With its coastal scenery, friendly locals and exquisite food & wine, this beautiful part of Northland has plenty of personality. While you really need to visit to get the full experience, here are a few defining characteristics to help you get to know Mangawhai.
Scenery & Walks
Mangawhai is often referred to as the walking capital of the North, and it’s no surprise! One of the highlights of the calendar is the Mangawhai Walking Weekend. With a variety of landscapes in the area, there are all kinds of walks to choose from: coastal, bush, rural, beach, geological, historical and much more. There are even kayaking & paddle boarding tours for those wanting to get out on the water. Walks are guided by the locals too, so it’s a great way to get outdoors meet new people. More than just a walking festival, the weekend is also a celebration of food & wine, art and music, giving it a distinctly Mangawhai flavour.
Mangawhai Heads Beach
The jewel of the Mangawhai area is Mangawhai Heads Beach. A hub of summer activities, there is great surf, swimming, fishing & boating. There is also an estuary around the corner, where you’ll find calmer waters and even the odd dolphin or two! If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in the area, Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park sits right on the estuary, so you can wake up to sea and sand right on your doorstep.
The Tavern is the place to be in Mangawhai. Located right on the water’s edge, this stunning harbourside establishment regularly hosts live entertainment from some of New Zealand’s top acts. Mangawhai Tavern’s friendly atmosphere truly embodies Mangawhai culture, so sit back and enjoy a cold beer and some classic pub food as you watch the waves roll in.
Mangawhai is absolutely brimming with creativity and culture. To get in touch with your artistic side, check out spots like the Smashed Pipi Gallery & Café. You can also just take a drive around town, as you’ll find local artists on just about every street! Make sure to check out the Mangawhai Museum as well, which tells the fascinating stories of Mangawhai’s past, and the people who have helped shape the area into what it is today.
Bennetts of Mangawhai
For over 20 years, Bennetts has been crafting New Zealand’s finest artisan chocolates right here in Mangawhai Village. Family owned and run by trained chocolatiers Clayton and Mary Bennett, it has become an integral part of the local Mangawhai community. With a focus on hand-crafted quality over mass commercialism, Bennetts uses fresh and local ingredients, harnessing distinctly Kiwi flavours. What’s more, there is also an award winning café on site, open daily for breakfast and lunch. With a strong community focus and an atmosphere that is impossible to recreate, come down to Bennetts for a true taste of Mangawhai.
Nothing brings a local kiwi community together like a Saturday morning market. The vibrant Mangawhai Village Market runs every week and has all kinds of goods and homegrown produce on offer. A great way to meet the locals, you’ll find just about everything for sale, including fruit & veges, cheese, coffee, breads, plants, clothes, books, knick-knacks and more. There’s also a café selling great coffee and all sorts of tasty treats. The best way to spend your Mangawhai Saturday, come down and be part of the community, and perhaps pick up a bargain or two.