The hot springs of Waiwera on the coast of the Hauraki Gulf
The hot springs of Waiwera on the coast of the Hauraki Gulf were well known to Maori, whose method of bathing was to dig a large hole in the sandy beach and immerse themselves, while the hole filled gently around them with the hot healing waters, seeping up from beneath the ground.
Thermal springs by rivers and lakes inland are known to many New Zealanders, but there are only a few places where they are found in the sand of sea beaches.
Translated from Maori, Waiwera means simply ‘hot water’ but it was so revered that many referred to it as ‘te rata’ which translates as ‘the doctor’.
The bay in those days were protected by four fortified Pa's.
A pioneers reminiscenses record that at one time, around 3.000 Maori were seen on the beach.
In that era, the only way of reaching Waiwera was by sea. A boat would land passengers, who were met by a horse and dray and then ferried ashore dryshod.
For over a century the curative value of the hot springs has been known to the Europeans, prompting many to write testimonial letters claiming amazing therepeutic results.
Thirty miles north of Auckland, the main highway to Northland gives a sparkling view to the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, narrow and graceful under clouds- themselves forming a peninsula in a sea of blue sky.
It is a great charm of this bay, that it has not yet been overwhelmed by too many houses.
The bush, the swimming, and the beach can be enjoyed by those who cherish peace in a relative sense.
Whether you pass through the bay by car, visit it by launch or yaucht, or fly over it in a small aircraft, the bay is one of the most impressive in a part of New Zealand that abounds in good beaches.
Searh the following links for more information on the bay or natural hot springs.
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