Te Papaka Redoubt was built in 1869 on a pa site above a tiny trading town at the mouth of the Whakatane River. It was garrisoned by military settlers – able-bodied men who were given land in frontier districts in return for fighting when required. The redoubt is still well defined and the sweeping views over the Bay of Plenty and across to the Kaimai Ranges make this a great place for a picnic.
The redoubt was erected following the looting and burning of Whakatane in March 1869. The leader of the Maori force responsible, Te Kooti Arikirangi, had been among hundreds banished to the Chatham Islands in 1866 after fighting on the east coast of the North Island. Te Kooti masterminded the escape of the exiles in mid-1868 and he and his followers found sanctuary in the Urewera Ranges the following summer. His raid on Whakatane terrified local Pakeha and their Maori allies, and won him many new recruits. A striking memorial to those killed in the raid stands beside the road to Taneatua, 5 km south of central Whakatane.
Accessed via a short walking track from Hillcrest Road, Whakatane. Limited parking in Seaview Road.
Image attribution: David Green.