Rambling in the Papamoa Hills
between the Mataatua and Te Arawa waka areas. From the earliest time of Maori settlement, Papamoa Hill has been of great strategic importance because of its commanding position, making it possible to control the southern access to Tauranga Harbour and the coastal strip down to Maketu.
Walking at a gentle pace up the incline through pine forest, allows me to get a sense of the region’s rich history and culture. The vestiges of pa site entrenchments are visible on several promontories in the surrounding hills.
Local fitness exponents love this elevated walking track. Lycra-clad runners and power-walkers pass me with a friendly wave and with minutes are zipping past once more on their downward leg.
Breaking out onto the ridge, the whole panorama overwhelms my senses. I immediately feel like a lord of the manor surveying his vast domain. Or perhaps the Red Queen, that concentrated essence of all pedantic monarchs, who seeing this view might coldly observe, ‘I am Queen of this realm’ and it all belongs to ME!’