Located in the Northland region
There are no boat launching facilities at Mimiwhangata, but you can carry small boats from the car park to the sea. Hand-launching of dinghies is permitted from the car park.
The Marine Park offers good fishing opportunities, but be aware of the Marine Park Regulations.
Mimiwhangata Coastal Park is located on Northland's east coast about an hour drive from Whangārei (48 km) and from Russell (52 km).
Take the old Whangārei-Russell coastal road, turn-off at Helena Bay and continue on Webb Road. After Teal Bay the road is unsealed, narrow and winding, and unsuitable for towing caravans. Mimiwhangata Coastal Road is after the Ngahau Bay turn-off and is well signposted.
The intervening coastal stretches are filled by broad beaches and sand dunes with a few areas of boulders, shingle and swamp. Beaches and dune areas are favoured nesting sites for threatened shorebirds. Around the hard, greywacke rock cliffs are large pohutukawa and kowhai trees, both of which attract tui in the flowering season.
Significant pockets of coastal forest remain on the hills above the beaches, dominated by kanuka, kohekohe, totara and taraire. Patches of karaka trees are generally associated with sites of Maori habitation.
In the valleys, large puriri trees are favoured by kukupa (native wood pigeons). One of the most colourful birds to be seen, the eastern rosella, is a recent introduction and native of Australia. Native parrots, or kaka, are occasionally seen in the forest. These birds are visitors from offshore island populations. At night the calls of brown kiwi and moreporks are often heard.
The recreated ponds and surrounding wetlands near the farm tracks are home to the rare brown teal/pateke, spotless crake and bittern.
The marine areas around Mimiwhangata are just as varied in topography and biology as the land area. They include exposed and sheltered waters, rocky and sandy coasts. These environments support a typical Northland open coast biota.
Mimiwhangata Marine Park is part of the Mimiwhangata Coastal Park. The 2000-hectare park was established to provide a level of protection to the marine life within it.
The sea around Mimiwhangata peninsula once teemed with life, including tuatua, kina, scallops, crayfish, mussels and numerous species of fish. In the last 30 years, biologists have been surveying the Mimiwhangata area and recorded more than 70 species of fish. Despite the Marine Park being introduced in a bid to protect and restore the Mimiwhangata marine environment, fish abundance has not improved since the mid-1970s surveys. Local and national groups are still campaigning for greater marine protection.
A number of rare species can be found in the park, such as the ivory coral, a red-lined bubble shell, a callianassid shrimp, the spotted black grouper (Epinephelus daemelii), sharp-nosed puffer (or toado) and sabretooth blenny. Reefs stretching 4 km offshore east of Rimariki Island, off Mimiwhangata appear biodiversity-rich with notable species of gorgonian fans, soft corals and black coral and a range of different fish species.
Mimiwhangata was once inhabited by a substantial Maori community. It has a rich and varied European history as well. Read about the history of Mimiwhangata
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