Walking Tracks In Mangawhai

There is no better way to explore natural New Zealand than on your own two feet. That makes Northland’s Mangawhai region an absolute hidden gem.

With a host of walking tracks draped throughout the area, the natural beauty of Mangawhai is plain for all to see. In 1999, the high calibre of Mangawhai’s many trails even inspired an annual festival, the Mangawhai Walking Weekend. Here are a few walking tracks in Mangawhai that stand out above the rest.

Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway

The Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway is considered one of the most beautiful walks in New Zealand. Combining New Zealand’s rugged coastal beauty with spectacular elevated ocean views, it makes for a truly awe-inspiring journey! The unique terrain and low difficulty of the 2-3 hour round trip means it’s a walk everyone can enjoy. Starting from the beach, the track begins by climbing its way up to a lookout point. It then weaves along the coastal cliff face, past ancient pohutukawa trees and back down to the beach below. Note that some of the return trip (an 8km beach walk) can be cut off at high tide, so make sure to time it right. While up on the cliffs admiring the view, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for passing whales or dolphins!

Tanekaha Tracks

If you’re after a bit of variety, then the Tanekaha Tracks are for you. There are five main walking tracks in the area, which come together to create loops. Each loop begins and ends at the Kings Road carpark, so it’s basically impossible to get lost! The trails will take you through lush forests and up onto soaring ridges, with a range of interesting sights along the way. A highlight for many is the beautiful Tanekaha Falls Track, where you’ll come across multiple waterfalls, a swimming hole, and the remains of a kauri dam. You’ll also be in for a spot of boulder hopping to cross the many streams that flow throughout the native bush. Another must see is two gigantic trees on the Puriri Track, both believed to be over 1000 years old.

Goldschmidt Panoramic Walks

This varied walk is based at the Mangawhai Heads estuary, and explores hidden paths you’d only spot if you were really looking. You’ll make your way up towards towering vantage points, where you’ll discover, you guessed it, vast panoramic views. If you thought Mangawhai was beautiful from ground level, just wait till to see it from above! The uphill climbs on this walk are steep, but short, so reasonable fitness should do just fine. Don’t forget to bring some water and snacks along with you, as the trail takes approximately 4 hours to complete. The Goldschmidt Track is actually named after the original creator of the Mangawhai Walking Weekend, Jean Goldschmidt. It goes without saying that she’s a bit of a local legend around these parts!

Mangawhai Walking Weekend

Aptly named, the Mangawhai Walking Weekend is an annual celebration of all things walking and all things Mangawhai! Throughout the weekend, a variety of organised walks are guided by the locals, eager to share their knowledge and passion for the area. Some of the walks are actually on local private land, and are only opened up for this very special occasion. The weekend is a real community effort, with around 150 volunteers turning out each year. The festival celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, and has continued to get better and better with every rendition. Nowadays, the festivities aren’t limited to just walking either, with food, wine, art and music all heavily incorporated. Filled with good vibes and community spirit, the Mangawhai Walking Weekend has understandably become a highlight of the Mangawhai calendar. To think it all started with a couple of walking tracks!

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