To guests who stay in my holiday stay, Quail’s Nest, I often suggest the Cliff-top walk, approached via the Surf Beach.
“Spell-bounding views from the top,” I say. “You can see the Hen and Chicken Islands and as far as the Coromandel Peninsula and if the tide is right, you can return along the beach.”
In truth, much to my chagrin, I myself have never walked the Cliff-top walk. Until today. Today I walked the cliff-top and I’m pleased to report that it lived up to my boastful praise.
Not only are the views stupendous, but the ambience is sublime. Loud, chirruping insects, (I’m guessing crickets), accompanied by gentle bird-song and the rhythmic swish of the waves below. Glade tunnels of vegetation allowing speckles of sunlight to filter through and dapple the path. Silky spider threads tickling moist skin, and the welcome occasional puffs of a wafting breeze.
Today, I was unable to return via the beach. Next time, I’ll check tide–times before leaving home!
This iconic grade three to four walk is listed as one of New Zealand’s Fourteen Great Short Walks and is a high-lite of the 20th Mangawhai Walking Weekend, March 28th – 31st. This annual walkers event features Northland’s best coastal and bushwalking experiences and with thirty walks on offer, there is something for everyone from easy strolls and doggy walks to more challenging walks.
The Long Tramp, an eight-hour serious tramp covers tracks on the southern slopes of the Brynderwyns. Less arduous is the new Art and Gardens walk encompassing five venues featuring art and sculpture and led by knowledgeable guides. Perhaps you’d like to find out what happens in those mysterious places known as Blokes Sheds. Sheila’s are welcome on this Blokes Shed walk, though no talk of babies, cooking or dressmaking is tolerated!
There are farmland walks, walks through caves (Waipu caves), a beach and ice cream walk and for the conservationists, a bush tramp in Murunui Conservation (Brynderwyn’s) where forty-three brown kiwis have been released since 2013, led by an experienced botanist and there is a foodie’s walk, boasting the finest Mangawhai has to offer; creamy avocado’s, divine honey, gold medal extra virgin olive oil and wine!
Music and magic come to Mangawhai in the form of The Troubadour Trail, a walk along the estuary loop, with entertainment provided along the way by professional performers.
And on Saturday, The Mangawhai Food and Wine Festival will be held in the village with entertainment provided by the Mermaids Dance Band.
Tempted to attend? Looking for a place to stay?
A Place to Stay.
Visiting Mangawhai – choose Quail’s Nest
For memorable moments of fun and rest
Bring your whanau and all your mates
Get packing now, don’t hesitate
For cosy comfort, Quail’s Nest is best!
(Quail’s Nest, listed on Airbnb and booking.com)