NORTHERN REGIONAL LANDSCAPE ASSESSMENT
The Mangawhai sandspit was created
approximately 800 years ago. Paleo-environmental evidence suggests that the dunes formed following a fire through the coastal forest. A number of middens are located at the southern end dating human occupation from circa 400 years ago.
European settlement began at Te Arai on the southern end of the spit in 1859, and the area was farmed until the creation of the Mangawhai State Forest in the 1960s.