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Kiwi Towns

What’s so great about Te Kaha

  • 3 minutes

Te Kaha there are plenty of things to do. A historic village reflecting the values and culture of the East Cape is a place where visitors slow down and observe the scenery, the ornate Maori Marae buildings, the inviting beaches and a place where time is measured by communal activities.

WHAT TO DO, HIGHLIGHTS

  • Te Kaha Marae, take a few moments to have ANZAC memory with the visible reminders of lives lost and wars fought on our behalf
  • Scenery where bush, forest, sea and rivers combine into kiwi classic vistas

LOCATION

The complete name of Te Kaha is Te-Kahanui-A-Tikirākau

TE KAHA MARAE

Te Kaha (to stand firm) acknowledges numerous sieges by invading tribes that it withstood.  At Te Kaha Tukaki, a beautifully carved meeting house. Te Kaha Marae illustrates the importance of military tributes to fallen soldiers. These tributes and memorials are significant cultural landmarks throughout the East Cape. Te Kaha Marae (to stand firm) is an elaborately carved beautiful meeting place. Look for the remains of the old redoubt.

The adjacent headland and Maraetai Bay, also known as SchoolHouse Bay, is a safe, sandy sheltered beach for swimming. There is a public toilet in the reserve.

TE KAHA vicnity Marae with its military memorial, New Zealand
TE KAHA vicnity Marae with its military memorial
Waihau Bay view of iconic white spire of Raukokore church, New Zealand
WAIHAU BAY view

NEARBY

WAIHAU BAY – Maungaroa Marae and whale boat

On the left 3km from School House Bay is the Maungaroa Marae with a whale boat on display.  This is the historic “Greyhound” that in 1993 was returned to the coast from Gisborne Museum.  The ruins of the original boat shed can be seen on the beach below the marae.

TIP

Look for the signs indicating the path between two mature pohutukawa trees to the grave of Princess Te Rangi Pai and her husband John Howie.  The grave is marked with a guardian angel. The couple lived in “Kopuakoeaea” at Maungaroa.

Town slogan

  • Te ururoa – the hammerhead shark (definitely a military theme going on here)

TIP

Considered a great spot to view migrating whales. Instead of harpooning whales today we watch them instead.

FAME

  • Willie Apiata (recipient of Victorian Cross for military action)
  • Moana-Nui-a Kiwa Ngarimu who received the VC posthumously in October, 1943.
  • Cliff Whiting (artist) was born here.
Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu @Wikipedia
Moana-nui-a-Kiwa Ngarimu @Wikipedia
Te Kaha Beach Resort, New Zealand @Bayleys
Te Kaha Beach Resort @Bayleys

WHERE TO TAKE THE BEST SELFIE

  • Take your pick of scenic lookouts from Motu Bluffs and Whitianga Bay. At Maraenui Hill turn into the lookpoint for panoramic views of Tauranga, Whale and White Islands and pivot around for sweeping inland views.
  • Detailed ornate Marae carving (ensure you are not trespassing and its OK)

WHERE TO EAT

TE KAHA BEACH RESORT with its picture windows of the bays.

TIP

Remember to look at the historic photos of whalers, the former hotel that was on the site. The local Te Kaha RSA has interesting military memorabilia and lots of legends.

WHO TURNED UP AND NAMED THE PLACE?

Te Kaha, in the nineteenth century was a whaling settlement and a place of missionary activity with nearby Mangaroa Marae having an original whaling boat in the grounds.

WHAT KEEPS THE PLACE TICKING?

Today Te Kaha is witness to an economic revival with the introduction of Maori based businesses focused on agriculture. In particular the kiwifruit industry.

Te Kaha Beach Resort, New Zealand @harcourts
Te Kaha Beach Resort @harcourts
Te Kaha Beach Resort, New Zealand @harcourts
Te Kaha Beach Resort @harcourts

POPULATION

  • It depends on how you count numbers, is it residents or people who call the place home

JUDGMENT

  • Must-do part of the Te Araroa East Cape road trip

Every town adds to the richness of things to do and see. For more details about the region check Napier & Hawkes Bay Region nearby attractions and events.

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