Kawhia By The Sea

Picturesque Kawhia with its beautiful and unspoilt harbour, has to be one of New Zealand's best kept secrets. Off the beaten track and tucked in off the rugged West coast of the King Country region, this is a land of incredible historical significance...


kawhia Approx 800 years ago, the great Tainui waka made its entry into the harbour. This was the mysterious paradise promised to them, as they sailed the seas from their ancient and distant homeland of Tahiti...

The majestic harbour teemed with sea life and the forest trees were filled with birds and insects that added to an orchestra of tuneable and melodious music.

Occasionally the booming calls of the Moa added to the exuberance and beauty of this natural sound, while giant eagles could be seen soaring and circling, their superiority of the skies totally unchallenged...

It was to this ancient, coastal paradise, which was home to abundant fish species, bird life, shell food and marine mammals, developed over millions of years, that the Tainui tribe settled onto and established their spiritual homeland in Kawhia...

This timeless region of the wild King Country may have changed dramatically since then, but out in its magnificent harbour, surrounding hills and miles upon miles of ocean beaches, its raw essence and spiritual life force can not but be appreciated...

We invite you to journey with us, as we take you on a voyage of discovery, to showcase this pristine eco-wonderland...as we introduce you to...Kawhia by the Sea.

Kawhia's Main Events and Activities:

The Kawhia Regatta: Not to be beaten for sheer fun and excitement, the annual, New Years Day, "Kawhia Regatta" brings out the competitive spirit in the tough sport of whaleboat racing...more

The Kawhia Traditional Maori Kai Festival: The Kawhia Maori kai Festival is an annual event that attracts thousands of visitors and is usually the annual mecca or pilgrimage for members of the Tainui tribe to re-connect with there spiritual and ancestral homeland.

Kawhia Fishing Contests: Check here for upcoming fishing tournaments...

Horse Treks: Because of its eco-wonderland status and miles of stunning ocean beaches...Kawhia is becoming well known as the horse treks capital of NZ.

History Tours: A one hour hike & history tour to learn some local knowledge and fascinating European and Maori history of the region.

And not surprisingly its beautiful, natural environment is well appreciated by it's local trekking club for kids... The Kawhia Kids Horse Trekking and Adventure Club...

Kawhia Harbour Cruises: Cruise the stunning Kawhia harbour on the kotuku.

Major Attractions, Landmarks and Towns in and Surrounding Kawhia:

Kawhia Natural Hot Pools: The Kawhia "Te Puia" natural hot pools is one of the regions greatest treasures.

The Kawhia Ocean Beach: Is a priceless eco treasure of New Zealand's. This is where you can enjoy the ultimate pony ride, surfcast off the ocean beach or dig your own natural hot pools and relax in a pristine wilderness...BYO wine...

Te Maika: Te Maika Ancestral home of the famous Maori tribe of Ngati Toa

Maketu Marae: Maketu marae as the mooring place of the Tainui waka belongs to all of Tainui decent, and they in turn belong to Maketu.

Te Waitere: Te Waitere was originally known as Ahuahu and later named Lemon Point by the missionary John Whiteley. Lemon trees he planted are still there today...Local Maori later renamed the peninsula Te Waitere (Waitere is Maori for Whiteley) in his honour. Rev Whiteley established a Mission Station in the area in 1835.

Aotea Harbour: Aotea is a neighboring harbour tucked in from the Tasman ocean and between the Kawhia and Raglan harbours. A real oasis of beauty.


Marokopa:
Situated South, down the coast from Kawhia, Marokopa is well known for its beautiful waterfall and its fishing, especially whitebait and kahawai. In the village is the anchor from the ‘Albatross’ which sank while trying to cross the bar in 1916...more

Gannet Island: Gannet Island (Karewa) an ancient Maori burial site and wildlife sanctuary, approx. 12 miles off the coast of Kawhia, is an important breeding site for the New Zealand fur seal, and largest breeding colony in NZ for thousands of gannets (Australasian), known to the Maori people as Takapu...

Oparau: Oparau is the closest settlement to Kawhia. Becoming well known for its talented artists and musicians...The well stocked Oparau Roadhouse also trades here.

Hauturu: Famous for its tough bushmen, woodchoppers and shearers...more

Kiritehere: Down the coast from Kawhia. Has the most awesome, secluded beach...

Mount Pirongia: Both Karioi and Mount Pirongia are said to have gained their names from Raka-taura, the Tainui tohunga (high priest)...The traditional name for Pirongia was 'Pirongia te aroaro 0 Kahu' meaning 'the fragrant presence of Kahu' his wife...The full name of Karioi is Maunga-O-Karioi meaning to linger or loiter...

Pirongia: The settlement of Pirongia nestles under the protective gaze of its mighty mountain...The voluntary laying down of arms by King Tawhiao at Alexandra (Pirongia) ended the Waikato Land Wars in 1881...


Raglan or Whaingaroa:
Raglan a coastal town just North of Kawhia on the west coast of the North Island of New Zealand some 50 km from Hamilton is famous for it's surfing, music, artisans, cafés and laidback lifestyle...

Otorohanga: Otorohanga was famous for its hospitality for Maori travellers. Its meaning can be interpreted as "food for the journey"...

The waitomo Caves: Limestone caverns located on scenic reserves are collectively known as the Waitomo Caves...They comprise the Waitomo Cave, near the hotel, and the Ruakuri and Aranui Caves about two miles to the west by road...Waitomo means "water entering a hole"...

Waikato River: Although about 90 k's away, I've listed the Waikato River because of the strong tribal connections to Kawhia...The relationship of Waikato - Tainui with the River, lies at the heart of their spiritual and physical well-being and their identity...

Welcome to the beautiful region of ancient Kawhia...

Kawhia map

Kawhia accommodation

The Kawhia Outdoor Education and Adventure Centre For Kids and Youth

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