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The Landing’s History is Fascinating to Explore

March 05 2018

Located in one of New Zealand’s most culturally and historically significant areas, The Landing is home to many special places of interest. Here we share some of the locations in and near The Landing which can be enjoyed and learned about next time you visit.



Sitting alongside The Landing is Rangihoua Heritage Park, a site that commemorates the coming together of Maori and Pakeha cultures. Their cultural union was somewhat personified by an historic sermon, delivered here by Reverend Samuel Marsden on Christmas Day 1814. This was the first Christian sermon given in New Zealand; a service attended by Maori and Europeans, with local Maori chief Ruatara interpreting.

Rangihoua Heritage Park’s most significant landmarks are Rore Kahu (soaring eagle), a stunning structure which celebrates the area’s historical importance, and The Marsden Cross, a monument erected 100 years after Marsden’s sermon. A gentle round-trip walk, featuring informational displays, can be enjoyed between the two.

Rangihoua Heritage Park was officially opened in December 2014, 200 years after that historic service. The Landing contributes to the care of the park in various ways, as we consider it a site of significance and one that is an intrinsic part of The Landing’s story.


Waitangi Museum and Treaty Grounds comprise a stunning, contemporary museum that charts the history of the signing of New Zealand’s founding document, the Treaty of Waitangi, which was signed between European and Maori in 1840. The museum is at Waitangi – a short boat ride away, or 50 minutes by car.


This 150-foot Norfolk pine stands tall at The Landing, and (legend has it) was planted in 1817 to mark the birth of Hannah King Hansen, the first European child to be born and live permanently in New Zealand. She was the oldest of 11 children born to Thomas and Elizabeth Hansen, some of the first European settlers on the land.


This small cluster of islands lies directly in front of The Landing. Here, the prominent chief Te Pahi lived and was attacked, along with 60 of his people, by European settlers in 1809; an attack which led to Te Pahi’s death.

One of these islands, Motuapo Island, is privately owned and part of the The Landing property, while the others are owned by New Zealand’s Department of Conservation. The Landing visitors can swim, kayak or paddleboard out to the islands and explore them if they wish.


Papuke translates from Maori as “Pa (village or settlement) on the point”. Papuke was a site used by Maori chiefs to survey the bay and monitor incoming threats. The ground has been shaped to provide fortification from enemies – the formation can still be seen today.


Providing what is arguably the property’s best view of the Bay of Islands is the Wairoa Bay lookout point. The site is home to a Norfolk Pine tree, which features on navigational charts and was planted for Tracey Mountain, a descendant of Walter Mountain. Just before the tree is another point of interest: the visible remains of “rua” or ancient storage pits. These terraced dugouts were used by Maori to store kumara and other valuable produce, far from the dangers of shore raids.


Just an easy stroll from The Boathouse, the Champagne Seat is so nicknamed because it’s the perfect place to wander, drink in hand, to watch dusk gather over the Bay of Islands. The view south takes in Te Pahi’s islands, the Black Rocks beyond and the mainland in the distance.


Visible on a gentle hill on the property is a symbol of The Landing’s past: two paths that cross, forming a low X shape. These paths were used by Maori and Pakeha respectively, as they travelled to and from the shore to their homes, and the cross has come to represent the crossing of their cultures.


In 1814, New Zealand’s first mission station was established on land adjacent to The Landing. A few years later it was moved to this site, today called the Village Green, which was better suited to cultivation. Excavation in 2002 revealed treasures including agricultural implements, unbroken liquor bottles and the oldest coin found in New Zealand.


One of the area’s earliest settler family were the Hansens. John Hansen died at Te Puna in 1910 and was buried beside his wife and his two sons, who had drowned nearby in 1886. A plaque marks their resting place, protected by a fence erected by The Landing, just behind The Boathouse.


Kauri Cliffs – one of the world’s best golf courses – is just a five-minute helicopter flight away, or a 50-minute drive.


A 30 minute drive from The Landing, Kerikeri is a bustling community with a weekend market where you’ll find stunning local produce and crafts.


Other activities that are available and can be arranged from The Landing include dolphin and whale-watching tours, horse riding and shooting at range nearby. Activities accessible by helicopter include beach quad biking, and visiting glow-worm caves and the ancient kauri forests at Hokianga