HMNZS Canterbury Wreck

Maunganui Bay

Bay of Islands


New Zealand

Why Maunganui Bay

Maunganui Bay (Deep Water Cove) is a feature of the Cape Brett Peninsula, which forms the southern are of the Bay of Islands, and is about 28km by sea from Opua.  The site was favoured by marine experts because if its sheltered aspect, flat sandy bottom and relative lack of tidal currents.

The location of the wreck at Manawahanuna is in the shadow of Rakaumangamanga, one of the most sacred mountains of Nagapuhi.  For this reason it has deep spiritual and cultural significance, particularly for its guardians, the Patukeha and Ngati Kuta hapu of Te Rawhiti.

Manawahuna Bay lies near the tip of the peninsula, named Rakaumangamanga by Kupe a thousand years ago, and Cape Brett by Cook, eight hundred years later. It is a huge bay with rocky coves and pebble beaches. At each wing of the bay is an island, both of which stand like sentinels, guarding the entrance.  Each of these sentinel islands have a story, a whakapapa. High above the bay is the mountain of Rakumangamanga, sacred to the northern tribe of Ngapuhi as its seventh boundary marker and especially as an ancient navigational point.

The special nature of Rakumangamanga lies in the deep past when Kupe named the mountain as the place to which he directed voyagers as a safe harbour, a gathering place for the huge ocean waka.  His navigational instructions contained in ancient chants identify Hawaii and Easter Island as the great Pacific triangle in which were identifiable currents for the journey Raiatea to Aotearoa and back.

2 feb  2012 Gem Nudi Putahataha is 12m. Canterbury Wreck