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Map showing Whitianga Rock


An impressive pa once stood on the narrow rocky headland that juts out into Whitianga Harbour. A well fortified Ngati Hei stronghold; rock bluffs and water provided natural defences on three sides while ditches, earth banks and scarps protected the pa on the landward side. Despite the defences, in the mid eighteenth century it was ransacked by a war party of Ngai te Rangi.

At low tide the remains of a stone structure can be seen at Back Beach. The stone which once formed the high defensive walls on the pa was reused to build a kauri boom. Used to collect logs for transport, this boom dates from the 1880s when kauri logging expanded in the area.

Photograph by Kevin L. Jones

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