Located beside two waters
There is more to Ruawai than meets the eye of motorists passing through State Highway One and Dargaville. The many paddocks on either side of the township bear the heavy crops of kumara and squash for which the area is widely known, but a slight detour straight ahead leads motorists to an abrupt halt on the shores of the Kaipara Harbour. Ruawai was named in recognition of its location beside two waters, where the muddy waters of the northern Wairoa River flow into the Kaipara Harbour. Maori and Dalmatian and British immigrants have lived beside each other for the last 150 years. The Ruawai flats offer a panoramic view of the residual volcanic cone of Tokatoka. They are an under-sea-level pasture land protected by a system of drains, canals, floodgates and stopbanks. A monument to the foresight of the original pioneers, these safeguards enable the farmers and horticulturists to produce high quality butterfat, kumara and squash. Ruawai is a small, close-knit rural community consisting of a college and volunteer fire brigade, first organised in 1952. It is a popular fishing destination and visitors can join the local boating club members as they contest the fishing grounds on the first Sunday of each month. Keen anglers must negotiate a notorious harbour bar into the Tasman Sea in pursuit of prized marlin. Some residents prefer to test their skills at the small Matarua Golf Club or the local bowling club.