OUR FAVOURITE ‘OUT AND ABOUT’ PLACE is Mangawhai village, which is a 13 km from Fernlea, and a scenic drive past farmland. In the high season (December, January and February) the village buzzes with energy as families and surfers come to holiday but for the rest of the year it is relatively quiet.
Most Saturdays, from 9am to 1pm, there is a market at the village in Moir Street, as you enter the village it is on the left, you can’t miss it.
You can buy all sorts such as fresh produce, pickles, bread, clothes, jewelry, soaps, plants, and bric-a-brac. It is mostly locally produced and the stall owners are passionate about what they are selling so keen to talk with you about their products. I bought a cute little framed picture of a cup and teapot once at the market, really random, but somehow I couldn’t not buy it! It now hangs in pride of place in the Love Shack.
The Hobbit was at the market a few weekends ago and he met a stall owner, Tony Gilmour, who makes bespoke pieces of furniture and also directional signs.
I am wanting to get a sign post at Fernlea and I have done a mock up, so I will be popping down to see Tony soon and hoping to get the signs made. The Hobbit has over time got resigned to the crazy projects I bring to Fernlea and is really supportive, without him most of my ‘off the wall’ ideas would never happen. I will blog and let you know how this one goes.
Magical Mangawhai, as the locals call it, is also fast becoming known as the walking capital of New Zealand and annually a walking weekend is organised. In 2018 this event is planned for the 16th to 18th March, to read more about it or to register CLICK HERE.
We are considering registering, the walks are graded one to five with one being easy and five challenging. Got a bit of time to consider which ones we register for.
This weekend the Hobbit and I took a break from building and went to the beach at Mangawhai Heads, which is 5 km from the village. When I suggest to the Hobbit that we should go for a walk on the beach he knows it is code for ‘we will be stopping for a cup of coffee at Bennetts’.
Bennetts in Mangawhai is the flagship store for the business, and the minute you arrive you get transferred to the Mediterranean by the roughly textured stucco, courtyards and fountain. Inside you can learn how they make their chocolates, buy decedent treats and get great coffee.
While the Hobbit secured us a table and ordered our coffees, I couldn’t resist buying some bars of the salt caramel and almond milk chocolate and naturally we had a few squares of the sweet, velvety treat while drinking our coffee (to be honest not many squares were left to take home).
The dogs are used to waiting in the car for us while we have coffee but they certainly get their ‘wags’ going when we finally get onto the beach. As it was off season, a wee bit chilly, and threatening rain there were only a few people on the beach walking their dogs. The chilly breeze got the goose bumps going but after a brisk twenty minute walk to the end of the beach we had warmed up and found it quite invigorating.
The beach at Mangawhai Heads has a wild feel about it, it hasn’t been over commercialised, which we like, however there are very good amenities; parking, toilets and showers but nothing else other than white sand, surf, driftwood and shells.
We are so spoilt in New Zealand as we are never far from great beaches. The Hobbit and I don’t take enough advantage of what is on our doorstep, we should get out and about more often. The walk this weekend did wanders to restore our batteries and get us back to building our dream with vigor.