Ohope & Tauwhare Pa

Ohope is an up-market suburb of Whakatane, both in the Bay of Plenty. I just stayed overnight there but I reckon I could settle quite happily, particularly with beaches like this at sunset:

Ohope Beach at sunset

The following morning I climbed up to the local Pa. A Maori Pa was a fortress/market/settlement all rolled into one – in fact very much what towns and villages are the world over, and often of course built on a defendable hill. Tauwhare Pa has the distinction of falling between two Maori tribes (iwi) and contolling access to two large natural harbours, so was fought over and changed hands a few times.

Tauwhare Pa

Happily nowadays the Pa is just a historic site, guarded by some Maori women commemorated in the entrance arch: Mereaira Rangihoea, who intervened in an argument between two Maori tribes and led them to peaceful co-existence; and her sister Mereaira Koroahi (it doesn’t say what she did, but as they say – ‘behind every great woman there’s a great woman’.) Also Nga-Uri-o-te-Keepa-Toihau, which I think means ‘all the rest of you’