Waitara Heritage Trail


With European settlement in North Taranaki occurring from 1841, conflict began to arise over the colonists attempt to gain land for cultivation. This culminated in the first Taranaki War in 1860/61. The town (then known as Raleigh) came into being, with borough status achieved in 1904 when the name reverted to Waitara.

Points of interest to look out for:

  • Te Roimata O Te Atiawa This stone commemorates Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake, a paramount chief of Te Atiawa at the time of the first Taranaki War in 1860/61.
  • The Bridges of Waitara Bridging the Waitara River was a major challenge in early settler days but in 1871 the first pile of a bridge was driven in.
  • Carved Panels Ten carved panels are located on the boardwalk representing the flora and fauna of Waitara.
  • Ruamano This stone is dedicated to the many workers who (since 1880) have worked in the meat processing plant originally near this site.
  • Waitara Pill Box The Home Guard (formed during World War II) used this to defend the area of coast between Waipapa Stream to Waiongana River.
  • The Works Wharves In the 1890s two small wharves were built to service the growing freezing works industry.
  • Railway Signal Box This originated in Stratford but was brought to Waitara in 1960 to serve as a club house for the Waitara Boating Club.
  • River Fords These were utilised by travellers in the early days of settlement.
  • Hurirapa Pa This was the only pa of four in the district that was not destroyed in the first Taranaki War.
  • The Return Port In 1848 Wiremu Kingi Te Rangitaake and followers returned home to occupy four new pa on the western side of the River.
  • The Waitara Blockhouse Kuhikuhi Pa was erected here in 1848 but was destroyed in 1860 to build a blockhouse at the beginning of the first war. The harbour pilot’s house and signal box (c.1880) still remain here.
  • Pukekohe Originally built as a village before 1700, Pukekohe was defended by ditches, banks and palisades.
  • Rose Garden This garden commemorates the late Mr Bob Donaldson for his long service to Waitara as a borough councillor.
  • The Railway The New Plymouth to Waitara railway was opened in 1875 to link New Plymouth with the nearest sheltered port.
  • Memorial Cenotaph This monument commemorates the 78 servicemen from Waitara District who fell in the two World Wars.
  • Aorangi Pa For several hundred years a fortified pa and settlement occupied this bluff. 

Contact Details

Physical Address

Waitara, Taranaki