Located on top of a steep cliff overlooking the Waitara River, Pukerangiora is a unique historical site. It contains Maori earthworks from both the Musket Wars and the New Zealand Wars, and nearby is a British trench.
The pa was an important Te Āti Awa site from pre-European times. During the Musket Wars, Waikato iwi (tribes) captured Pukerangiora after a long siege in 1831-2.
During the Taranaki Wars of the 1860s Te Āti Awa used Pukerangiora and two nearby defensive pa sites (Matarikoriko and Te Arei (The Barrier)) to hold out against British forces. A British sap (covered trench) is visible below Te Arei.
A short walk up the hill from Te Arei is a clifftop view over Waitara, the area which sparked the first Taranaki War in 1860. The area has been made a Historic Icon Site by the Department of Conservation.