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Things to Do

Mangere Bridge Township is a small community with about 9,000 inhabitants. Its population is diverse, which brings with it a range of activities. Add to that its location near the Manukau Harbour, Ambury Park and Mangere Mountain, and you will find a wide range of cultural, sports, and recreational activities.

Here you will find information on a range of topics. While not exhaustive, it provides links for further information. Don't forget to check out What's On for special events.

Leisure

Mangere Bridge and its neighbouring suburbs provide a range of activities, from the leisurely to the more challenging ones.

If you are into outdoor activities, check out the range of sports clubs, which cover a wide range from bowling, to soccer or sailing. For those wanting to relax at or on the water, the Manukau Harbour is within walking distance of most Mangere Bridge residents, and there are several ramps with great water access along Kiwi Esplanade. Where else would you find 3 boat clubs within a stone throw of each other: the Manukau Yacht & Motor Boat Club, Manukau Cruising Club and the Mangere Boating Club. Fishing can be done from any of the wharfs along Kiwi Esplanade, or from the old Bridge. Taking to the water on the Manukau Harbour increases your options manifold.

For those who enjoy walking, Mangere Bridge can be easily explored by foot. Enjoy a stroll on your own, or join other walkers on Tuesday/Thursday, or Sunday. Follow the waterfront on Kiwi Espalande, or explore Ambury Park, Mangere Mountain, or the Otuataua Stonefields. Don't forget the range of small parks and reserves.
If you are visiting Mangere Bridge, some accommodation is available within the Village. For more options nearby, check the AA web site.

General information on Manukau is available here. Activities and attractions in Manukau are listed from the Manukau City Council site.
Looking for something in the wider Auckland area, visit AA Travel on 2 pages (Activities, Attractions), Auckland City of Sails, Auckland A-Z.
For those rainy days, or if you are looking for indoor activities, try the Mangere Bridge library, or indoor sports listed on the Sport club page. If sport is not on your short list, check the Community page for activities from art to the Country Women's Institute. Major cinema complexes can be found in Manukau, St Lukes or other suburbs. Nearby Onehunga hosts the Dolphin Theatre (12 Spring Street), one of the most successful amateur theatrical groups in New Zealand.

For a range of other activities in Onehunga, visit the different websites for Onehunga from the Onehunga Business community: www.onehunga.net.nz/, the Onehunga Community News: www.onehunga.co.nz.

If food is on your mind, Mangere Bridge hosts several take-aways and cafes. Again, Onehunga offers further options, as do other suburbs.

Shopping

Several of your shopping needs are catered for in Mangere Bridge (see the business page under Retail - Food and drink, and Retail - other), and extensive shopping can be found within a 20 km radius, either at the Westfield Shopping Centres in Manukau or St Lukes, inner city Queen street and a range of other suburbs.

Hospitality; entertainment

Wanting a bite to eat, have a look [here]. For entertainment, check out Onehunga, or surrounding suburbs. Major cinema complexes within 20 minutes drive can be found in St Lukes, Manukau, and Newmarket. Auckland hosts too many bars, restaurants, cinemas, or theatres to provide you with a selection here so we suggest you check out the Yellow Pages.

Landmarks

Ambury Regional Park

Click here for Ambury Park images


Ambury Regional Park an Auckland Regional Council working farm, with cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, kune kune pigs and horses. The Farm is located the end of Ambury Road, and is normally open from 7:30 am till 7 pm (winter) or 9pm (summer). Access is also available from the west end of Kiwi Esplanade. Ambury Regional Park is a volcanic area and has remnants of stone walls, mounds, house sites and middens because of early Maori occupation.

The park's Manukau foreshore and the foreshore on Kiwi Esplanade host a range of bird species. Year-round inhabitants include pied stilts and royal spoonbills, and in autumn large flocks of migratory birds from the South Island (e.g. wrybills and pied oyster catchers) can be seen. Bar-tailed godwits and knots migrate to the harbour for the summer from Siberia and Alaska.

A range of education programmes are available. Contact the Auckland Regional Council at thier website for further information. Ambury Farm Day is normally in October, and provides a fun, family farming experience. Activities range from tractor or pony rides, sheep shearing or cow lotto, to country music, hay maze, horse shoe throwing, kite flying, and felt making. For further information on Ambury Park, click [ here ]. Don't forget to visit the photo gallery.

Mangere Mountain

Click here for Mangere Mountain images


Mangere Mountain, created more than 18,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption, was once the site of one of the largest fortified Maori pa in the region. Enormous kumara pits carved into the crater edge are still obvious features today. Click for more [ historical information ].

The Mountain can easily be accessed from the parking lot at the Onehunga Mangere United Sports Club, Domain Rd. Other access is from Ridgemount Rise. The Mountain provides leisurely walking, and for the more energetic a climb to the trig point. Great views in all directions.
Click [ here ] for photos.

The Mangere Mountain Education Centre at the base of the Mountain provides a range of educational and environmental activities. For opening times, check out their web site.

Manukau Harbour

Click here for Manukau Harbour images


The Manukau Harbour is the second largest natural harbour in New Zealand. Tidal flow is rapid, and the bar across to the Tasman Sea is extremely dangerous. Fishing is excellent with many popular species caught year-round. Boat ramps in Mangere Bridge can be found [ here ]. Ambury Park is surrounded in the north and west by the Manukau harbour. For some photos, click [ here ].

Otuataua Stonefields



A range of self guided walks are available, taking in historical, botanical or geological aspects. Walks require moderate fitness, and last from about 20 to 45 minutes. The walks also provide nice views of the Manukau Harbour, the Manukau Heads, newly established beaches, and suburbs across the Manukau. Use this [ link ] for some photos.

The Otuataua Stonefields can be reached from 56 Ihumatao Quarry Road, Ihumatao (Mangere), south of Mangere Bridge. For some historical information, click [ here ].

Please note, when we visited the Stonefields in May 2004, the colouring on the track signs did not match up with those on the tabloid display at the entrance of the Stonefields. The Historical walk proved to be the white marker (yellow on display), the Botanical walk yellow (purple on display), while the Geological walk was blue. While generally well sign-posted, there are occasions when you have to look to where the next marker is.

The Ihumatao Fossil Forest (Renton Rd)



Large remnants of fossilised tree trunks are visible at low tide on the shore of the Manukau Harbour. In fact there are two fossil forests there. The older kauri one was killed by groundwater levels changing making the area a swamp and the younger one was obliterated by eruptions from the nearby Maungataketake Volcano about 20,000 years ago. The photo's of logs are from the lower (older) kauri dominated forest. The younger forest is best seen along the cliff line. One photo is of the volcanic tuff (ash) from Maungataketake Volcano which overlies the kauri forest, killed the young forest and forms the cliff line.

For more info the following reference is suggested: Cameron, E. K., B. Hayward, G. Murdoch. "A field guide to Auckland : exploring the region's natural and historic heritage": Godwit, 1997. The Ihumatao fossil forest is accessible from the end of Renton Road, off Ihumatao Road, Ihumatao (Mangere), south of Mangere Bridge. Concrete steps lead from the car park down to the beach. For some photos, click [ here ].
(info updated with the help of Dr Hugh Grenfell, Geomarine Research, November 2005).

Watercare coastal walkway



The walkway provides access to the Mangere Ihumatao foreshore, an area rich in cultural history, stretching 7 kilometres from Ambury Park to the Otuataua Stonefields. It will become part of Te Araroa (The Long Pathway), the proposed trail running the length of the country. The walkway provides access to one of New Zealand's most abundant migratory bird breeding grounds, an area of international ornithological significance. Two bird hides overlook restored shell banks, favoured roosting areas of wading birds.

Map of Watercare walkway

The walk can be started from either end, at Ambury Farm Park or the Otuataua Stonefields. If 7 km is too long, start the walk either at Oruarangi Creek, or from Creamery Road near the Wastewater Treatment plant. Click [ here ] for a map. The coastal walk takes in some great views and provides easy access to flora, ranging from lowland flax and saltmarsh ribbonwood, to needle grass, speckled sedge and cabbage tree.
Map courtesy Watercare 2005.