Rangikapiti Pā provides panoramic views over Mangōnui Harbour, Coopers Beach and across Doubtless Bay to the Karikari Peninsula. It is a significant site to Ngati Kahu.
Aspects making Rangikapiti such a distinctive feature on the landscape are the terraces and defensive ditch around the pā. The main area of the pā provided a strongly defended position, while the lower slopes and terraces would have been used as areas for gardening and housing.
Memorial on top of Rangikapiti Pā
Rangikapiti Pā is the major historic feature of the Rangikapiti Historic Reserve, and is of great significance to local iwi Ngati Kahu.
Overlooking the Mangōnui Harbour, this pā site is traditionally associated with Ngati Kahu ancestor Moehuri, who made land fall here in the waka (canoe) Ruakaramea, which was named after his wife.
The reserve is focussed around Rangikapiti Pā, built on a headland hilltop. Apart from some coastal pohutukawa, much of the reserve is covered in regenerating manuka, encircling the top of the pā, while the remaining area is covered in grass.
The pā is in good condition and is an example of the ‘wedding cake’ style of pā formation, with a small tihi surrounded by broad terracing, ditches and banks.
Rangikapiti is part of an integrated group of sites relating to both early and late Māori settlement in the north (see also Taumarumaru Scenic Reserve). Although physically separated, these sites are mainly managed by the Department and volunteer groups, and contain a range of scenic, recreational and historic values.
Past management of the reserve has revolved around vegetation control to minimise possible fire risk and to maintain open views for the public.
Today Rangikapiti reserve is a popular destination for day visitors, largely due to its proximity to Mangōnui township, and the magnificent views available over the harbour and Doubtless Bay.
Rangikapiti Historic Reserve is situated on the south-western head of Mangōnui Harbour. From Mill Bay road, follow Rangkapiti Road until you reach the Rangikapiti Pā Historic Reserve carpark.
Northland reserve bylaws apply to Rangikapiti Pā.