Walk to Mapoutahi Pā along Purakaunui Bay beach
Image: John Barkla | DOC
3 km return via same track
From the gravelled end of Osborne Rd in Purakaunui Bay walk 1.2 km on the sandy and unformed road to the beach.
Head left to the steps that lead up Mapoutahi for good coastal views from the 18th century Māori pā site.
From Port Chalmers turn left onto Borlases Road, right onto Blueskin Road, right onto Heyward Point Road then left onto Purakaunui Road. Follow the road to Purakaunui Inlet onto Osborne Road.
From Waitati follow Shortcut Road to Blueskin Road, turn left onto Heyward Point Road, then left onto Purakaunui Road. Follow the road to Purakaunui Inlet onto Osborne Road.
Te Wera, the Chief of the Kai Tahu, had a pā at Huriawa. After an unsuccessful siege of Huriawa by his feuding uncle, Taoka, from Pukekura (Taiaroa Head), an ally of Te Wera's, Te Pakihaukea, shifted to Purakanui and relocated Mapoutahi Pā.
When Taoka arrived in mid-winter to beseige Mapoutahi Pā he found the pā well defended and impenetrable. However, on one particularly wild night Te Pakihaukea's guards put dummies in their places so they could retreat to the warmth of a fire. Taoka discovered the ploy and the pā was stormed and most of the inhabitants massacred.
The pā fell into disuse, and today many of the terraces can still be seen, although the edges have become less distinct through time.