Historic site: Taua-Tapu Track
"Nowhere is it ordained that history moves in a straight line."
- Barrack Obama, The Audacity of Hope.
Taua-Tapu is the part of the historic Maori track between Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay. From Paekakariki the track came south along the beach, ascended the cliffs near the Pukerua Pa east of Waimapihi Stream, and passed through the gardens on the plateaux before going on to what is now Plimmerton. It is said that during the fighting in 1846, Te Rangihaeata declared the track to be his backbone: it was used for the transport of arms to Pauatahanui and Horokiwi.
The track continued to be used in post-contact times. Mail was carried along it on foot until the coach road from Pauatahanui over Paekakariki Hill was opened. Much of the early subdivision of land relied on the track for frontage and access and parts of the track are still rights of way.
Travelling from south to north, for the first part of its length, Taua-Tapu is now a sealed road, called The Track. The walkway from the top of this road proceeds along a driveway for 300 metres to a high point adjacent to the bush. Along this link there are views to the west of Mana Island, Cook Strait, and on a clear day, the top of the South Island. There are some excellent stands of native bush in the vicinity, mainly in private ownership. Further to the north is partly bush-covered public reserve. The five minute detour to the heart of this reserve is a pleasant walk with bush on either side.
From the top of the hill Taua-Tapu turns sharply to the north-east through private land and follows down to a gate. The track then leaves the driveway and runs along the eastern side of the fence to a further gate where it transfers to the west side and approaches the trig station. At this trig station there is a view of the Taupo Swamp, the North Island Main Trunk Railway, State Highway One, and the bush area surrounding the Whenua Tapu Cemetery. The track then descends to a stile and crosses back to the east side of the fence, then down to a gate and a further stile. Crossing the stile into another public reserve, the track zigzags to the west and down to Airlie Road.
Motor vehicles and motorbikes are not permitted on the walkway. Dogs and horses are permitted, but must be kept under control and dogs must be on a leash. Please appreciate that the ridge section of the walkway passes through private farmland. Walkers are asked to stay close to the fences, follow the marker posts, use the stiles, and leave the gates closed.