Mangawhai Attractions

Magical Mangawhai

To help you learn a little more about the area and what you can do in the area we have noted a range of activities - something to try every week for a year. These are a combination of paid for and free things, so something to suit everyone’s budget. We also note four current things every month for you to do in our e-newsletter so email us if you would like to receive this and feel free to email or call us if there is a community event coming up you would like promoted in our newsletter

Activities to tempt you in Mangawhai:-

1. Watch chocolate being made at Bennett’s Chocolate Factory and try a few of the wonderful taste. Bennett’s Chocolate Factory is open every day 9am-5pm at 52 Moir Street.

2. Pop into the local library at Mangawhai village by the hall and check out a book, jigsaw or talking books. Opening hours are: Mon 7-8pm, Tues, Weds, & Thurs 9.30-11.30, Fri 1-3.30 & Sat 10-12.

3. Take in the outstanding views on the Bream Tail walking track. Head down the surf beach nearly to the end where the steps head on up the hillside taking you way up above the beach to enjoy stunning coastal views framed by native bush. At the end, step back down to the beach and head back along the rocks if the tide is out or head back along the track. Allow up to 3 hours depending on your level of fitness.

4. Go bargain shopping at the St Johns Opportunity Shop. This has been set up and run by volunteers to earn funds that built the Ambulance Station. Located in the village on Moir Street next to the service station and open Monday-Saturday 9am-4pm, Sunday 10am-2pm.

5. Stretch the body – Pilates with Mary – So good for the body.  Call or email Mary Madden to get full details 431-4351 

6. Surf Club Nippers – Held every Sunday over summer it’s a fun way for the kids to learn swimming in the sea, understanding rips, keeping fit and learning to surf.  You can even join up if it is just for the holidays.  Many of our current surf lifesavers started off at Nippers.  Give Vanessa or Billy a call to find out details – 021 955 562 or 021 615 314.

7. Buy a board to learn on – Get the kids their own board to get them going.  Pop in to Bammas at the village shops and you can buy a full sized polystyrene board – great for learning on.  You can get any of your surfing supplies there.  Shop hours Mon-Sat 9-5pm and Sun 10-4pm or give David a call on 431-4660.  

8. Dining with water views! The only eatery with a view of the estuary, The Tavern, set at the eastern end of Moir Street, is great for family meals, and they also have a quiz night, live music and a ladies night.  Check out their facebook page Mangawhai Tavern to see what’s coming up.

9. Table Tennis on a Thursday night – this is a great hit, surprisingly good exercise and lots of fun. 7.30pm to 9.30pm – very casual and only $3 a time. Call Jill Parsons on 431-4874 or just rock up to the Village Hall. We love it!

10. Have you tried the Sand Bar and Grill lately? Andrew and the team will make you very welcome. They are located on Fagan Street at the back of the Wood Street shops. Their hours are 7 days a week 9am – 3pm and Dinner Fri & Sat from 6pm (check for more evening hours over summer).  Call 09 431 5587 for bookings. 

11. Stretch your mind and your body. Glen Crofskey runs “Dynamic Yoga” classes from his own relaxed studio at 247 Tara Road.  Glen offers yoga for those who have never done it before to experts and his philosophy is “If you take yoga seriously, then you’re not doing it right.” Contact Glen on 021 02797970.

12. Pick up your heart rate in the annual Heads to Harbour fun run/walk. Around July each year - for more details Ph 09 437 9600

13. Pop into The Mangawhai Club for a bistro meal, game of bowls or petanque. Just $50 a year The Club is very popular for Friday drinks after work or dinner with friends. Open Mon-Sun from 1.30pm and dinners Tues-Sat from 6pm. Any queries, or to become a member call or email Steve on 431-5085 or

14. Drop a fishing line over the bridge on the causeway with the kids or off the jetty at the boat launching – grab some fishing gear or bait from the Mangawhai Fishing and Tackle at The Heads on Wood Street – they can help with all your fishing needs, Summer week days 7am-6pm, weekends 6am-6pm.

15. Stop by at Beauty Within, 2159 Cove Road West for a relaxing massage, facial, waxing, spray tanning and all your beauty needs – Men and Women welcome, Open Mon – Sat 5-9pm. Give Wendy a call on 431-5273 to book your appointment – go on, you deserve a treat.

16. Hop down to the Community Gardens. At the Domain to the right of the drive is the Mangawhai Community garden. Friday mornings (any time that suits) is harvest and jobs day – if you can lend a hand with weeding or picking, provide some seedlings, deliver compost – anything garden related – all are welcome. You even get rewarded with the “fruits of your labour”. If you’d like to know more call Joan or Ted on 431-5924.

17. Mangawhai Activity Zone (MAZ) – have you seen this yet – just FANTASTIC – and is situated on Molesworth Drive, just south of Bayleys Corner. It will be the largest skate bowl in New Zealand plus lots of other activities including BMX pump track, volleyball, playground, flying fox and more. There’s some great photos and footage on the website. Check it out on Contact details on website or call Simon Bennett on 09 431-5723.

18. Mangawhai Garden Centre have a great range of plants and herbs to get the garden started, annuals for colour or maybe a swan plant to watch the Monarch caterpillars and butterflies hatch. Behind Bayleys on Molesworth Drive, they are open Thurs-Sun - pop in and see Sharon.

19. Mangawhai Beach Annual School Gala Day. Grab the kids or friends and head to the School Gala day on Labour weekend – see the lambs and calves, try your skill at the games, look at the displays, listen to live music, enjoy a wine or beer – lots to do, lots to eat, lots to see, lots to buy and lots of fun!!! We’ll see you here!!!

20. And for something special, book in for a degustation dinner at the Frog and Kiwi, and, whether a large group or small, you won’t be disappointed with the delectable courses and exceptionally matched wines. They are also the only restaurant open 7 days a week 8am-2.30pm, then from 6pm in the evening at The Hub in the Village, give David or Nathalie a call on 431-4439 – we highly recommend it.

21. Business House Bowls at The Club starts up in October evening for 8 weeks before Christmas and after. Teams of three, with any level of experience welcome, 6-7pm with dinner available afterwards if you wish. Great prizes and a fun night out. Contact Neville Franks for details on 021 0254 7974. It’s great fun so come along and watch or participate.

22. The Great Mangawhai Garden Ramble is on annually either the first or second weekend of November.  There is always a fantastic array of gardens to visit, with new ones each year. Tickets are inexpensive and you can visit over two days.  Funds raised go towards assisting Mangawhai Plunket and Kindy.  Google Mangawhai Garden Ramble to get the dates and ticket details.

23. Kakariki in Bennetts Complex offers a wonderful melting pot of goodness for your body – whether tasty healthful organic products, organic make-up, eco friendly cleaning items, or indulge in a range of massage options – very good for the soul. Open Mon-Sat 9.30-4.30pm and Sun 10-3pm or call 431-4070 to make an appointment.

24. Te Whai Bay Wines – An amazing vineyard with a pavilion to sit back and take in the rural outlook while enjoying the wines and a platter.  They often have music in the vines as well – so give them a call or check out their website – John or Nicci 021 945 0580 or  They are on King Road and are open Mon – Sun 11-5pm. Such an amazing location, you can also speak to them about functions or weddings.

25. Explore Mangawhai by Bike – cycle around Magical Mangawhai – pedal or electric assisted with free pick up and drop off to get bike plus collection of any purchases made on route – check out the galleries, shops, vineyards and scenery. $50 per day for bike, helmet, map etc– fantastic value. Wined About Bike Tours - Call 09 945 0580 to book or see website Grab the family or some friends and have some fun.

26. Buy a retro mincer – for no. 27 or something else might catch your eye at the Mangawhai Heads Opportunity Factory at 5 Wood Street.  There are some amazing purchases to be made or you may want to make a donation of goods.  Open Mon-Sun 10-4pm.  All funds raised are allocated to Mangawhai not for profit organisations, so whether buying or donating, you are helping out the community.

27. Free, Fun and Tasty - On a low tide go picking pipis or cockles and make fritters on the barbie – there are many different recipes but here is a great one courtesy of our friends Leo and Norah Butler passed down from Leo’s mum – Winnie Butler. The key to this recipe is not steaming the pipis open but leaving them in a bucket of salt water overnight and then shelling them raw. Mince 2 cups of raw pipis and one onion (preferably in one of the old hand mincers), add an egg and a small cup of flour and 2 tsp baking powder. Use enough beer to form a batter and cook up small fritters on the barbie while drinking the rest of the beer! Fantastic pre-dinner nibbles.

28. Later on in the evening – after enjoying your fritters, take a blanket and lie out on the grass in the early evening and spot the satellites – we found seven in one night.  Let us know how many you find. The other fantastic thing is, if you live in Auckland or another city, you will be amazed how many stars you can see in Mangawhai at night!

29. Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve – A wonderful annual family event at the Causeway Church, so big, it is now held at the Mangawhai Beach School Gym, with a time to suit everyone – Christmas eve  6pm, 8pm or 10pm.

30. Mangawhai Annual Gala Day - On the 2nd January, held at the Mangawhai Domain, this is a great family day with lots to see, hear, eat, and do – helicopter rides, quick fire raffles, stalls of local goods and produce, games and even pony rides.  Parking costs no extra, so take the car to get all your purchases home in.

31. Blackswamp Hot Rod Run – Classic American Cars and Hot Rods gather annually in the school car park on Insley Street for the public to view in the morning.  The run then usually heads off around 11am up to Waipu and back with Family Fun Day at Black Swamp Road for the drivers and their families. Usually first Saturday of the year (if not the 1st or 2nd January) – call Sandra Brunt for further details 431-3371.

32. Mangawhai Museum – An amazing building, it hosts a range of memorabilia from years gone by and regular one off exhibitions as well.  Become a Friend of the Museum and be the first to find out about upcoming events and go through the museum as many times as you like.  There’s also a cafĂ© with yummy club sandwiches and the shop offers great gifts or keepsakes.  Set on the corner of Molesworth Drive and Thelma Road pop in to see what’s on offer, give them a call on 431-4645 or look up the website at

33. FREE - Go beach combing at The Heads surf beach – look closely and you often find kina (sea eggs) still with their spines on – take them home and dry them out to enjoy their beauty. We’ve found over 30!

34. FRESH - Pop in to Fresh in Molesworth Drive opposite The Hub and buy the ingredients to make a family feast or romantic dinner (surprise your partner for Valentine’s Day!) – fresh fish, crisp veges, condiments, herbs, pastas and much much more. Anna and Mark are only too happy to help. Open 9-5.30 every day.

35. FITNESS - Enter in the annual triathlon – as an individual or team. Carters Mangawhai Triathlon 26th February 2012 starting at the camp ground at the end of Mangawhai Heads Road. Call 09 437 9600 or email for more information.

36. FUN - See what you can find at the Mangawhai Beach & Country Market at the Village Domain on a Sunday once a month – check them out on Facebook for details or call Sue 0274 586 144 to secure a stall if you want.

37. Book in for one of the next annual walks at the Walking Weekend – around mid March each year with approximately 30 walks to choose from with a range of levels of fitness catered to. There is also the fabulous Troubadour Trail on the Friday afternoon which is an easy walk with fabulous entertainment. Check out for further details. Walks book out quickly so don’t delay.

38. Let your hair down at the annual Mangawhai Wine and Food Festival with great tasting local food and drinks – the Saturday evening of the Walking Weekend 3-7pm $25 pre-purchase from Bammas or Mangawhai Books and Gifts or $35 on the day (adults only). There’s always a live band providing the entertainment – it is always a fantastic outing in the Olive Grove on Insley Street. For further details see

39. Take your dog for obedience or agility training at the Domain in the Village currently on a Wednesday evening at 5pm. There are also competitions throughout the year.  For more details contact Jinnie Gailey 431 8157.

40. Tempt your taste buds with a gelato or ice cream at Dizzy Lizzys – a wonderful array of flavours that they make themselves.  The biggest decision is which flavour!  They are delightful and you can get take home packs!  They also offer hot donuts and a range of food and always with a smile.  On Wood Street and open Mon-Fri 7am – 4.30pm and Sat & Sun 7am – 5pm.

41. Challenge the kids to a game of mini golf (or let them enjoy a round while you have a coffee at one of the cafes). Part of Mangawhai Fish and Tackle shop, current hours are Mon-Fri 8-4.30pm, Sat 8-5pm, Sun 8-3pm or call 431-5385. Inexpensive fun!

42. On a still night listen to the sound of the waves – the ocean has an amazing strength (we even hear the roar of the sea in Old Waipu Road sometimes) – and it’s free!

43. Spend time enjoying all the arts at Smashed Pipi Gallery on the corner of Molesworth Drive and Moir Street. They have a fantastic range of pottery, jewellery, arts and crafts. Hours 9-5.30pm except Good Friday and Christmas Day – can’t get better than that.

44. Wax your surf board and catch a few waves at the Heads or Te Arai or if you want to learn or improve, contact Aotearoa Surf on either 431-5760 or Surfing and paddle boarding available and they have the gear for hire if you need.

45. Now you’ve practised with mini golf, take advantage of the fantastic links course we have at Mangawhai Championship Golf Course allowing you play whatever time of year. And the 19th hole offers a chance to replay the game over a few cold drinks and enjoy a hot meal. Lunch served Tues, Weds, Fri, Sat & Sun and dinner Friday evenings. If you want to find out hours or book a tee time call 431-4807 or you can see their website at

46. For something tasty pop down to the Mangawhai Market on Saturday morning and get some of the wonderful cheese (we love the cumin seed) or if you miss the Cheese shop it is a quick drive over to Kaiwaka for a choice from Appenzelar to Walnut to take home. They also have a great range of other Dutch and Deli goods as well. Open 7 days a week 9-5pm or at the Mangawhai market on a Saturday morning

47. Grab the kayaks and paddle out to the sand dunes – they are amazing and ever changing. You may be surprised what (or who!) you see on the way. You can even do a spot of fishing.  Just remember you can’t take animals.

48. Do you know that we have a volunteer run Tourist Information Centre - on Molesworth Drive outside The Club and Golf Club – they are open Weekends over winter, Friday/Saturday/Sunday over summer, all week in the peak of summer, and the phone is manned 24/7 so if you can’t get hold of us to find out what is on, give them a call - 09 431 5090. If you would like to offer some time to help (it doesn’t have to be a lot) they are always looking for extra volunteers to ease the load.

49. The Village market and organic cafe is a great way to start the weekend. Pop in to the village hall and choose from an array of local produce, wines, oils, fudge, crafts, and plants and enjoy a great coffee and fantastic muffin while sitting in the sun and catching up with locals.

50. Take a walk from The Village to The Heads or vice versa and stop in at Mangawhai Pottery at the village in Insley Street. Gary has some wonderful pieces for sale and take a look at the teapot pouring into the cup when it rains – a very clever display!

51. Grab a hot chocolate or coffee and drive out to the Heads and take a seat looking over the ocean or estuary and keep an eye out for dolphins or orca. Orca have been known to swim up the harbour – a magnificent sight. Ingrid Visser is a well-known Northland lady who charts them and their movements so if you see any call 0800 733 6722 and let them know

52. When you are in Mangawhai tune in to 106.4FM to hear what is happening in the area and the great sounds in the evening with ‘60’s from 6, and ’70’s from 7, ‘80’s from 8……