Coffee Cart, Langs Beach near Mangawhai, Northland
Image Courtesy of Malene Holm
If you're near Auckland and looking for a fun beachside place to take all the family, visit Mangawhai. Just an hour and a half north of the city, it's on one of the prettiest stretches of coastline in the lower part of Northland.
Mangawhai has a number of beaches, including a large harbor lagoon and a great ocean beach for surfing and surf casting. There are loads of other things to do in the area too, from walks, swimming and even horse riding. Mangawhai also has a respectable selection of cafes.
Summer is the best time to visit Mangawhai but it's also the most popular time for holidaymakers. Over January it's very busy but it's pretty quiet the rest of the year. It's a lovely spot to spend a day or two and a good stopping off point on your way to the Bay of Islands.