Apr 162017
 

MAKETU BEACH – Easter Saturday, April 15, 2017

Situated 30km east along the coast from Mount Maunganui, Maketu Beach is where Maori first came ashore on their waka voyage from Polynesia to the Bay of Plenty. That was over 800 years ago.  Each migration is named after the waka (canoe) of the commander.  One of these canoes, the Arawa waka, under the command of Maori named Tamatekapua landed in Maketu.  He spotted Okurei (later renamed ‘Town Point’ by Captain James Cook), jutting out into the bay.  It was a heavenly place covered in sand and fertile land that is now known as the Bay of Plenty.

 

Since that event there has been a continuous settlement of the Te Arawa people in this  village, followed by some of  the first Pakeha (non-Maori) settlers who arrived in New Zealand around 250 years ago.

Marking the arrival of the first Maori canoe at Maketu

Tranquility 
Today Maketu beach is a popular place to fish, kayak, and wind surf.  It is a quiet and tranquil place to unwind.  In the distance is Mount Maunangui which adds to the beauty of Maketu.  The beach is 3.5 km long and is one of the best preserved sand dune in the Bay of Plenty.
Nature Hikes

We have taken several hikes where we have photographed native plants such as harakehe (flax) and pingao (which Maori use for weaving baskets and cloaks.).  Native bird life is abundant.  The endangered New Zealand dotterel build their nests in the sand in early spring and summer.  We have spotted  kingfishers and white-faced herons and taken a break under the shade of colourful Pohutukawa trees

Pohutukawa trees .

Pingao used for weaving baskets by the Maori

harakehe (flax)

 

 

The endangered New Zealand dotterel build their nests in the sand in early spring and summer.  We have spotted  kingfishers and white-faced herons and taken a break under the shade of colourful Pohutukawa trees.

The endangered dotterel

This is a wonderful place to enjoy a long Easter weekend.  Somewhere out there on the long sandy beach, some Easter bunnies have buried eggs.  We intend to find them!