Mimiwhangata was once the territory of Ngati Manaia who came to Taitokerau on board the waka Mahuhu ki-te-Rangi. They are the ancestors of Ngatiwai, whose rohe now extends from Cape Brett, down the east coast as far south as Great Barrier Island.
Mimiwhangata also has a rich and varied European history, having been broken in for farming from the 1860s, a site of a short-lived shore-whaling venture in the 1870s, a haven for remmitance men and eloping lovers, a picnic spot for Queen Elizabeth II, and a coastal retreat for "Beer Barons" and politicians, and now the public.
The park contains a rich and diverse archaeological landscape, which indicates intensive pre-European occupation. Recorded sites include 12 pa, numerous undefended settlements or kainga, agricultural evidence and extensive midden.
Photograph by Jonathan Carpenter