Mangawhai Cliffs Walkway
Excellent Headlands / Beach Loop
NZ Gps: 36° 3' 29.232" S 174° 35' 21.84" E
This walkway is one of the best coastal tracks on the entire island, it's that good! This is a two hour loop - half along the beach and its rocky coves, the other half contouring atop the cliffs. Like a coin you go from heads (Mangawhai) to tails (Bream)...you win heads or tails! LOL.
Unlike many coastal tracks that hide their views behind gorse or bush, this walkway sports wide-open vistas over both the island-studded horizon and 30km of beach. Nice! No other track on the North Island features as continuous a coastal view as this one...and if you plan the tide correctly you also can tour 2km of charismatic beach coves below.
Here's the deal: from the Mangawhai Heads carpark walk 15 minutes north on the beach to find the start of the loop. If the tide is high, then head up to do the upper walk first. But if the tide is mid, then do the beach walk first. From this point it takes about 30 minutes to walk the beach's coves, duck through the arch, and find the staircase to the upper track. (90 minutes either side of high tide shuts down the beach option.)