The Art Trail
Doubtless Bay has a tradition of alternative arts and crafts, dating back to the 1970’s, when the inland areas attracted large numbers of alternative rural life-stylers. Since then, many have gone and some have remained along with younger and more recent migrants to the area. Visitors can spend several days seeing interesting and varied arts and crafts.
Rebecca Shawyer - Unique Art is in Cable Bay. Call to arrange a viewing, on 021 188 4924.
Just around the corner from Unique Art is the Cable Bay beach. This is a pretty pink - coral beach, which is very safe for swimming. Check out the history first.
Try lunch at one of the cafes in Mangonui.
The art and craft shops in Mangonui:
- The Wharf Store
- Flax Bush
- Laurels Soaps and Gifts
Dinner choices are wide ranging, but for your first night, if you’ve had an active day, try indulging yourself in local seafood from one of the “fish and chip” shops. There are many to choose from, two favourites are in Mangonui:
- Harbourside Takeaways
- Mangonui Fish Shop
Fern Flat Pottery is a must visit for art lovers. It is about 20kms inland from Taipa. Check this link (or visit the Wharf Store in Mangonui) to get an appreciation of the terracotta pieces that this pottery specializes in.
Paradise Design Garden Sculpture is also out in Peria at 702 Honeymoon Valley Rd, inland from Taipa. They specialise in garden sculpture with NZ nature themes, and also have a beautiful river and bush walks. Phone before hand, on 09 408 5588.
Back down at SH 10, in Taipa, the Taipa Bay Resort Café is right on the beach at Taipa, and it might be a good spot for coffee.
And whilst you are out at the Western end of Doubtless Bay, it may be a good time to head out to Karikari Peninsula. This is a must visit for any Doubtless Bay visitor. If the beautiful unspoiled sandy beaches aren’t your thing, then maybe a visit to the award winning Karikari Estate Vineyard & Winery is. You can taste wines, and have lunch at the winery, or for more formal dining, Carrington Resort is just over the road.
It’s easy to spend a good part of the day on the Peninsula, especially if you wander along any of the four main beaches. They are all different and each and every one is worth a visit if you have the time.
Time to plan for dinner. Perhaps a change from last nights takeaways. For formal dining, The Acorn Bar & Bistro in Mangonui (just along from the Flax Bush shop) is great. There are several other cafes to choose from in Mangonui.
The Mangonui Heritage Trail is an interesting insight into the history of Mangonui, on an easy walk around the village. It would be about 2kms all up, but allow an hour at least. Get a map from the Information Centre, or print one from this website.
Part way through the Heritage Trail, visit Bead Studio, which is next to St Andrew’s Church (No.8 on the Heritage Trail Map).
By the time you get back down to the waterfront, it’s probably time for coffee. Along the waterfront from Maori Point (No.15 on the Heritage Trail Map) to the Post Office are the Acorn Bar and Bistro, The Baker Man Café, Waterfront Café and the Post Office Café - plenty to choose from.
You might like to arrange visits to other artists. Choose from:
- Kazart - Karen Vernon at Coopers Beach, ph 09 406 1733
- Agnes Hauptil (weaver) at Peria, ph 09 406 5893
On Saturdays, the Mangonui market is held in Mangonui Memorial Hall (No.3 on the Heritage Trail Map). Apart from a great selection of local and home grown, or made food, local artists attend.
If you are wanting to go further, the Kaitaia market (38 kms away) is also interesting and, as it starts earlier, you might be able to do both Kaitaia and the Mangonui markets. On the way back from Kaitaia, don’t miss Ancient Kauri Kingdom at Awanui (a km or so further along SH1 from the junction with SH10).
At weekends, the Exhibit A gallery is also open. This is in the Old Courthouse (No.1 on the Heritage Trail Map). Several local artists exhibit here.
After all the walking you’ve done, why not finish off and rest your legs at Doubtless Beauty?