Mangawhai Heads

Mangawhai Heads
Starting point Warehouse Covered Carpark, Albany
Distance 191 km
Gravel None
Petrol Available at Silverdale, Orewa, Warkworth, Matakana, Mangawhai, Mangawhai Heads, Wellsford.
Toilets Available at Hatfields Beach, Warkworth, Mangawhai, Mangawhai Heads, Wellsford
Lunch Mangawhai or Mangawhai Heads

These are some nice twisty country roads varying from several kilometres of consecutive very tight bends on Matakana Valley Road to sweeping bends further north. There are grand views over Makakana, Tawharanui and Omaha from Matakana Valley Road although vegetation blocks the view in those places where there is room to pull over.

Suggested route


  Warehouse covered carpark on Coliseum Drive. Head towards Albany Expressway.  
  ↓200 m  
Turn right onto Albany Expressway. This becomes Dairy Flat Highway.  
  ↕3.9 km  
  Turn left just past the GAS station onto the Coatesville-Riverhead Highway. Or just continue on Dairy Flat Highway, which the main route comes back to.
  ↕3.5 km  
Turn right onto Sunnyside Road.  
  ↕4.8 km  
Turn left onto Green Road.
  ↕2.2 km  
Turn left onto Dairy Flat Highway.
  ↕0.8 km  
Turn right onto Postman Road.  
  ↕3.6 km  
  Turn right at the T junction onto Wilks Road.  
  ↕1.5 km  
  Turn right at the T junction onto E Coast Road.
  ↕3.3 km
There are public toilets at Hatfields Beach, between Orewa and Waiwera. Turn right at the traffic lights onto Hibiscus Coast Highway.  
  ↕14.7 km  

Join State Highway 1 north.
  ↕17.3 km  
There are public toilets in a small park on the left immediately after the turn into Sandspit Road. Turn right onto Sandspit Road, which becomes Matakana Road.  
  ↕8.8 km  
There are public toilets on the right side of the roundabout. Turn left at the roundabout onto Matakana Valley Road
  ↕10.6 km  
Turn left at the T junction onto Whangaripo Valley Road
↕10.7 km  
Turn right onto Tomarata Valley Road Alternatively, go a further 300 metres and turn right into Waitaitai Road. Follow that for 8.1 km, then turn right onto Mangawhai Road.
  ↕8.6 km  
Turn left at the T junction onto School Road.
  ↕4.4 km
At the T junction, turn right onto Mangawhai Road, which becomes Tomarata Road, and then Insley Street.
  ↕11.7 km  
There is a petrol station at the junction of Insley and Moir Streets. Turn right at the T junction onto Moir Street.
  ↕100 metres  
The Frog and Kiwi is an upmarket cafe on Molesworth Drive just past the turn. Turn left onto Molesworth Drive
  ↕4.0 km  
About 350 metres before the turn onto Wood Street, there's a sign for a scenic lookout on the left. Turn right onto Wood Street
  ↕200 metres  
There are several places to eat at Mangawhai Heads shopping centre, also public toilets and a petrol station. There's a parking area on the left behind the shops as well as parking on both sides of the road in front of the shops. Have lunch at Mangawhai Heads shopping centre. Return on Wood Street and Molesworth Drive.
  ↕4.2 km  
Continue to retrace your steps by turning right at the T junction onto Moir Street, then left onto Insley Street, which becomes Tomarata Road and then Mangawhai Road.
  ↕19.6 km  
Turn left at the T junction onto State Highway 1.
  ↕7.1 km  
There are three petrol stations in Wellsford, and public toilets on SH1 just south of the intersection with SH16. Turn right onto State Highway 16 at Wellsford. Alternatively, go back to Auckland on State Highway 1 from here.
  ↕45.7 km  
Arrive at Kaukapakapa. Have an ice cream to finish off the ride. Most riders will turn onto Kahikatea Flat Road a little to the south to get to the North Shore from here, and others will take Peak Road a little further south again to get to West Auckland or the city.

To ride this route in reverse, follow the directions in the Taipuha route to Kaukapakapa. Finish the ride when you turn onto State Highway 1 at Warkworth.


Marsden Cove marina
View from Mangawhai Heads lookout. Photos by John Heebink.