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S 37° 02.373 E 174° 30.433
About the Geocache
Incorporate finding this simple cache with some time at the gorgeous Whatipu beach.
Takes less than an hour (with dalliances), if just caching.
Whilst not strictly necessary, recommended to approach the cache via the Cutter Rock waypoint (not a big detour).
This may reveal to you the meaning of this cache's name...
Note that you should not actually try to get to Cutter Rock! It's not necessary and the ground around it is unsafe. The waypoint is on the beach adjacent to the information sign informing you of the dangers.
No climbing is required to get this cache (see hint for more).
To the south of Whatipu is the Manukau Harbour. Further up the coast to the north is Karekare.
William Foote had a timber mill at Pararaha (built in 1867) to service the kauri trade. A tramline was built to a second timber mill (owned by the Gibbons family), three kilometres north, in 1870.
After a serious fire at the Pararaha mill in 1886 and given the dwindling remaining Kauri, the two mills closed.
Between 1906 and 1921 the railway was re-built and extended to Piha and eventually Anawhata, under the ownership of the colourful American dentist Rayner.
Remnants of rail tracks from this era can still be seen.
The windswept shores of Whatipu, at the entrance to the Manukau Harbour, are steeped in Maori history.
With several pa sites, middens, terraces and caves, Whatipu is considered one of the richest areas of Maori prehistoric artefacts in New Zealand.
Whatipu is located at the southern end of the Waitakere Ranges, around an hour’s drive from Auckland city and up to 45 minutes drive from Titirangi village.
Once known for its wide variety of fish, shellfish and shark, Whatipu was used as a Maori seasonal fishing settlement. Tribes migrated from the Taranaki region to Whatipu around AD1200, where, on a clear day, they were still able to see their beloved Mount Taranaki. Hence, they named the main bay at Whatipu, Taranaki Bay.
In the seventeenth century, members of Ngati Awa iwi left their homes in Kawhia, guided by Maki of North Taranaki.
Maki led his people to Muriwai, where they settled and eventually Maki took control of all the Waitakeres. To this day, Maori originating from the Whatipu coastline are known as Te Kawerau a Maki, after their forefather.
The Te Kawerau people lived peacefully in their new homeland until the 1820s, when the Waitakere coastline was invaded by Northland’s Ngapuhi iwi. Armed with muskets, Ngapuhi massacred Te Kawerau iwi at Te Kaka pa in Karekare.
Those that survived abandoned the now sacred Karekare site and retreated to the Waikato. Though Te Kawerau iwi eventually returned to Whatipu for fishing and spiritual replenishment, they never re-settled there permanently.
Today, Whatipu is covered with waahi tapu (sacred sites). Of the five remaining pa sites, Pararaha Point Pa is the largest and best-preserved pa in the Waitakere Ranges.
Four kilometres north of Whatipu, the Ohaka Head Pit Platform Terrace offers spectacular views of the coastline, while the Whatipu Terraces and Midden provide a prime example of an undefended site.
While visitors are welcome to explore these sites, they are not all easily accessible and may require some bush-wrangling to uncover.
Though the number of Te Kawerau a Maki has greatly declined over past centuries, the iwi has started to grow again as new generations of Maori reaffirm bonds with their ancestral lands.
Te Kawerau recently erected an 11m high pou and an interpretive display near Whatipu Lodge, at the end of Whatipu Road, to acknowledge this connection and their role as kaitiaki (custodian).
About Cutter Rock
Local legend has it that the ship's cutter (boat), from the ill fated H.M.S. Orpheus, landed at Cutter Rock - hence its name.
The Orpheus hit the Manukau bar with a loss of 187 lives on the 7th of February 1863 (see the nearby GCYE5H - H.M.S. Orpheus geocache for further).
Cutter Rock is notable for its dunes, flora, ecosystem and recorded movements.
It was in the sea in the 1930s - now clearly surrounded by vegetation and remains an area of continuing scientific interest (you might wish to get the nearby GC1CEFG - The Ballroom "Te Ana Ru" earthcache whilst you're in the area).
This area is threatened by kauri dieback, so please:
- Make sure shoes, tyres and equipment are clean of dirt before and after visiting kauri forest.
- Clean shoes and any other equipment that comes into contact with soil after every visit, especially if moving between bush areas.
- Keep to defined tracks at all times. Any movement of soil around the roots of a tree has the potential to spread the disease.
- Keep your dog on a leash at all times. Dogs can inadvertently spread the disease if they disturb the soil around the trees.
For more information about kauri dieback, please see this page: Kauri dieback: how you can help.
About the Cache
A 1l Sistema container, with light camo.
Please ensure that you replace carefully so that it remains not too obvious!
Contents at Placement
- Launch of Stella TB
- Launch of Triangulum TB
- Ducky TB
- Groovy Cachin GC
- Chinese finger puzzle
- Malaysian keyring
- Rugby ball
- Smiley face
- Green pen
This cache is so named after the view of the cache's final physical location, when approached FROM Cutter Rock.
Post a picture with your log showing Cutter "Dog" and/or the name of the aminal (sic ) that you saw!
Whatipu is noted for vividly showing changes to its local ecology.
Your photos will contribute to the historic records of this area.
Geocaches need maintenance from time to time (as do we all?!). If this one looks in need (new log book/container maintenance/other), please let us know.