Rodney stretches from the spectacular black volcanic sand beaches of Muriwai in the west to the holiday resorts of the Hibiscus Coast in the east. The area includes a number of regional parks or areas of special interest. On the eastern tip of the Whangaparaoa Peninsula is the Shakespear Regional Park, while north of Orewa are Wenderholm Regional Park and Mahurangi Regional Park. Goat Island Marine Reserve , also known as the Cape Rodney to Okakari Point marine reserve, was New Zealand's first marine reserve, officially opened in 1977. It covers a coastline of about 5km, extends out in sea by 800m, and encompasses 5km2 or 500 ha, inside which area all marine life is protected.
Towns in the south of the district are becoming dormitory districts for Auckland, which is now accessible by motorway, although they retain their origins and character as holiday resorts. Further north, communities become more rural. Some have become famous for particular activites such as Puhoiandand its cheese factory, or Waiwera and its geothermal hot pools. Warkworth is a good base to explore the Kowhai Coast, which includes historic Kawau Island, the home of New Zealand's former Governor, Sir George Grey, where Mansion House is now a museum.
The dominant feature of the eastern side of Rodney is Kaipara Harbour, the largest enclosed harbour in the Southern Hemisphere. The area was once famous for the Kauri timber mills.
Kumeu, Matakana and Huapai are becoming well known for their wineries, and a number of them provide sampling, cellar door sales and restaurants.
The district is divided into three wards, each containing a number of towns and settlements: