Watch the Tasman Sea crash into the Pacific Ocean at Cape Reinga – Te Rerenga Wairua, one of the northernmost points in New Zealand. Oral histories tell of the spirits of deceased Māori leaping from the old pohutukawa tree at the Cape into the ocean, returning to their ancestral homeland of Hawaiki.
On your way up the Cape, be sure to stop at the enormous Te Paki sand dunes. If you are feeling brave, surfboards can be rented to “surf the dunes”.
If you have a 4WD vehicle, consider taking an alternative route on Ninety Mile Beach – a spectacular drive along an unspoiled coast.
Don’t want to drive? Book a day tour, and leave the driving to someone else. Arrangements can be made for pickup from The Old Oak Hotel – please talk to your hosts.
Mangonui Heritage Trail Walk
The Mangonui Heritage Trail takes you around Mangonui’s many historic buildings and sights, whilst a trip to the top of Rangikapiti Pa takes around 45 minutes from the hotel. This historic landmark boasts spectacular views over Doubtless Bay and back over Mangonui Harbour. Just 5 minutes drive down the road, off the Highway, lies Taumararumaru Reserve, the site of three Maori Pa and more great views of the Bay. Further afield Whangaroa Harbour and Karikari Peninsula offer further opportunities to wander through more of the Far North’s amazing scenery. The hotel is well stocked with maps and local knowledge to help you tailor a suitable walks.
The 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.
Swimming, Surfing, or Kayaking
It’s hard to beat a dip at one of the areas safe swimming beaches. Coopers Beach and Cable Bay provide sheltered bays just down the road from the hotel, where the Pacific laps gently at the shore – popular with locals and visitors alike. The nearby Karikari Peninsula has some lovely isolated beaches where it is impossible to resist the pull of the deep blue ocean. Ask at reception for beach towels!
Less than 20 minutes’ drive from The Old Oak lies the picturesque Taupo Bay, a well-regarded surf break on the northeast coast. Or, head over to the west coast to Shipwreck Bay in Ahipara, only a 45-minute drive west. This world-famous point break supplies some of the best left-handed leg burners found on the planet. If you are feeling fit and adventurous, surf at Taupo Bay (Pacific Ocean) in the morning, followed by Shippies (Tasman Sea) in the afternoon!
Kayak or SUP
Other local water activities include kayaking and the very popular stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), perfect for a glassy day on the Mangonui harbour in front of the hotel.
Beauty Treatments at Doubtless Beauty
A complete range of beauty treatments are available at this award winning salon now located in Cooper’s Beach, just a short drive away.
Doubtless Bay Beauty
House of Rehua
Traditional Maori Healing house specialising in traditional Maori healing and native plant medicine.
House of Rehua
The Little Gallery at the Old Oak features the work of local artists in what we affectionately call “the smallest gallery in the village”. Small spaces can be magical places!
Mark Daniels Art is a working art studio and gallery, featuring Mark’s paintings, sculptures, and prints.
The Flagstaff Gallery features a selection of fine artworks, set in part of the historic 1909 former home of Gus Leser.
Exhibit-A is a long-running gallery that features art, sculpture, fine crafts, jewellery, and leather craft, set in the historic Mangonui courthouse in the village centre.
Flax Bush offers you a range of gifts, jewelry, weaving, homewares, and items with an international flavour.