Haere Mai, Welcome



Come with us as we take you on a journey through time.


Our guides who are of Ngāti Hei descent will take you on a tour of Ngāti Hei sacred sites while incorporating stories of our history.


Wharekaho and Wharetaewa pa site is where Captain Cook and the Endeavour crew experienced the first powhiri or friendly welcome between European and Maori.



Also know as Lovers Rock. It was said that a rogue tribe Ngapuhi from up north who were on the war path travelling down the country attacked the tribe at Toumuia as revenge for the warring chief whose niece had supposedly been kidnapped years earlier and that the river ran red as those being attacked tried to swim across the river to escape.

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Wharekaho is the turangawaewae (home site) of the Ngati Hei people. This site is the first place in Aotearoa where the explorer Captain Cook was welcomed ashore by the people of Hei to experience a Powhiri (welcome) and visit their pa site to exchange gifts.


It is the site where the first friendly encounters between Maori and European took place. This little known fact makes this area just as significant as Waitangi.

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Take a journey with us

Our Wharekaho tour is extremely popular with visitors and provides wonderful insight into the history of Ngati Hei. We can also tailor tours to your own requirements.

Contact us


P: 027 231 6789
E: [email protected]

Address: 57 Albert Street, Whitianga

Hours: Mon – Sat 9:30 am - 1 pm