Hokianga harbour, near Opononi

Image: Jack Mace | ©


Explore an area rich in Maori history with spectacular views of the coastline and Hokianga harbour. At Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve walk where Kupe first walked when he first landed on Aotearoa.

Place overview


  • Walking and tramping
  • Stop kauri dieback and protect kauri
    • Kauri dieback disease is spread through soil.
    • Scrub soil off shoes and gear and check it's all removed before you go.
    • Use a cleaning station when you enter and leave.
    • Always stay on the track.

    How you can help save kauri

Find things to do and places to stay Hokianga Heads area

About this place

History and culture

Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve is at the South Head of the Hokianga Harbour and offers expansive views of the harbour and coastal area. The site is rich in history from the first landing of Kupe, Maori settlement and European influence.

The remnants of the signal station which guided ships across the dangerous harbour entrance can still be seen on the reserve near the point.

The station was closed in 1951 due to a decline of shipping and trading in the Hokianga.

Arai Te Uru is the name of the Taniwha which guards the harbour entrance with its sister Taniwha Niwa which stands guard on the opposite shore.

Getting there

Arai Te Uru Recreational Reserve is at Hokianga Heads, 56 km west of Kaikohe. From Kaikohe, travel west along SH12 through Omapere. Take a right into Signal Station Rd. The reserve and carpark is at the end of the road.

Know before you go

Wasps - There are high numbers of wasps particularly between January and April. Consider carrying an antihistamine product and if you are allergic to their stings ensure you take your medication.


Te Tai Kauri / Kauri Coast Office
Phone:   +64 9 439 3450
Fax:   +64 4 471 1117
Email:   dargaville@doc.govt.nz
Address:   150 Colville Road
Postal Address:   150 Colville Road
Dargaville 0377
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