Sand­spit

Only 7km from Wark­worth to the coast

Real Estate Outlook - - Location Location -

To­day Sand­spit is known as good place to launch a boat, catch a ferry to Kawau Is­land, or en­joy a cof­fee at the wa­ter­side cafe. It’s a short drive from the Snells Beach shop­ping cen­tre. The Sand­spit Hol­i­day Park, be­side a safe swim­ming beach, is a hit with fam­i­lies. But back in the 1800s, the wa­ter teemed with sharks dur­ing the sum­mer months and it was a pop­u­lar Maori fish­ing ground. Shark meat was the sta­ple diet of the area’s tribes, and they would dry their catch in the sun on manuka poles. Mak­ing most of the abun­dant catch, set­tlers built a shark fac­tory op­po­site the Sand­spit Wharf. They col­lected the oil from shark liv­ers and found mul­ti­ple uses for it from killing ticks on pigs to pre­serv­ing tim­ber. Even­tu­ally the sharks were fished out and the fac­tory closed in the 1900s and was pulled down. Ac­cord­ing to The Story of Sand­pit by the Sand­spit Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion, the first set­tlers ar­rived in 1842 and lived on ei­ther side of the Matakana River mouth. The area had a good sup­ply of suit­able tim­ber, in­clud­ing kauri, for ship­build­ing and the first recorded boat­builders in the area were R Howe and William McKay who es­tab­lished a ship­yard in 1856 to the east of the camp­ing ground. There was also a small school, a ho­tel and post of­fice where the hol­i­day park is to­day. Coastal steamships would berth at Sand­spit, nearby Greens Point, and Matakana al­low­ing reg­u­lar trade of farm pro­duce and fruit to Auck­land for sale at the mar­kets. Scows car­ried tim­ber, sand­stone and cat­tle.

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