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Maori legend tells us that Kupe, the great Polynesian navigator, made his first landing near Taipa in A.D. 950. In 1769, Captain James Cook sailed past the entrance and recorded in his journal - Doubtless a Bay.

From 1831, European whalers, timber workers and immigrants arrived here and at one time, whaling boats moored in the harbour stretched across from Mangonui to Hihi. Doubtless Bay extends from Hihi in the east through Mangonui, Coopers Beach, Cable Bay and Taipa to the Karikari peninsula at the west. There is an excellent viewpoint over Mangonui, Hihi, the whole of Doubtless Bay and the Pacific Ocean from the top of Rangikapiti Pa, accessible by car from Mill Bay and State Highway 10.

   
   

Historic Mangonui village is situated on the edge of Mangonui Harbour, directly across from Hihi. Once a bustling whaling and trading port, many of the historic buildings today house restaurants, cafes, post office and gift shops. Fine dining is available at The Galley Restaurant and Waterfront Cafe. The famous Mangonui Fish Shop offers some of the best fish and chips in the country.

Around the corner from Mangonui is Mill Bay, an artist's dream with its backdrop of the dominating Rangikapiti Pa and its yachts and boats. At Coopers Beach and Taipa, there is fine dining at Coopers Cafe and shops of all kinds, take-away food, plus a medical centre and pharmacy.

   

Karikari Peninsula

This is the playground for those who just love beaches and is perfect for young families or fishermen. Starting just 15 kilometres west of Mangonui, each beach or bay has its own distinct personality and special character.

These vary from sheltered bays with fine white sand, such as Matai Bay, to rugged rocky coastline with pounding surf. Relax and soak up the sun in this subtropical paradise.

Matai Bay
   

Carrington Resort and Karikari Estate Vineyard & Winery

This world class golf resort is located on the Karikari peninsula and rests between a private four kilometre white sand beach and the 65 acre mountainside vineyards of the winery. The club's facilities include an 18 hole golf course, dining & lounge facilities, library, tennis courts, swimming pool, billiard room, & pro shop. A platter of excellent Northland cuisine is available daily for lunch at the winery.

   

Butler Point Whaling Museum and Historic Homestead

Butler Point is a privately owned 26 hectare property at Hihi - just down the road from Hihi Olive Estate. Over the last three decades the proprietors have developed the property into a macadamia orchard and one of the Far North's most fascinating heritage tourism destinations. Captain Butler's House dates back to the 1840s and is furnished in early Colonial and Victorian styles. The Whaling Museum displays a full range of authentic harpoons and a fully-equipped whaleboat as used from the whale ships.

   

Matthews Vintage Collection

Located a few kilometres west of Taipa, off State Highway 10, experience a unique opportunity to view a privately-owned collection of vintage cars and machinery used in farming dating back to the early 1900s. Accumulated and restored by an avid vintage enthusiast over the last 40 years and covering over 1100 square metres of display area, there is a wide range of tractors, stationary engines, vintage cars and pioneer farm and domestic equipment.

   

Play Golf

Whangaroa Golf Club
located 15 kilometres east of Mangonui on State Highway 10

Carrington Resort
Karikari Peninsula

Carrington Club
   

Mangonui Heritage Trail

Beginning and ending at the Mangonui Court House, the Mangonui Heritage Trail provides a glimpse of the great wealth of Maori and European history associated with this area. The Trail is three kilometres in length and accessible by foot or vehicle. The average time taken to walk the trail is one and a half hours. Walkers are advised to take the St. Andrew's walkway up to the church and enjoy the spectacular views from above Mangonui's waterfront. And you can always break off for an eponymous meal at the world-famous Mangonui Fish & Chip Shop.

   

Go Diving

Diving and snorkelling in Doubtless Bay is superb and under-rated. The local skippers know the top spots and can take you to them. Collect mussels, scallops and, of course, crayfish.

A to Z Diving
based at Whatuwhiwhi
Doubtless Adventures
based in Cable Bay

Diving Doubtless Bay
   
Go Sailing

Enjoy sailing the beautiful Northland coast and harbours from Mill Bay at Mangonui on the 44-foot Hinemoana II. Laze around in idyllic bays or learn sailing skills, swim, snorkel and explore.

Mill Bay Haven Sailing Charters
Zig Zag Charters

Yachts in Mill Bay
   

Go Swimming or surfing

Nearby Hihi Beach is fine for families and Coopers Beach is a great expanse of unspoiled fine sand backed by rows of beautiful Pohutukawa trees. Cable Bay has a beautiful pink-coral beach with rock pools and small lagoon.

Rangiputa and Matai Bay on the Karikari peninsula have sheltered fine white sand beaches. Tokerau Beach and Taipa Beach are favourites with the surfies when the conditions are right.

Cable Bay
   

Go Fishing

Enjoy fishing Doubtless Bay from Mill Bay and Mangonui in fully equipped, safe boats. Catch some of the many species found in this beautiful bay.

Pisces Charters
New Zealand Fishing Charters

Boating from Mill Bay
   

Ninety Mile Beach and Cape Reinga

Best visited by organised tours which depart daily from Doubtless Bay with pick up from Hihi. Trips are by 4WD Landcruisers with knowledgeable local drivers. The tour includes a drive along Ninety Mile Beach and the Te Paki quicksand stream, a visit to the Cape Reinga lighthouse and the often turbulent confluence of the Pacific Ocean and the Tasman Sea, a silica-sand beach and a picnic lunch and swimming stop at delightful Tapotupotu Bay.

Paradise Connexion
Harrisons Cape Runner

         
 

Ancient Kauri Kingdom

Located about 30 kilometres west of Mangonui on State Highway 1 at Awanui, the Ancient Kauri Kingdom displays hand-crafted furniture, art, crafts and gifts from the oldest workable timber in the world. See the amazing centrepiece in the shop - a staircase carved within a 140 ton log. Independent radiocarbon dating confirms that this tree had lain in a swamp for 45,000 - 50,000 years.

   
         
 

Gumdiggers Park

Discover the history of The Far North and the gum digging revolution that shaped the landscape, the people and the local industries of our past as well as our modern day lives. View the maze of giant gum holes that reveal extraordinary kauri trees from prehistoric times and explore the mystery that caused the destruction of these ancient forests. Situated about 45 kilometres northwest of Mangonui, off State Highway 1, Gumdiggers Park is a four minute detour off the main route to Cape Reinga.

   
         
 

Potteries

There are two interesting potteries that can be visited - follow the signposts to their location about 15 kilometres inland from Taipa at Fern Flat.

Fern Flat Pottery
Paradise Design Garden Sculpture

  Potteries  
     
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