Mangawhai Village & Heads: Posh & Primo!

Romantic weekend away, time with the mates at the bach, diving, fishing, golfing, wine & dine, or just chill out with family and friends...that's Mangawhai

Mangawhai is the ultimate holiday destination; with early morning surfers set against the silhouette of the Hen and Chicken Islands, this must rank as one of the most picturesque surfing locations in New Zealand! Surfing the Mangawhai Bar, you will find it has a left and right beach break breaking over a sand/rock bottom. It’s ok for beginners-intermediate, but learner surfers should avoid the Mangawhai Bar on an outgoing tide.

Most kiwis (of my generation) got to the beach via the (then) windy and dusty roads of Northland. Nanas bacon and egg pie sitting under a pohutakawa tree was the treat before they had to endure the long drive home, with sunburnt legs stuck to the melting vinyl seat of the family wagon!

Heading back to the bach for a ‘snarler on the Barbie’ (barbequed sausage); would the night be complete without mozzies and a bad rendition of New Zealand’s favourite Folk song, Ten Guitars?...

The kiwi Bach is often a small, modest accommodation decorated with 70’s furniture. The new era of baches in New Zealand are the up market beach houses. Mangawhai has plenty of both; whether you decide to stay in a fancy pad, or an old school bach, you will still enjoy a real iconic NZ beach experience. I love this unofficial definition of the bach: "it’s something you built yourself, on land you don't own, out of materials you borrowed or stole." – anon.

Mangawhai has two distinct areas: Mangawhai Heads is blessed with an idyllic lagoon style harbour; sand dunes, an awesome surf beach, a great little shopping district and market! Mangawhai Village is a thriving little mecca full of colonial buildings, fantastic eateries, vineyards, and galleries. Night time ntertainment is a plenty; the Mangawhai Tavern is a great place for live bands.

The Frog and Kiwi restaurant is a real little find! Not a great looking building, minimal signage, but a brilliant French menu. The name? She’s French, he’s kiwi...say no more.

Bennetts of Mangawhai is a chocolaterie with a touch of Joie de vivre. You can view over 150 different chocolates being hand crafted through a window; the award-winning Rocky Road and Champagne Truffles with a latte from the cafe would be a great way to end the day...

If you want a romantic weekend away, time with the mates at the bach, go diving, fishing or golfing, wine and dine, or just chill out with family and friends...Mangawhai.

Five beaches within a 15 minute drive...

  • Mangawhai Surf Beach for surfing, boogie boarding, walking, swimming, beachcombing, dune & rock climbing
  • Mangawhai Harbour for jet skiing, boating, kayaking, kite surfing, waterskiing, wind surfing and safe swimming for kids
  • Te Arai for surfing, fishing, beachcombing
  • Langs Beach for surfing, swimming, fishing
  • Waipu Cove for surfing, swimming
    (Mangawhai Coast Beach information: Courtesy of

Just a wee bit famous: World Class Chocolaterie and famous Mangawhai Heads Surf Beach.

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