Northland & Bay of Islands


  • Swimming and surfing
  • Birdwatching


  • by car:

    1 hr 30 min from Auckland

A charming town north of Auckland, Mangawhai offers two very different beach experiences. Frolic in the surf or enjoy a peaceful swim in the harbour.

Northland & Bay of Islands
Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway, Northland & Bay of Islands

Mangawhai, also known as Mangawhai Heads, is nestled between the Pacific 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.

Mangawhai offers a range of activities including water-sports, a world-class 18-hole championship golf course, Bennetts Chocolate factory, and a fabulous museum that tells the amazing history of the region.

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 farm stays and B&Bs.

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