Whangapoua Holiday Park officially opened on 28th December 2012 after many years of thought, planning and hard work. Established on the site of the old Whangapoua State Forest Headquarters the holiday park utilises the original forestry cabins built in the early 1960’s to accommodate forestry workers. The cabins have been carefully repaired and restored to create a welcoming place for guests to unwind and relax.
A rich history - from gold mining to rodeo riding
The camping area adjacent to the cabins was once part of a larger paddock where annual sports days where held. If you fancy yourself as a wood chopper, rodeo rider or maybe even Miss Whangapoua then this would have been the place to be during summertime in the 1950's and 60's.
Whangapoua which means 'harbour of shellfish' in english is an area rich in history. Settled by the Maori in the thirteenth century and then Europeans in the mid 1800's the area provided sought after resources. From abundant shellfish to kauri trees, kauri gum and gold it made a great place to settle. Kauri logging and milling were big business in the 1870's and 1880's but by the late 1800’s gold mining dominated the area, particularly in the Opitonui Valley. Although there was some very prosperous gold mining years it was not to last and before long farming became the next big industry.
Following World War II large areas of land were purchased by the government and divided up into forestry or farming, depending on the its suitability. The farming land was set aside for returned service men under what was termed rehab farms and the forestry land was cleared and then planted to form the Whangapoua State Forest.
To the west of the holiday park (on the opposite side of the road) there once stood the Kauri Freehold Gold Estates stamper battery. This stamper battery processed ore trained from the Opitonui Valley mines in the 1890’s and eary 1900's. The battery operated until 1903 and some of the foundations as well as the gold safe for the battery can still be viewed. It is really quite amazing to think what was achieved in the Whangapoua area without electricity, modern roads or vehicles.
Aaron and Suzanne
(with James & Thomas)