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RODNEY TIMES, MARCH 20, 2012
THERMAL RESORT: Arrival at Waiwera Wharf with the famous Hot
Springs Hotel founded by Sir Robert Graham in the 1860s in the distance.
BANNER PICTURE: The hotel in close up, with elegantly laid out lawns
Focus On: Waiwera and Mahurangi
George Scandrett came from Northern
Ireland to New Zealand on the sailing ship
Bluejacket in 1863.
He bought 44.5 hectares (110 acres) at Mullet Point and
farmed the land. It's now a regional park at the north east
tip of the Mahurangi Peninsula.
The Scott family, from Blackwall, England, settled on the Scotts Landing
beachfront in 1849 to build ships as the Mahurangi Harbour was then a
busy trading hub. Thomas Scott junior built the Georgian-style home in
1882 on the site where his father ran an
inn until it was destroyed by fire. The
Scott family used the area as a holiday
home until it was sold to the Auckland
Regional Authority as part of the
Mahurangi Regional Park in 1971.
Cornish miner James Snell arrived in
Kawau in 1854 and bought Snells Beach
- then known as Long Beach, that year.
James and wife Mary had four daughters
and nine sons. Dalmatian immigrants
would live in tents on the beach and dig
for kauri gum when the tide was out.
Maori called Algies Bay 'horahora wai'
meaning encroaching waters. Scottish
immigrant Alexander Algie and wife Mina, nee Deerness, bought
the land near Martins Bay, where his brother Samuel had settled
in 1867. The family had a boarding house on the beach during the
late 1890s but it had closed by 1941.
A metal road was built along the eastern peninsula in the 1930s.
Mahurangi Heads: Possibly the smallest
post office in New Zealand that was built
at Scotts Landing, and now on show at
Mahurangi Regional Park was
the ancestral home of Ngati
Rongo with four fortified pa sites
at Opahi, Cudlip and Te Muri Points and above
Sea captain John Sullivan married Merehai Kaipuke and settled at Otarawao
or Sullivan's Bay in the 1870s. Their descendents farmed the land for nearly a
century and farming continues on the park. Sullivans Bay is host to the popular
Mahurangi Regatta, which has
been held at least since 1865. In
1977 it was revived by Friends
of the Mahurangi - it had lapsed
during World War Two. The
regatta is held on the Saturday of
Auckland Anniversary weekend.
According to Jade River A History
of the Mahurangi by R. H. Locker,
Opahi Bay had been gifted to
Waikato in 1856 (it was also
known as Waikato Bay) by Ngati
Whatua of southern Kaipara.
Waikato Maori held prisoner on Kawau Island escaped in 1864 and many settled
in the bay. Many male settlers married into Maori families in the area.
Jamieson Bay is named after Govan Jamieson who arrived in Auckland from
Scotland with his parents at the age of 10. He married Mary Cooper who arrived
in Auckland on the Jane Gifford in 1842. They had 12 children and many married
into families within the same neighbourhood.
Mahurangi West Hall, built as a school in 1885 from kauri, is believed to be the
oldest school in Northland standing on its original site.
Information from Warkworth Roundabout by Harry Bioletti and the Auckland Council.
Te Kapa Cemetery: The grave
of James Snell is nearby to
those of the Scandretts and
the Davie-Martins (Martins Bay
was named after this family
who farmed the area.)
Kindly sponsored by Waiwera Thermal Resort
The founder of famous Waiwera Thermal Resort and Waiwera water, Sir Robert Graham,
arrived in Auckland aboard the Jane Gifford in 1842.
A few years later, he purchased the Waiwera foreshore,
after hearing much about the remarkable properties of the
thermal waters and soon set about building a hotel and
resort. The first thermal baths and guest house opened in
1848. By the 1870s international interest in the mineral
waters of what had become known as The Auckland
Sanitarium was most encouraging, as visitors hastened
to the hot springs for an assortment of cures by bathing
in, and drinking the health giving waters. Ship, lifeboat,
then horse and buggy were used to reach Waiwera until
an enormous wharf was built in 1905. The popularity of
the resort grew, attracting daily ships full of people from
Auckland, and as far as London. The beautiful building,
famed as a health and tourist resort for over 80 years,
was destroyed by fire in 1939. The present Waiwera
Thermal Resort and Spa is a popular family destination
offering a number of hot pools with water attractions
such as waterslides, movie pool, lazy river and Geyser
Island. There are also indoor and outdoor hot pools for
adults only and a spa complex offering a selection of
luxury services and products. Maori revered Waiwera
water as 'Te Rata' ('The Doctor') for hundreds of years,
bathing in and drinking the water. In 1875, Waiwera
water was first bottled in its distinctive Georgia Green
bottle and promoted as 'the elixir of life'. Carbon dating
reveals the water from the Waiwera aquifer to be at least
Waiwera's natural source of hot water has kept
it a sought-after place to live and visit.
15,000 years old. Waiwera water is still bottled at source. It has
gained international recognition for its great taste and unique bottle
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