The extensive Fort Galatea Scenic Reserve contains the remains of two redoubts and other early buildings. The first redoubt was built in May 1869 to house one of three separate forces with which Colonel George Whitmore, the commander of the colony’s army, was about to invade the Urewera Ranges. Whitmore hoped to capture the elusive Maori guerrilla leader, Te Kooti Arikirangi. Failing that, he would ‘pacify’ the Tuhoe tribe which had given Te Kooti and his followers sanctuary. The resulting death and economic destruction inflicted on Tuhoe was anything but peaceful; its consequences are still being felt.
Another small redoubt was built nearby in 1875. With Te Kooti now out of reach in the King Country, Whitmore’s Armed Constabulary had encircled the Urewera with a string of forts. The new Fort Galatea was garrisoned for only a year before being deemed unnecessary.
Directions: On Pokairoa Rd in the Bay of Plenty, 7 km north of Murupara and 8½ km south-west of Kopuriki (via Kopuriki Rd).
Image attribution: David Green.