Historic, picturesque township 36 km north-east of Kaitāia, on Doubtless Bay. Mangōnui became a favoured haven for whalers from the early 1800s. The township then grew as a trading port where kauri logs were milled and prepared for export. Farming started slowly too. By the 1860s Mangōnui was the administrative centre for the far north with government offices, hotels, a hospital, and coastal shipping links with Auckland. Gum digging and flax milling boosted growth in the 19th century, but after 1900 kauri and gum business shifted west to Kaitāia. The administrative centre followed in 1918 and the hospital in 1934. Disappearance of the old industries and better roading led to Mangōnui’s decline as a coastal shipping port in the 1950s.

Meaning of place name
Mango: shark; nui: large, or many. The name was probably given to recall the memory of a shark-fishing expedition in the harbour.

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