Waewaetorea Island Recreation Reserve
Located in Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary in the Northland region
IntroductionDiscover historic Māori sites on Waewaetorea Island.
Waewaetorea Island is located in the Bay of Islands. Access is by boat only.
To get to Waewaetorea Island Recreation Reserve you need to go through Te Pēwhairangi (Bay of Islands) Marine Mammal Sanctuary. Before you go check the restrictions for this marine mammal sanctuary.
The island became part of the Maritime and Historic Park in 1980 and today it is under the care of DOC.
Conservation work includes pest eradication as part of Project Island Song and a revegetation programme.
Māori thrived in this island environment, which is seen in the density of archaeological sites. Sites on this island are characterised as headland pā, terraces, gardening lines and storage pits.
A historic account of Waewaetorea is found in the records of French explorer Marion du Fresne’s expedition to the Bay of Islands in 1772. The French "Plan du Port Marion" tells us that Wawaetorea was where the two ships “Castries and "Mascarin" first anchored.
There are two headland pa worth visiting on this island. The southern one is to the right of Otawake Beach – you can see its deep defensive ditch. You can walk onto the other headland pa near the Orurua blowhole.