Mangawhai is north of Auckland on the North Island – about a 45 minute drive from where we live in the Hibiscus Coast. It’s a pretty cool place and we’ve been a few times now, once for a camping trip and this time just for the day. The minute we drive through the small town on our way to the beach there is an instant holiday feel and the stresses of day-to-day life genuinely feel further away than that short drive.
It’s an awesome spot with the white sands that adorn all of my favourite NZ beaches. The Mangawhai heads beach is safely on one side of an estuary so we enjoyed what seemed like hours in the warm, safe waters cooling down from this oppressive December heat. Mangawhai has the best of both worlds as there is a surfers beach at Mangawhai too and you can paddle over to it from the heads estuary side.
The huge dunes at Mangawhai are home to all kinds of sea birds, fairy terns, oyster catchers and their crazy sqwarking and New Zealand Dotterals. These beautiful dunes sit across the front of the estuary beach which creates a stunning vista to sit and laze the day away watching.