View across Te Puna Inlet from the viewing platform on Tareha Pa
Image: Ross Davies | ©
Located in the Northland region
At the tip of the headland is the Tareha lookout point that offers spectacular views of the Te Puna inlet and black rocks, Motupapa Island, Moturoa Island and the Kent passage. There are also two lovely beaches, perfect for relaxing or swimming.
This fortified headland pa guards the entry to the Kerikeri and Te Puna inlets.
Midway along this headland is a large defensive ditch that would have been surrounded with tall palisades. Within the inner bank is a cluster of well defined house platforms that are separated by small drain like channels.
Today, the pa is preserved under regenerated bush predominantly kanuka and manuka.
The inhabitants of this pa interacted with the earliest missionaries who sailed past the pa on the way to the Kerikeri Basin mission station.
The accounts during this early contact period tell us of a chief named Tareha of Akeake pa.
Tareha was an ally of the chief Hongi Hika and gave his support to the missionaries in the Bay of Islands. Tareha was revered for his bravery and skill in leading warriors into battle.
He was also known for his immense size and large appetite. When missionary leader Samuel Marsden invited Tareha onboard the ship Dromedary, "there was not an armchair in the cabin which he could sit".
The first locality to attract pacific whalers was Te Puna the domain of Te Pahi. There was good anchorage inside the Mangōnui inlet. Akeake would have had contact with these whalers through observation from the pa and perhaps trade.
Cruise, R.A., 1824. Journal of 10 months stay in New Zealand
Akeake Historic Reserve is 13 km north east of Kerikeri. Leave Kerikeri on Landing Bay Road. Turn left onto Karipo Rd, right onto Redcliffs Rd, right into Rangitane Rd, then left into Opito Bay Rd.
Follow the road east to Opito Bay. The main entrance to the reserve is opposite the boat ramp at the eastern end of Opito Bay beach.
Look for the Akeake Historic Reserve sign on the Ake Ake Rd corner. It marks the entrance to the track, which leads between houses and enters the Akeake Historic Reserve.
There are traps and tracking tunnels in the reserve maintained by the New Zealand Kiwi Foundation and local community to preserve this delicate ecosystem.
Akeake Historic Reserve is well known for its kiwi. Dogs are not allowed in this area.