Sites are indicated by Heritage Trail markers. Some of these provide information at the site itself. All have a site number and a QR code which can be scanned to provide further information.
The Trail is three kilometres in length and accessible by foot or vehicle. The average time it takes to walk the Trail is one-and-a-half hours. Walkers are advised to take the St Andrew’s walkway to access sites and enjoy the spectacular views from above Mangonui. Please be aware that Mary Hassett Street (formerly known as Grey Street West) and Tasman Street are very steep.
The development of the Mangonui Heritage Trail would not have been possible without the inspiration of Neva Clarke McKenna. Much of the historical information offered on this trail is derived from her book "Mangonui - Gateway to the Far North" published by the Northland Historical Publications Society Inc. in 1990. The Trail itself is based on Ms. Clarke McKenna's Historical Mangonui Walk outlined in her books, "Doubtless Bay" and "Discovering Northland’s Past".
The Polynesian navigator Kupe visited this area about 900 AD in the canoe Mamaru. On a return trip, the Mamaru brought the chiefs Te Parata and Tumoana; ancestors of the Ngati Kahu. Later, another canoe, the Ruakaramea, was guided into a harbour by a shark. Its chief, Moehuri, named the harbour Mangonui, which means 'large shark'.
Mangonui was known as a safe harbour for whaling vessels by the late 1700s and, in 1831, the first European settler arrived.
By the mid 1800s Mangonui was a centre for whalers and traders; the saw milling, flax and gum industries were flourishing. In the 1900s these industries declined; roads replacing the sea as the main transport route and Mangonui became a much quieter place.
This single room school was opened on July 2 1884.
Prior to 1884, Mangonui children had been taught next door in St Andrew’s Church (Site 8) with an average of 12 pupils and then in a schoolhouse on Tasman Street (Site 11).
From 1950, Mangonui School acquired new buildings, expanding to accommodate its growing roll.
To continue the Trail, head west on Colonel Mould Drive to Sailor's Grave
or turn left into Tasman Street. This is a steep road downhill without
any side walk. Early Colonial Villa Site
10 is on your right.
Walkers wishing to shorten the Heritage Trail can take the Thomas Street Walkway, which leaves Colonel Mould Drive from beside the Church, down to Mangonui township. This will take you past sites 17 to 22.