Discover the Onekawa Pa and surrounding area

Just a mere five minutes from the Ohiwa Beach Holiday Park is a beautiful nature trail, which takes you on a small tour of all the local luxuries, including magical glow worms, rare plants and wildlife, and a historical Maori Pā site.


Maori PA sites

Scattered across New Zealand are numerous Pā sites – usually on prominent, raised ground, typically volcanic hills. The Maori word Pā usually refers to hill forts, but can also mean any fortified village or defensive settlement.

Over 5,000 Pā sites have been catalogued, the vast majority of them in the North Island. Similar defensive hills have been found in other Polynesian cultures, such as Fiji and Tonga.

Pās would usually be built in defensive locations around the territory of a tribe to protect fertile land for growing crops, and to safeguard food and water supplies.

The slope of the hill the Pā is built on would be terraced, and these flat areas would be used for many different things, including food storage, meeting places, and water wells. This also made defending the Pā easier, and more difficult for anyone attacking the site.


Onekawa PA

Onekawa Te Mawhai was once the Pā of the Upokorehe iwi, and the site is of important cultural significance. The surrounding area has been the site of many battles noteworthy to the history of local Maori.

Many important events took place at Onekawa Pā, and historic individuals such as Repanga, Kahuki and Tuamutu are known to have lived here.

The Pā is now a peaceful spot, with stunning views across the Ohiwa estuary, out to White island, Whale island, and the East Cape.

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The Ohiwa domain and nature trail

The Pā is the highest point of the Ohiwa domain, which is also a working farm. Managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council in partnership with Upokorehe hapu, the park is a popular site for people to enjoy walking and enjoy beautiful coastal views.

From Onekawa Pā you can either head down one path which takes you to Bryans Beach, or walk down the Ohiwa nature trail which brings you back to the holiday Park.

The walk along Bryans Beach should take between one and one and a half hours, depending on individual fitness and whether or not you’re in a rush. With a beautiful, uncrowded beach for you to stop and relax at, we think it will be the latter!

Taking the other option will bring you through the nature trail, a gorgeous 30 minute walk through some native bush, with lots of native bird life including Tui, Fantails, Silvereye, Kereru, Shining Cuckooss, Pukeko, Weka and many others.

The Ohiwa nature trail also takes you past a lovely small waterfall, and the amazing Glow Worm Grotto.

Stay with us and explore this historical area

The Ohiwa Beach holiday park is the perfect place to stay if you want to discover the local sites including the Onekawa Pa.

You can explore the local area with some of our nearby nature walks and treks, or simply relax with a book in front of some stunning ocean views and let time slip by.

If you’re the more adventurous type, there’s plenty to keep you busy, with some of New Zealand’s best water activities right on our doorstep.

Whatever type of holiday you have in mind, we have it all. You just enjoy yourself and let us worry about the rest.

Contact us today if you have any questions about the Onekawa Pā site, or Book Online now to secure your place in one of New Zealand’s most beautiful holiday spots.

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