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 bakery, owned by Mr J. Feist, was built in 1920 on the site of a previous saddlery constructed around 1900. The adjoining cottage was built shortly after 1920 and housed most of the subsequent owners of the bakery building.
The bakery was extended to accommodate wood fired brick kilns which in turn gave way to electric ovens. By the mid-1900s the need for local bakeries had disappeared and the building lay empty.
From 1981 to 1985 the building was used as a workshop for handcrafted kauri furniture. Since then it has been in use as a shop.
After leaving the Feist Bakery Building, cross Waterfront Drive and continue
south for 100 metres. Then turn left onto a small promontory of land known
as Maori Point.
The marker for the viewing point for the Flax Mill Site 15 is on the south side of the point looking toward State Highway 10.