Welcome to Mangawhai

Various Māori tribes inhabited the area before the 1660s, when Ngāti Whatua became dominant. In 1807 Ngāti Whatua defeated Ngāpuhi in a major battle, letting the survivors escape. One of them was Hongi Hika, who in 1825 returned, armed with muskets obtained from Europeans. The ensuing bloodbath all but annihilated Ngāti Whatua and the district became tapu (sacred, taboo). British squatters moved in and were rewarded with land titles by the government in the 1850s. Ceremonies were only performed to lift the tapu in the 1990s.

These days Mangawhai is benefiting from improved traffic links with Auckland, and new housing subdivisions are expanding the spread of the area. Down on the surf beach, though, it's still a quintessential laid-back New Zealand beach town.

Top experiences in Mangawhai

Travel guides

Starting at $27.99

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Mangawhai activities

$178.53 Water Sports

Full-Day Scuba Dive Charter to Hen Island

Meet at the dive centre in Warkworth at 8:30am for check-in and then head off to the boat ramp at Mangawhai Heads Marina for a short safety briefing before loading your gear onto the boat. A high powered boat will take you out to the islands where you will enjoy 2 dives and a light lunch in between. The Hen and Chicken Islands are set in a chain which depicts the wildness of New Zealand. With a general diving depth of up to 25 meters / 82 feet it is suitable for all divers. The average visibility is 10-20 meters and access to the dive site is by boat.  You will be able to snorkel and relax in between dives in one of the several sheltered bays. Dives will be at different sites and suitable for all levels of divers. Finally you will return back to Mangawhai before you head back to your hotel.

$104.32 Day Trips & Excursions

Waipu Cove to Langs Beach

This tour takes us south of Whangarei to Waipu Cove and Langs Beach. After picking you up from one of our three pick up locations, we head south to Mangawhai to visit one Whangarei's many farmers markets. Here you will find local characters, delicious food, artisan products and souvenirs aplenty! After shopping around for an hour, grab your coffee and jump back in the van to head back to Waipu Cove where the tour starts. This beautiful walk takes along the southern coast cliff tops, where we have amazing geological formations, stunning views of Whangarei Heads peninsula and some tiny private beaches that are only accessible on this walk. Along the way we will stop for photo opportunities and some local history and interesting information about the area. After two hours we arrive at Lang's Beach, the perfect place for a fresh hot lunch, using local produce and ingredients. Here we can relax on the beach to let lunch digest before jumping back in the van to head back to Waipu. Our last stop on this tour is at local brewery McLeod's, for a tasty beverage before we head back to Whangarei. This tour can be wet and muddy so we recommend you bring proper walking shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Swim wear and towels will also be useful if you wish to take a dip at Lang's.This tour runs on Friday and Saturday every week.Please note that this tour is weather dependent, in the instance of adverse weather customers will have the option to reschedule or full refund.

Mangawhai in detail