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
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.
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.
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.
- Te ururoa – the hammerhead shark (definitely a military theme going on here)
Considered a great spot to view migrating whales. Instead of harpooning whales today we watch them instead.
- 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.
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.
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.
- It depends on how you count numbers, is it residents or people who call the place home
- 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.
What do you think about “What’s so great about Te Kaha”?
Te Kaha, one of the best small towns with a wonderful community that we have enjoyed visiting. My wife and I were escorted and welcomed onto the Marae, What an Honour. Long may they stay proud. D Rae