At the southern end of Hahei Beach, Te Pare Historic Reserve encompasses the remains of two prominent Ngati Hei pa sites. A nearby spring and the remains of several midden suggest the site was a good location for both freshwater and shellfish.
Hereheretaura Pa is perched on the tip of the headland and surrounded by steep cliffs. The cliffs, coupled with a ditch and bank on the landward side, created a very good defensive position. You can still see the remains of the ditch and bank, several terraces, storage pits, and the living platforms.
Hahei Pa is on the ridge above the track leading to Hereheretaura Pa. Steep cliffs on the south drop down to a bay, while on the north side seven terraces fan out around the main platform. Unlike Hereheretaura Pa defensive earthworks appear to have been minimal.
Easily accessed, a 15 minute walk takes you through an ancient pohutukawa grove to the pa sites. The views from the headland are spectacular, stretching for miles up and down the coast.
Photograph by Melanie Charters.