In New Zealand’s Northland area, there are some fantastic hikes and beach walks. But the Mangawhai Heads Cliff Walk combines both, which makes it so wonderfully special. You’ll just have to check the tides to make sure you will be able to walk on the beach!
Mangawhai Heads Cliff Walk
The 9-km (a little over 5.5 miles) return Mangawhai Heads Cliff Walk is absolutely stunning. We were staying in the area and held out for good weather and a morning with low tides, so we could get back before it was too hot. And … It. Was. Perfect.
From the sunrise walk on the beach to the lush trailhead and absolutely jaw-dropping views from atop the cliffs, this hike was out of a dream. It was the perfect way to spend a few hours and the only difficult part was the initial climb and fumbling over the rocks before getting to the sandy part of the beach.
Although, we did have a surprise on the way back when we encountered a decomposing whale. But also, the nature nerds in us were totally fascinated. It was amazing!
If the water wasn’t so cold during the autumn, we definitely would have indulged in a swim in the beautiful clear water on our return walk as well.
While not as difficult as we had anticipated, it was enough to work up an appetite. So, we happily grabbed a few treats from the awesome Saturday market up the road. If going on a later hike, burritos from Gringas (that’s only open for weekend lunch) is a must as well!
If not up for a longer walk, hiking up one of the hills at the Mangawhai Heads parking area for sunrise is another great option!
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