An attractive coastal farm park, Tapapakanga has a rich Maori and European history and offers an accessible, pohutukawa edged beach on the western shores of the Firth of Thames. The Tapapakanga Stream winds its way through the park.
Casual group size limit for Tapapakanga Regional Park is 75
||Open 24 hours
|Summer gate opening hours:
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. (Daylight savings)
|Winter gate opening hours:
8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. (Non daylight savings)
|Distance from CBD:
How to get to Tapapakanga
Physical Address: 95 Deerys Road, Orere Point ( off Orere Matingarati Road)
Drive south on Highway 1, take the Manurewa off ramp and head for Clevedon. From Clevedon, follow the signs to Kawakawa Bay and on towards Orere Point. Just past Orere Point turn off East Coast Road down Deery Road to the park.
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For many centuries Täpapakanga was an important dwelling place for the Marutüahu iwi, especially Ngāti Pāoa and Ngāti Whanaunga.
In those days Tāpapakanga supported several large ka – inga (villages) each with extensive ku - mara and taro cultivation.
Archaeological sites on the park, mainly concentrated around the Täpapakanga Stream and along the coastal strip, include, three Māori pā, storage pits (rua), terraces (tūāpapa), shell middens (ahu ota ota) and ovens (umu) as well as stone heaps indicating extensive riverside gardens.
The Māori relationship to this land is commemorated by two pou whenua (carved posts) at the park entrance. An interesting feature of these carvings is the representation of a European, James Ashby, depicted carrying an axe.
Ashby settled on the land in 1899 and enjoyed a lifelong friendship with the local chief Tukumana Te Taniwha. James and his wife Rebecca built the existing homestead beside the beach in 1900. They raised 14 children on the property, which remained in family ownership until 1990.
The Auckland Regional Council purchased a significant block of land in 1990 and officially opened Tāpapakanga Regional Park in 1995. The park recently increased to 197 hectares when the council purchased an adjoining block of land in 2009.