Northland historic villages worth a detour
Mangonui there are plenty of things to do. Relish the taste of freshly caught fish. It’s fish n chips nivera with a picturesque harbour to whoof down the lightly battered, crisp joy. Walk off the fried goodness with a short energetic heritage walk, an interesting art gallery and quirky local shops. Doubtless Bay and the inner harbour of Mangonui are steeped in history. Scenic uncrowded reserves where there is plenty of space to contemplate glorious vistas and the march of time over the landscapes before you. Heritage, takeaways and fabulous scenery create memorable moments.
HIGHLIGHTS WHAT TO DO NEARBY
- The former courthouse is now a vibrant multi-media art space
- View Mangonui harbour from your vantage point while devouring fish n chips
- Short heritage walk around the town and surroundings to discover heritage pa sites with fabulous views of Northland’s waterways
- Nearby Hihi and Bullers Museum, Coopers Beach, Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve and Mill Bay &Rangikapiti Pa Reserve
The old courthouse now houses an art gallery. It is easy to imagine a bustling port exporting kauri logs, kauri gum and flax to Australia and beyond. There continue to be commercial buildings perched in the harbour on kauri pilings.
This shop has been operating for over 70 years and owns specific catching rights of fish that others don’t, giving customers a wider selection than most fish ‘n’ chipperies. The fishing boats dock at the wharf just 50 metres away, meaning you can literally watch your lunch and dinner come out of the water and into the restaurant.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE KIDS
- A classic fish n chips by the waterfront
- Heritage walk with views and Coopers Beach playground
- Beach exploration
WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE
- Penguins crossing road sign is an amusing selfie location
- Your fish n chips
- Historic courthouse
- Kevin Frederick Frear, buried in Mangonui Cemetery achieved notoriety as founder of Peoples Temple Cult.
- Mangonui Fish N Chip shop
- Edwin Marsh Williams, one of the translators of the Treaty of Waitangi, oversaw the courthouse from 1873-1883. He became a judge of the Native Land Courts. The courthouse was used by the Police Department until 1975 when it was declared surplus by the Justice Department
- Mangonui waterfront festival celebrates local food producers, art, music, creative artists and the seaside village vibe. Annual festival usually held every March
WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE
In Mangonui, the Ruakaramea canoe was guided into the harbour by a shark. Its chief, Moehuri, named the harbour Mangonui, which means ‘large shark’. Mangonui with its sheltered harbour was a favoured spot for whalers in the early 1800’s. From the beginnings as a port of call for sailors business connections expanded with the export of kauri logs. Maori became an essential component in the supply of fresh produce, as crew for their skills in navigation, seaworthiness and as harpooners. Nearly 500 whaling ships have been recorded arriving into Mangonui between 1833 and 1894. Records show up to thirty whaling ships here at any one time. Ninety-five percent of the whaling ships were American. There were American and British Consular agents stationed in Mangonui from 1849 to 1878.
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- What are waiting for
Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Waitangi & Bay of Islands Region nearby attractions and events.
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