Story: Bay of Plenty places

Page 19. Raukūmara Range

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Raukūmara Range

The most north-easterly of the ranges of the main dividing range of the North Island. The western slopes of Raukūmara, facing the Bay of Plenty, are still forest-covered, heavily divided by valleys, and marked by the courses of the Waioeka, Raukōkore and Mōtū rivers and their tributaries. These are among the few North Island rivers where blue ducks are still found.

The highest point on the range, Hikurangi (1,754 m), lies on an eastern spur, close to country cleared in the early 1900s. The range divided the lands of Ngāti Porou on the East Coast, from those of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui in the Bay of Plenty. An extensive conservation area provides opportunities for wilderness tramping.

Waioeka River

The Waioeka, correctly Wai o weka, rises in the main dividing range in the vicinity of the Kahikatea Range, a northern outlier of the Huiarau Range. For about half of its length it is followed by State Highway 2 to Ōpōtiki, where it reaches the sea through a substantial estuary. The upper reaches are a favoured location for kayaking and white-water rafting.

Mōtū River

The Mōtū River has central significance for the people of Te Whānau-ā-Apanui. Its headwaters are beyond Matawai in the East Coast, and the river passes through a major gorge in the Raukūmara Range.

The river falls 487 m along its 110-km run. Its entire course is protected from development, but it is used for white-water rafting, jet-boating and kayaking. It reaches the sea at near Whitianga, a Te Whānau-ā-Apanui settlement (not the township of Whitianga on the Coromandel Peninsula). In 1900, 16 children and 2 adults from Maraenui drowned while crossing near the mouth.

Raukōkore River

North-easternmost of the major Bay of Plenty rivers. The Raukōkore and its tributaries drain the northern parts of the Raukūmara Range back up to the main divide. It flows into the sea to the south of Raukōkore settlement.

How to cite this page:

Malcolm McKinnon, 'Bay of Plenty places - Raukūmara Range', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/bay-of-plenty-places/page-19 (accessed 16 December 2019)

Story by Malcolm McKinnon, published 5 Dec 2005, updated 1 Jul 2015