Take a Day Trip to Kawhia Harbour
The entrance to Kawhia Harbour is obstructed by a bar, a feature of most harbours on the western coasts of New Zealand, which prevents their development as ports for heavy shipping.
With a population of some 650, the town of Kawhia functions mainly as a holiday resort; harbour tours and fishing being the major attractions. The area also features the most southern stand of New Zealand's forest giant, the Kauri.
At Te Puia (Hot Water) Beach, hot springs well up through the sand. Between low and mid-tide you can scoop out a hot pool and enjoy a seaside soak.
Kawhia Harbour Activities
Activities around Kawhia Harbour include:
- Heritage cruises
- Dig your own hot pool in the sand at Te Puia
- Swim with dolphins and seals
- Horse trekking
- 4 wheel motorbiking
- Beach and forest walks
Kawhia Harbour Cultural History
Steeped in ancient history, this historic eco-wonderland is the spiritual and ancestral home of the Māori tribe, Tainui. The tribe is named after Tainui, the migration canoe from which the Waikato Māori claim descent. The canoes final resting place was on the northern shores of Kawhia Harbour. Today, two large upright stones mark the stern and prow of the buried canoe.
Kawhia Harbour was also the birthplace of the prominent Māori warrior chief, Te Rauparaha.
Cultural heritage seekers worldwide are beginning to discover this rare eco-gem. Here you can walk for miles on an isolated ocean beach without seeing another footprint in the sand.