Mangawhai offers a choice of beach experiences. Frolic in the waves on the surf side of town or enjoy a peaceful swim in the sheltered harbour.
Mangawhai, also known as Mangawhai Heads, is a quiet beach town nestled between the Pacific Ocean coast and rolling farmland. You’re offered a choice of seaside experiences here – a surf beach on one side and safe harbour beaches on the other.
On the far side of the harbour is a large sand dune area that's administered by the Department of Conservation. The dunes are home to fairy terns, Caspian terns, variable oystercatchers and New Zealand dotterels. Mangawhai Heads and the village of Mangawhai are linked by a picturesque causeway surrounded by native wetlands and bush.
Charter boats are available to take you fishing or diving; you can also surf cast off the beach. Other local activities include donkey rides and mini golf.
There are several cafés in the area and a wide choice of places to stay – from motel units and self-contained cottages to farmstays and B&Bs.
Functional facts: Approx. population 820, information centre, basic shops.