The Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park, on the spectacular headland between the Ōhiwa Harbour and Bryans Beach, was opened by the Upokorehe hapū and the Bay of Plenty Regional Council in 2010.
The Pāpāmoa and Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Parks will remain open but only to those who are able to access them by bike or foot. The car parks have been closed to reiterate to people that they must not use a motor vehicle in order to exercise.
People must closely follow the recommended COVID-19 hygiene practices if coming into contact with gates or any of the other park infrastructure. Visitors are reminded that they can only exercise with those in their lock down ‘bubble’ and must maintain strict physical isolation from anyone else at all times.
The 26.8 hectare property is valued for its rich Māori cultural history and significant archaeological features, many of which are clearly visible in the landscape. It has views to Kōhi Point in the west, across the Ōhiwa Harbour, and east towards East Cape.
Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park is a significant cultural and archaeological landscape.
Walk the loop track and experience a peaceful native bush setting with beautiful pohutukawa covered cliffs. Emerge at Onekawa pa site and walk through the grassland, returning back to the carpark via Bryans Beach.
Due to the high number of archaeological and cultural sites located within the Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park, activities have been restricted to passive recreation only.
- No horse trekking.
- No camping.
- No motorbikes.
- No mountain biking.
- No fires.
- Rubbish free park - care for our environment and take your rubbish home with you.
- Dogs are permitted on leash only.
If travelling by car, there are two carparks; use either Ōhiwa Harbour Road carpark or Bryan Road carpark.
Travel west on State Highway 2 towards Whakatāne. Turn right into Ōhiwa Beach Road toward the Ōhiwa Beach motor camp, follow the signs and the carpark is on the right before you reach the campground. Alternatively follow Ōhiwa Beach Road around the estuary, the carpark is off Bryan Road on the right.
Distance from Ōpōtiki: 15 kilometres (approx 10 minutes)
Head east toward Ōpōtiki via Ōhope. Follow State Highway 2 and turn left into Ōhiwa Beach Road. You can either follow Ōhiwa Beach Road to the Bryan Road entrance or turn right into Ōhiwa Harbour Road and park at the Ōhiwa Harbour Road entrance.
Distance from Whakatāne: 40 kilometres (approx 35 minutes)
Head east on State Highway 30 toward Whakatāne. Turn right onto State Highway 2 and remain on State Highway 2 until making a left turn into Ōhiwa Beach Road.
Distance from Rotorua: 115 kilometres (1.5 hours)
Take extra care when driving along Bryan Road and Ōhiwa Harbour Road, look out for cyclists and children.
History, culture and heritage
Onekawa Te Mawhai and the surrounding area has been the site of many battles significant to the history of local tāngata whenua.
Onekawa Te Mawhai has strong associations with Upokorehe and has a long and rich Māori history. The pa are physical markers in the landscape that provide a tangible link with the past. Important individuals – such as Repanga, Kahuki and Tuamutu -are known to have lived at the pa.
Collectively the heritage places at Onekawa Te Mawhai form a group with interrelated heritage values representing significant themes in the history of human occupation of the Ōhiwa Harbour.
Onekawa Te Mawhai Regional Park today
The Park is a working farm and a popular site for people to enjoy walking and coastal views. It is managed by Bay of Plenty Regional Council in partnership with Upokorehe hapū.
Below is drone footage we captured recently.