Wharekaho is nestled amongst lush rolling hills and overlooking the magnificent white sandy beach where local Iwi Ngati Hei performed New Zealand's first Powhiri to welcome Captain James Cook and botanist Joseph Banks.


Wharekaho’s vibrant history harks back to 800AD but the area was firmly established in the 13th century by the Ngati Hei iwi Chief, Hei welcomed British explorer Captain James Cook and botanist Joseph Banks to his shores in 1769.


Under the ancient sprawling Pohutukawa tree that still reaches along the beach today, Ngati Hei warmly acknowledged the crew of the Endeavour with the very first official ceremony (Powhiri) recorded in New Zealand. The 12 days Captain Cook and his crew spent building relationships and learning the local ways at Wharekaho are seen as a formative time in our nation’s bicultural history.


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