Mangawhai, is a thriving coastal area of shops, galleries and cafes with a tranquil lagoon-style harbour, dramatic sand dunes and exhilarating surf beaches. The area is 80mins north of Auckland and 45mins south of Whangarei on the east coast. An a... Show More
Tourist Information About Mangawhai
Mangawhai, is a thriving coastal area of shops, galleries and cafes with a tranquil lagoon-style harbour, dramatic sand dunes and exhilarating surf beaches. The area is 80mins north of Auckland and 45mins south of Whangarei on the east coast. An area of contrasts with a surf beach on one side and safe harbour beaches on the other offering many things to do. On the far side of the harbour is a large sand dune area home to many native birds including fairy terns, Caspian terns, variable oystercatchers and New Zealand dotterels. There are fabulous beaches in the area and many attractions and activities; Mangawhai Surf Beach, Te Arai, Langs Beach and Waipu Cove for surfing, boogie boarding, walking, swimming, beachcombing, dune and rock climbing; and Mangawhai Harbour for jet skiing, boating, kayaking, kite surfing, water-skiing, wind surfing and safe swimming for kids.
Best Attractions and free things to do in Mangawhai
1. Daily Surf Lessons
These surf classes are provided all year and for surfers of all experience levels. Te Arai is rated Auckland's number one beach on the East Coast. It has white beach, crystal blue sea, and waves that are safe, easy, and steady, making it ideal for beginner and advanced courses.
2. Mangawhai Cliff Walk
The Mangawhai Cliff Walk allows you to climb coastal cliffs and take in the beautiful coastal views. The 9-kilometer return walk, which follows a well-marked track, takes two to three hours to complete. The trail begins at the end of the surf beach and climbs steeply for 20 minutes to the first lookout. You can return from the overlook for an excellent though quicker alternative to the 3-hour trip.
3. Mangawhai Museum
This modern-style museum is something you can't miss! It's a family-friendly Mangawhai activity everyone will enjoy. Learn about Mangawhai and the role the harbor has played in the lives of early Maori settlers, European settlers, and today's tourists.
4. Tanekaha Forest
A forest with trails, waterfalls, and breathtaking vistas is just 6 kilometers inland from Mangawhai Heads. Choose from the 2-hour Tanekaha Falls Track, 1-hour Tanekaha Forest Track, Langsview Track, Tanekaha Pururi Track, and Tanekaha Botanical Track in the Tanekaha Forest.
5. The Estuary Walk
On this tour, you'll see unique and unusual native birds and wildflowers. This 3-hour round-trip hike is best done at low tide to avoid getting wet feet. Be on the lookout for New Zealand dotterel, which lay their eggs in the sand, so be careful where you stand.
6. Check Out the Mangawhai Village Market
The Mangawhai Village Market is a great place to pick up some genuine New Zealand souvenirs and sample some local fare. Every Saturday morning, the market features kiosks selling anything from gourmet cheese to olive oils. There are also artisan stalls and other possibilities to purchase sweet delights.
7. Mangawhai Heads Beach
The protected waters of the harbor or the crashing waves of the surf beach are two very distinct beach experiences at Mangawhai Heads. The surf club at the end of Wintle Road is the greatest spot for surfing. Aside from that, there are also good swimming sites near the harbor that you can explore!
Even in the winter, fishing at Mangawhai is fantastic! There's no need to travel far to share this amazing fishing site with the locals Bring your own boat, rent a kayak, or sign up for one of the many professional cruises that depart from Mangawhai. In the estuary, there are many Kahawai and even Snapper to be caught!
Unwind and spend a day out in this paradise to clear your head.
9. Waipu Caves
Waipu Caves is one of New Zealand's top free glowworm caves, and it's not to be missed! The caverns are accessible by a short walk across farmland to a cave set among natural trees. Explore the main cavern, which is 175m long, and see magnificent limestone formations including stalactites and stalagmites. Prepare to get your feet wet because the cave has a tiny creek running through it.
10. Abbey Caves
The Abbey Caves are only a 10-minute drive from Whangarei's city center, and a little further if you're traveling from Mangawhai - but well worth the dive! A 2-hour circular hike takes you through farmland and natural forest, passing by intriguing limestone outcroppings and three free caves to explore. Take a look at the glowworm clusters and little stalactites.