Te Rae o Papamoa

Also known as Papamoa Hills Regional Park

From the park visitors can see Mauao (Mount Maunganui) and the Tauranga harbour in the west through to Putauaki (Mount Edgecumbe) and Moutohora (Whale Island) in the east.

Te Rae o Papamoa ‘Papamoa hill’ is the highest point on the ridge (224m above sea level).

The Park can be seen from the coastline and from a wide area of the surrounding plains.

The Bay of Plenty’s first regional park, the Papamoa Hills Regional Park or Te Rae o Papamoa, opened to the public in July 2004. The focus of the Park is the rich Maori cultural history. The Park has been created because of its heritage ? the archaeological/cultural values that are present on the ridges and hilltops. There are eight pa sites within the Park boundary, with others visible on adjacent land.

The area has seen complex and at times confrontational settlement phases and represents the genealogical ties that link local iwi and hapu. Those who have participated in the shifting patterns of occupation of the Papamoa Hills include Ngamarama, Waitaha, Ngati Ranginui, Ngaiterangi, Ngati Pukenga, Nga Potiki and Ngati He. The Park is a tribute to the descendents of the Takitimu, Mataatua, and Te Arawa waka

The Park is a significant cultural, recreational and historical asset to the people of the Bay of Plenty region. The Park is significant in New Zealand?s archaeological landscape as there are few examples of historical occupation of such complexity in such a relatively small area.

The Tauranga Basin is a pleistocene, fluvial estuarine basin that has been partially in filled by terrestrial and estuarine sediments of volcanic origin. The Papamoa Range lies between the Tauranga and Maketu Basins and is flanked to the south by the Mamaku Plateau. The range comprises andesitic volcanics, a series of younger dacitic and rhyolitic domes and dacitic ignimbrites. Volcanic domes are prominent features in the landscape. Springs can be observed flowing from the domes in proximity to the numerous pa sites.

The Papamoa dome (Papamoa Hills) is footed by fluvial terrace deposits from past tributaries, with more modern stream deposits of sand, silt and gravel that stretch to the coastline.

List Status Unofficial
Elevation 224 m (735 ft)
Location/List North Island, New Zealand
Region Bay of Plenty/East Coast
Location Coordinates 37° 44′ 15″ S, 176° 16′ 57″ E
Nearest Town/s Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, Whakatane
LINZ Topographic map/s BD37 Tauranga
Range Papamoa Hills
Translation Titiro ai tatou ki nga ra o mua.Hei whakatikatika i te huarahi mo tatou me o tatou uri a muri ake nei.

Look to the past to get the right pathway for generations now and generations to come?.

Recommended Route
Duration Help.gif 2 hours return
Distance 4 km (2.5 mi)
Start/End Points Car Park & toilets to Peak/Trig return
Difficulty Help.gif Medium
Track conditions Help.gif Marked Route, Unmarked Route near summit only, Steep embankments, Farmland (shut any gates!)
Season Help.gif all season
Sights Views, Birds, Forest, Maori heritage , Tauranga Moana to Maketu BOP Coast & Estuaries
Hazards Mist, High winds, Mud, Unstable tracks , livestock, slippery tree leaves

Getting There

How to get there

  • Distance from Tauranga: 20km (20minutes)
  • Distance from Rotorua: 65km (45minutes)
  • Distance from Whakatane: 80km (60minutes)

From Tauranga, travel east on State Highway 2 towards Whakatane. About 1 km past the Papamoa/Bell Road turn-off on the left, turn right into Poplar Lane. This is a busy road with roadworks ongoing related to the construction of the Eastern Arterial – be careful. Drive down toward the quarry & turn right just before the quarry gates onto the Park Road & on up into the public car park.

From Rotorua, two routes:

  • a) Route 5 signed Hamilton then right Route 36 signed Ngongotaha CARE turn left Route 36 Tauranga Direct Road. Follow 36 & right onto Route 29 via Pyes Pa & the historic Maori battle site at Te Ranga. Follow 29 to Baypark Stadium, over the railway lines & turn right onto Route 2 (signed Te Puke) & follow turning right onto Poplar Lane before Te Puke.
  • option b) Travel Route 30 (signed Whakatane) then Route 33 (signed Paengaroa & Te Puke) via Okere Falls (whitewater rafting, cafe & shop). At Paengaroa go left Route 2 to Te Puke. The Park is 5 km after Te Puke on the left. Turn left from SH2 into Poplar Lane.

From Whakatane, follow State Highway 2 through the beautiful Matata coastline towards Tauranga. The park is 5km after Te Puke on the left.

Google Earth Map

Our Recommended Route

Follow the signposted track from the public car park & novaloo toilets up through the pine forest to the summit

Route Options

Unsigned access over grassland as you approach the summit, see the information board or For more information on the Papamoa Hills Regional Park, phone Environment Bay of Plenty on 0800 ENV BOP (368 267) or email info@envbop.govt.nz


Weather conditions can change quickly, exposed coastal sitiation


11 jan 06.jpg (31).JPG