The archaeology of the Ranfurly Bay Scenic Reserve consists of a pa on top of high peaks with stone-faced terraces. You can see enormous amounts of midden (shell refuse from past meals) along the Wairakau Track within the reserve indicating the large populations that once lived here.
Within this reserve is the Dukes Nose rock outcrop – named this as it bears a strong resemblance to the shape of a head with an aristocratic nose.
The Lane Cove Hut was built as a holiday bach for the J.S Lane family in 1922. Lane was a ship builder (TM Lane & Sons), commercial fisherman, farmer and sawmiller. He farmed the land called Papakura situated from behind this site and over to Totara North.
Historically the Whangaroa Harbour has interesting and important stories attached to it.
Burning of the Boyd
Historically the Whangaroa Harbour has interesting and important stories attached to it. One of the more well known is the burning of the Boyd.
The events surrounding this event delayed further missionary arrivals to New Zealand for years to come.
Europeans did not discover the harbour itself until 1807, by Captain Wilkinson of the sealer Star.
A young Maori by the named of Te Aara joined the crew of the Star. On his return to the Whangaroa, this time on board the Boyd, he told his brother, Chief Te Puhi of Kaeo that he had been ill-treated during the voyage.
As a result, the captain of the Boyd and its crew were killed at Te Puhi’s village. The Boyd was then accidentally set on fire and floated out towards Motuwai Island (Red Island) where its remains rest in the mud today.
The effects of this tragedy were felt as far as the Bay of Islands. Chief Te Pahi, friend of missionary leader Samuel Marsden, was attacked at his village in the Te Pahi Islands by several whalers believing that Te Pahi was involved in the Boyd massacre. This was likely to be due to the similarities between his name and Te Puhi’s.
Today the harbour is a tranquil and scenically stunning place.
DOC carries out regular possum control to help protect the natural values of the area.
The Ranfurly Bay Scenic Reserve encompasses the surrounds of Pekapeka Bay on the western side of the Whangaroa Harbour. You can access Peakpeka Bay by boat from Totara North or Whangaroa township.
You can reach the Dukes Nose Track and Lane Cove hut via the Wairakau Stream Track.
The Story of the Bay of Islands Maritime and Historic Park. 1989. Department of Conservation.