With a surf beach and a tranquil estuary backed by a dramatic vista of sand dunes, Mangawhai Heads is a great spot for swimming, boating, kayaking and surfing.
There’s a choice of lovely beaches nearby, with Te Arai Point, Lang’s Beach and Waipu Cove all within 15 minute’s drive. Mangawhai Village has shops, galleries and cafes and is linked to Mangawhai Heads by a causeway. The Mangawhai Walkway is a very popular trail over farmland, beaches and cliffs, with amazing views over the islands, down to the Hauraki Gulf.
The Mangawhai Walking Weekend at the end of March is a great way to enjoy the stunning scenery and learn more about the area. There are several excellent wineries, Bennetts chocolate factory and cafe, and producers of avocado and olive oil in the area. If you don’t fancy the sea, try a round of golf at the highly rated Mangawhai Golf Club or bike between the sights. Mangawhai Museum presents stories and history of the area, from the battle between Ngati Whatua and Ngapuhi in 1825, to the modern plight of the Fairy Tern.
Head to the Mangawhai Village Market on Saturdays from 9a.m. to 1p.m. at the Mangawhai Library Hall - it’s a great place to stock up on fresh local produce or trawl the stalls for something crafty. If your kids have energy to burn, pack ‘em off to the skate park or new mountain bike tracks!
Department of Conservation - Mangawhai Walk
Mangawhai Walking Weekend
www.winedabout.co.nz - Wined About Bike Tours
www.bennettsofmangawhai.com - Bennetts of Mangawhai
www.mangawhaigolf.co.nz - Mangawhai Golf Club
www.mangawhaiartists.co.nz - Mangawhai Artists
Where to stay