History of Urupukapuka
Ancient Maori tribes lived and thrived on Urupukupuka Island and their fascinating history can be discovered on your island visit.
Occupied for over 1000 years there are eight significant Pa (fortified village) sites linked by the Urupukapuka Island Archaeological Walk around the island. Sited mostly on headlands these provided defence to observe enemies approaching by sea. The spectacular sites overlooking the many islands are a feature of the walk.
There were once many kainga (villages), based in sheltered bays. Kumara crops were planted on sheltered slopes and flat areas. Harvesting kaimoana (sea food) the wahine (women) gathered pipi and cockles in kete harakeke (flax kits) on shore whilst men set nets or fished with hooks and lures carved from bone and shell.
Captain James Cook's Endeavour sailed into the Bay of Islands, as the first Europeans to visit, his crew found and recorded information about these island settlements.
Zane Grey, celebrated American author, gentleman, sportsman and conservationist travelled to New Zealand in 1926 and 1927 to fish the salt waters of the Bay of Islands and the fresh waters of Lake Taupo and its tributaries.
His book 'Tales of The Angler's Eldorado, New Zealand' was written during his first visit. This publication provides a detailed account of his fishing of the waters of the Bay of Islands from the base which he set up at Otehei Bay, Urupukapuka Island.
Following his departure, and with his knowledge and blessing, the Zane Grey Sporting Club was established.
The 'Tales from a Fisherman's Log' is an account of his second visit, when he was accompanied by his brother and son and travelled on his own schooner, the "Fisherman".
These tales are an exhilarating read and early editions are very collectable.
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Learn more about Maori carving and artwork at Te Ara, the Encylopedia of New Zealand