Friday, 25 July 2014

Early Settlement at Mount Maunganui

Mt. Maunganui, Tauranga (No. 17)
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
The earliest settlers of the narrow spit of land where today's bustling township stands were the people of the Ngamarama, followed by the Ngati Ranginui and lastly the Ngai Te Rangi, whose pa built on Mauao was impregnable until a successful attack by Ngapuhi in 1818. By 1830 visitors to the area found Mauao uninhabited and the surrounding land an almost deserted area of scrub and sandhills.

Tauranga. From Mt. Maunganui (Tourist Series. 249.)
Postcard image from collection of Justine Neal
In 1864 the first pilot house was built on the slopes of Mauao with a replacement cottage being built in 1874. Although it was a favourite spot for picnics and outings for the Tauranga settlers, permanent settlement of the area started slowly with people from Tauranga and Rotorua buying land and building holiday baches near the foot of Mauao on the sandhills. Many of these people later became residents.

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