Mangawhai Beach, New Zealand.
Drive an hour and a half north of Auckland, you’ll cross the border into Northland and enter paradise…
Mangawhai is one of the favourite holiday and bach spots for Aucklanders. It’s growing like crazy with fancy new developments popping up around town, and I can see why. The beach is beautiful, and the water usually calm, but when there’s a big swell The Bar is an awesome surf spot. We got lucky recently (summer 20/21) and captured the tail end of a cyclone swell. Check out these two pieces here and here
The Mangawhai estuary is great for kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming and just chilling. The Mangawhai boat ramp is also on the estuary, so if you’re into fishing or diving you have easy access to some epic spots in Bream Bay – the Hen & Chicken Islands and the Mokohinau Islands.
There’s plenty to do on land too – like drinking beer and coffee!
For beer head to the Mangawhai Tavern – on a sunny day you can sit on the lawn that sits right on the estuary.
For coffee, see if Mean Bean are open. They set up their coffee & fresh fruit ice cream cart (yum!) at the Mangawhai Heads Beach car park. Not sure if they’ll be there in winter though…
If you happen to be into golf try getting a tee time at Tara Iti, a fancy golf course in the Mangawhai sand dunes. It might be invite only though (and crazy expensive), so good luck!
If you’re looking for a cheap place to stay (aka camping) the Mangawhai Heads Holiday Park is pretty sweet. We’ve stayed there once or twice – it’s a peaceful spot right on the estuary.
I’m pretty sure we’re going to move there one day, so maybe we’ll see you there : )