Whangarei Falls are on the opposite side of town from where I live, so it would be about a half hour ride to get there (mainly because of low speed on the climb) but going back is a lot faster - maybe 20 minutes.
It seems to be a popular spot for travelers to stop for lunch on their drive farther north - places like Bay of Islands and beyond.
The picnic tables are along hiking trails, which go along the Hatea river from the falls. I believe they also connect with trails going up Mount Parihaka, which is not very far away.
For me, it is a place I frequently bike by on one of my favorite training rides, which is about 1.5 hours total. The falls are close to the end of my ride on the return leg - normally, I do not stop here.
In fact, I usually do the training ride about twice a week, and another shorter, weekly one that also goes by the falls.
Photos belong to Jaro Franta.