Explore Bream Bay

Bream Bay – Our Slice of Paradisebreambaymotel

Bream Bay is circled by the majestic peaks of Manaia, Te Whara (Bream Head), Marotiri and Taranga (The Hen and Chicken Islands) and Sail Rock. These are long dead volcanoes, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

In the western hills an old beach of limestone forms the famous Waipu Caves at North River and another tumbles into the sea south of Waipu Cove.

This limestone is found on buildings, roads and in gardens around the district, and the unique Pancake Rocks formation a short walk south of Waipu Cove.

The waters and beaches of Bream Bay and Whangarei Harbour provide our playground and for many a regular food source.

Taranga – the HenTarangaPancake Rockspancakerocks

Mt Manaia from Takahiwai

Mt Manaia from Takahiwai

Maori – Kaitiaki of Bream Bay

Takahiwai on the southern shores of the Whangarei Harbour, is the tribal Marae of the Patuharakeke hapu, whose ancestral lands covered the whole of the Bream Bay area. Patuharakeke are the kaitiaki, the guardians:Bream Bay: Captain Cook anchored in the Bay in 1769 and, catching a large haul of “Bream” – snapper, named the area Bream Bay, with the head of the Bream being Te Whara (Bream Head) and the tail being the Mangawhai bluff at the Southern end of the bay.  Bream Bay is still popular for fishing off the beach, the rocks or off a boat.

Ko Manaia te Maunga
Ko Whangarei Te Rerenga Paraoa Te Moana
Ko Takahiwai te whenua
Ko Rangiora te wharenui
Ko Te Pirihi te tangata
Ko Patuharakeke te hapu

Manaia is the mountain
Whangarei harbour is the sea
Takahiwai are the lands
Rangiora is the meeting house
Te Pirihi is the man
Patuharakeke is the hapu

Nova Scotian Settlement:

In 1817 a large group led by Norman McLeod, having been forced to leave the highlands of Scotland, began a remarkable migration to New Zealand. At St Ann’s in Nova Scotia the Scots built a strong community. However, the very cold winters, combined with potato blight and crop failure, imposed extreme hardship, and they decided to emigrate to secure a better future for their community.

They built their own ships, prepared food, settled their affairs and set sail on an expedition, for five months or more, to the other side of the world. Not finding what they were seeking in Australia they moved to New Zealand in 1853. They set about the task of establishing a close knit and highly successful community in Waipu.

Communities of Bream Bay:

  • Waipu – the Celtic Heart of Bream Bay and base for the original Nova Scotian settlers
  • Waipu Cove – one of the most popular beaches and campgrounds in Northland
  • Langs Beach and Ding Bay – perfect crescents of golden sand
  • Ruakaka – a significant settlement set behind a beautiful beach in the centre of the Bay
  • Marsden Cove and One Tree Point – at the foot of Mt Manaia and the entrance to the Whangarei Harbour.
  • Marsden Point and Northport Industrial Area – site of NZ’s only oil refinery
  • Takahiwai – base of the local iwi Patuharakeke, and their meeting house.

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