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Travel Guide

Mangonui, Northland things to see and do

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In this Article

Best bits your only guide to a great holiday

Relish fish n chips straight from the boat. Mangonui fish shop delivers a culinary experience at one of New Zealand’s oldest ports. Discover the story of whaling at the Bulter Point Whaling Museum and explore the heritage of ancient pa sites at Rangikapiti Pa archeological reserve combined with an ice cream at Doubtless Bay. Indulge and sample local wines and find special holiday mementos in Mangonui’s repurposed local courthouse. Nearby Kerikeri offers visitors a chance to pop into the oldest continuously trading store, The Stone House or wander Kerikeri’s galleries.

Mangonui highlights

  • Mangonui heritage trail
  • Exploring local beaches
  • Doubtless Bay wine trail
  • Rangikaiti Pa site
  • Butler Point Whaling Museum
  • Taumarumaru Reserve

BEST TIME TO GO

Year round it is the winterless North

THINGS TO DO

Mangonui Fish Shop

The fish quota for the shop ensures it is off the wharf and on the plate of diners. The harbour waters lap behind your feet while consuming delicious freshly battered and fried fish.

Mangonui world famous in New Zealand fish n chips

BEACHES

Summer holidays by the beach is exemplified by Coopers Beach, Cable Bay, Taipa and Hihi. There are sandy, safe shallow beaches, uncrowded and impressive sea views from local lookouts. Mill Bay was once the main trading port and the location of a timber mill.

TIP

Look at low tide for sea-smoothed glass and other vintage collectable detritus

Coopers beach, New Zealand @ramblingkiwi75
Coopers beach @ramblingkiwi75

BUTLER POINT WHALING MUSEUM

A heritage tourism homestead wrapped around a national garden of significance, complete with a shop selling orchard fresh macadamia products. Check here for more information Butler Point Whaling Museum, what to see

@butlerpointwhalingmuseum @butlerpointwhalingmuseum
@butlerpointwhalingmuseum @butlerpointwhalingmuseum
Taumarumaru Reserve walk, New Zealand @m_u_e_r_t_a
Taumarumaru Reserve walk @m_u_e_r_t_a

HERITAGE TRAILS WITH A DIFFERENCE

  • Rangikapiti Pa archeological reserve & Taumarumaru Reserve

Combine historical exploration with ice creams and day fossicking on local beaches. There are breathtaking views of Doubtless Bay with swaths of green rolling farmland dipping down to small coves and inlets. Both walks are beautiful in spring / early summer with the red blooming Pohutukawa flowers.

  • MANGONUI HERITAGE TRAIL

Follow heritage markers exploring quiet residential streets viewing 19th homes, courthouses and historic pubs reflecting the varied history of the area. Heritage Trail is three kilometers in length and accessible by foot or vehicle and all sites are indicated by the Heritage Trail Markers. The average time it takes to walk the Trail is one and a half hours. Walkers are advised to take the St. Andrew’s walkway to access sites and enjoy the spectacular views from above Mangonui.

Mangonui heritage streetscape, Northland
Mangonui heritage streetscape
Mangonui art gallery, former courthouse, Northland, NZ
Mangonui art gallery, former courthouse
  • LAKE OHIA (COCA COLA)

Discover a lake that usually has very low water levels or is simply a muddy expense. A place where perspectives toiled for kauri gum among the ancient petrified kauri forests.

For more information check out Kauri Coast beaches & Poutou Point

ART GALLERIES AND CRAFT

  • The former courthouse is the home of a well regarded art cooperative showcasing local emerging and established artists.

WINERIES AND VINEYARDS

Vineyards

Dancing Petrel Vineyard – Wine from Northland New Zealand is on an island now connected via a causeway. The boutique vineyard is a single origin estate with cellar door sales. Forward bookings are recommended.

Karikari Estate is part of the Carrington Estate which is a winery and golf resort

Okahu Estate – Award Winning Winery in Northland New Zealand, further afield near Kaitaia is an award winning estate with a passion for local climate and the challenging ‘kauri sands’.  The Knight family has been coaxing the very best from these “Kauri Sands” since 1984.

@dancingpetrel
@dancingpetrel
Mangonui late 1890's, New Zealand
Mangonui late 1890's

INTERESTING FACT

Today Mangonui is still a port of entry in New Zealand with its own Customs facilities. Mangonui port was a kauri milling and gum exporting town now it is largely dependent on tourists and visitors.  The sheltered inner harbour was a safe provisioning destination for whaling vessels in the late 1700’s.

TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION

MANGONUI HOTEL (1905)

Kauri wood construction, a classic veranda style colonial pub with an enviable location across from the sea and venerable pohutukawa gracing the hotel entrance.

COURTHOUSE ART GALLERY

The craft collective has a loom and if you have planned your trip to coincide with a workshop in a few hours you will be a dab hand at creating a wool scarf. Courthouse is a well preserved late 19th century judicial building. Apart from some fittings missing from inside, the courthouse essentially remains as it was in 1893. It still has the judge’s bench, the dock and a table made by prisoners. Mangonui Courthouse is the only building in the Far North known to be designed by John Campbell (1857-1942). 19 In 1890 he was appointed Government Architect until his retirement in 1922. Campbell is most well known for his design of Parliament House in Wellington (1912).

@Exhibit A Gallery Mangonui
@Exhibit A Gallery Mangonui
@St Andrew's Mangonui
@St Andrew's Mangonui

MANGONUI HALL (1894)

Now the library and the centre of the community.

We stroll around the bottom of the bay looking for treasure but don’t see anything special.Mangonui Harbour’s spectacular pā, Rangikapiti is beautifully positioned over Mill Bay.  Now the home of the Mangonui Cruising Club, the Mill Bay heritage walk commences at the old mill site, now the Cruising Club jetty. Mill Bay is named after the timber mill which was built in 1880 and closed in 1915

ST ANDREWS CHURCH (1860)

Originally served a dual purpose as a school and church until the school opened in 1877. The interior is notable for the stained glass window of fishing, milling and whaling .

INTERESTING FACT

The 2 hour heritage trail passes 22 listed buildings.

MANGONUI FISH SHOP – FRESH LOCAL FISH CAUGHT BY LOCAL FISHERMAN

The shop has been trading for over 75 years. The shop is part of a commercial fishing operation processing over 30 tonnes of line caught fish. The shop was originally a home converted into a shop as the business developed. Look beneath your feet into the harbour to observe

sting rays, john dory, king fish swimming under the shop. It is common to witness bronze whaler sharks that use Mangonui as a breeding ground

The Mangonui Fish Shop owns quota shares for species such as Bluenose, Hapuku, Snapper, Tarakihi, Gurnard, and many more. The shop is allocated catching rights to the line caught species that served in the shop.

Mangonui fishing charter view of harbour and fish n chip shop commercial wharf
Mangonui fishing charter view of harbour and fish n chip shop commercial wharf

LINE CAUGHT FISH

Is it line caught? Line caught fish costs up to 30% more than trawled varieties due to its pristine firm quality and freshness.

BEST BITS TRAVEL GUIDES

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