Don’t Mention The Whales – Whangamumu Harbour

Whangamumu HarbourOur coast-crawl north up the Tutukaka Coast finally topped out at Rawhiti which is actually on the Bay of Islands – being around Cape Brett. We moved there from Bland Bay to wait for the best weather to tackle the walk to Cape Brett. While we waited we did the walk from the road over to Whangamumu Harbour and the site of an old whaling station. This is back on the Tutukaka side of the peninsula that runs out to Cape Brett.

I have finally worked out that ‘whanga’ is Maori for ‘harbour’ which is obvious when you think about it. We’d already visited Whangarei Harbour and Whangaruru Harbour. And now Whangamumu. There was a whaling station there until the early 1940s which originally (and uniquely) used nets to trap the whales.

Whangamumu Harbour walk sign

Whangamumu Harbour walk sign which looks almost as old as the whaling station

Warning sign Whangamumu Harbour walk

Warning sign at the start of the Whangamumu Harbour walk

The DoC signs are not a good look. Apart from often being ambiguous or even misleading, they are often scruffy and old. There is obviously an issue with funding. The other sign is also not a good look. It could be taken to be a protection scheme. There is obviously an issue with bandits. It would be nice if they could sort it so that walkers don’t spend their walk wondering what misfortune might befall their vehicle if they haven’t paid the parking “fee”.

Whangamumu Harbour walk track

Whangamumu Harbour walk – a nice climb through the forest to the ridge.

Descent to Whangamumu Harbour

Descent to Whangamumu Harbour. The whaling station was in the second bay on the left side.

Remains of Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of Whangamumu Harbour whaling station including the boiler that powered everything.

Part of the old boiler - my abstract photo of the day ...

Part of the old boiler – my abstract photo of the day …

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station – being reclaimed by the forest.

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

The old boiler for the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station

Remains of the Whangamumu Harbour whaling station. The top of the concrete baths were at floor height inside a building.

The whaling station site was very interesting; sobering but interesting. There was a lot of information explaining how it all worked and we spent a while absorbing it all. The track back to the head of the harbour is partly below the high-tide level and somehow I’d mucked up the tide times. So we were surprised to find that part almost under water on the way back. We didn’t have to wade – not quite ….

Last of the sun Whangamumu Harbour

Enjoying the last of the sun Whangamumu Harbour before starting the climb back up the hill.

 

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2 Responses to Don’t Mention The Whales – Whangamumu Harbour

  1. gay dornbusch says:

    Interesting post and it got me wondering about the whanga part meaning harbour coz if that’s right then Wanganui should have the h in it. It is a port at the river mouth so you have just made me join the whanganui side lol

    • Ross says:

      Yep Gay it does mean harbour. I looked it up although I should have worked it out. Indeed Wanganui is a spelling mistake – there’s a lot of them about. It’s a bit of a bugger when it affects such a large community.

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