Mangawhai in the news

AA Directions - Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures

A shell on my desk reminds me of a weekend at the beach. It is a remnant of a whelk, rubbed and tumbled and smoothed over years at sea to become a lumpy ring.

I’ve had many such rings over the years, rinsed clean of sand, slipped onto little fingers as the beach walk continues. This souvenir is from Mangawhai Heads’ Ocean Beach, of a glorious evening walk to where the cliff top track ascends, rising to follow the edge of land above crashing surf, gliding gulls, endless views.

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One Of The 10 Most Beautiful Towns In New Zealand

Idyllic beaches, breathtaking mountains, beautiful lakes – New Zealand has it all. From the South Island’s Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital, to the surfing Mecca of Raglan on North Island, we traverse this beautiful country to bring you ten of its most scenic towns.

It may be just 100 kilometers north of New Zealand’s biggest city, Auckland, but the charming Northland town of Mangawhai could be a whole world away.

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Viva - When in Mangawhai

When in Mangawhai

They call it Magical Mangawhai, and with its beautiful beach, great food and proximity to Auckland we can see why.

The Northland spot has become a favourite of foodies and fashion insiders, including Kate Sylvester and Viva editor Amanda Linnell. Here's our go-to guide of what to visit when you’re not at the beach.

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Mangawhai Golf Club

Mangawhai Golf

A little out of the way – A lot out of the ordinary! I think I may have just found where our next home is going to be.

A few years ago there was a campaign ‘Don’t leave home till you’ve seen the country’. At the time I thought I had seen a reasonable amount of the country but as we recently discovered there is often a lot more to a place than a one day visit highlights.

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Artisans: Tree tomatoes - a savoury or sweet treat

Tamarillo jelly is great as a condiment with cheese and crackers.

Les and Liz Holsted were sick of their busy corporate jobs in the city and decided to buy a block of land up north to get out of the rat race. "It was the mid-life crisis thing really," says Liz. "We had dreams of going to Italy for six months and learning to make limoncello while our lemon trees grew at home. When we got real about it, we saw it was a huge operation and started to think about alternatives."

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Brunch: Bennetts Cafe, Mangawhai

We came here because we were staying in Mangawhai for Easter - along with several thousand other people; the coastal tourist spot was packed.

Parking was right outside in the carpark, which is laid with white stone chips and bordered by mini olive trees. Nice. There is more parking on the road.

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Mangawhai Days of Wine and Olives

Mangawhai's like a little piece of Provence, just an hour out of Auckland.

Less than an hour and a half's drive from Auckland, Mangawhai Heads is an unexpected gastronomic delight. We visited thinking we might get a beach walk and pub lunch but instead found award-winning wine to taste, gorgeous olive oil to sample and an authentic French eatery going incognito.

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The magic of Mangawhai

The Magic of Mangawhai

There's plenty to see and do - and eat - in nearby Mangawhai, discovers Graham Hepburn, writing for the NZ Herald.

As a cadet reporter with the Northern Advocate, I first visited Mangawhai in the mid-1980s when I wrote about the construction of the schooner R. Tucker Thompson.

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