bet on the website. Entry for the races is usually free, unless the races are of high quality or there are special events. Entry for children below the age of 18 is free, however their parents should ensure that the children do not enter prohibited areas.

The racing club is used extensively by trainers to ready their horses for races. Fifteen trainers have used the facilities for training their horse. It is recognized as a strategic training venue by the New Zealand Thoroughbred association. Trainers who are based in areas north of Auckland can use the training facilities. Trainers should either have a visiting trainer permit or get approval for training filling the form provided. The tracks for training include the main grass, sand track, training grass and beach. Other facilities include yards, boxes, wash downs, blacksmith and vet facilities, and a provision for tie ups.

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Whangarei (Ruakaka) Racing Club View

Food, Menu and Drinks at the Track

Outside alcohol is not allowed in, you can take food and soft drinks in though and the race club has a provision for tea, coffee. Food menu at the Whangarei Racing Club  on race days is provided by Tee Cafe Catering which is affordable and of good quality like burgers, sandwiches and other cheap eats.

The club also has a public bar for those who enjoy a few alcoholic beverages.

A few races from the Whangarei (Ruakaka) Racing Club

Membership Options

Regular race goers can become a member of the club paying a nominal annual fee of $55. In addition to unlimited free access to the club, the member will also get a free race-book, which provides details of the horse races which are scheduled at the club. There is a special members area, members are eligible for discounted food and drinks, they will be entered for the members draw, and they can also stand for election.

Horse owners can avail of a large number of privileges by applying at club and providing identity proof. The horse owners are eligible for free entry, car parking, free race book and a drinks voucher. They can also watch the horse parade before the races from the parade ring at the bar deck . Complimentary refreshments, replays and mementos are provided to horse owners.

What to Wear

Visitors to the races will spend a lot of their time standing, so they should wear comfortable clothes when attending the club. During summer the dress code is casual, though visitors may dress up for special races on the events calendar.

Pokies and Gaming Ruakaka Racing track

The venue has no pokies machines but plenty of ways to place a bet.

Opening hours

Check their site for upcoming events


Phone 9-432 7249

Website http://www.ruakakaracing.co.nz/

Map and address

Ruakaka Racing
Peter Snell Rd, Ruakaka 0151, New Zealand

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