During the 1940s to mid 1950s the club was based at the southern end of Whangarei Boys High School (WBHS) lower field. At that time our club was an athletic and cycling club “The Whangarei Athletic and Cycling Club.” There was a separate “Whangarei Harrier Club” operating in the town. This harrier club went into recess in the late 1950s and many of its cups are now with Hatea Harriers.
The Whangarei Athletic and Cycling Club moved its base from the WBHS lower field to Kensington (the track was parallel to the current netball courts) around 1953. In 1955/56 the Club operated successfully on a 300m track at Jubilee Park. The club moved to the newly established scoria track, cycle velodrome and rugby stadium at Okara Park around 1960/61. In the late 1960s, as the scoria track deteriorated, a move was made back to Kensington Park. During this period the cycling group split away (Marsden Wheelers) and the club became a track and field club, the “Whangarei Athletic Club."
In 1964 the Whangarei Harrier Club was established: the inaugural meeting was held in the original Whangarei Hockey Club men's toilet area. As the same people were largely organising both groups (Whangarei Athletic Club and the new harrier division), an amalgamation took place and the Whangarei Athletic and Harrier Club was born. A name change was made to “Athletics Whangarei” in the 1990s.
The club continued to operate from the old hockey clubrooms (the club purchased these in the 1980s) which remained as our clubrooms until 2008 when they were demolished to make way for the new athletic track complex. The club has been based in Marist clubrooms since then and will remain there until the second phase of the track complex is completed.
During the mid 1960s, 70s, 80s and 90s the club developed into a powerful competitive unit with many club athletes able to compete with New Zealand’s best and hold their own in top national inter-club competition level, producing athletes who represented New Zealand at Olympic games, Commonwealth games, world youths, world juniors, world cross country, road and world masters championships etc.
From the late 1940s until the present day the club has had senior and junior track and field sections. The harriers started as a club development in 1964. Several current members were in the club at that time; one member who is still active in the club has been a member for 63 years!