South Whau blockhouse 19th century newspapers are an excellent source for stories on our area and also the early settlers. Weekly News, 17 February 1883 South Whau blockhouse derelict At present South Whau looks, as many of our townships have done, an expanse of fern. The Blockhouse, a relic of the Waikato war of 1863, stands in ruins on the crest of the hill (with its loop-holed embrasures and half-filled trenches), dominating the country for miles around, and at the time of our visit the other day, only the haunt of nomadic gum diggers, who prowl over the adjacent Crown lands for gum.
Te Ara o Tiriwa / Gittos Domain Path An interesting walk from Blockhouse Bay village through peaceful Gittos Domain. Start behind the Blockhouse Bay Library. The Blockhouse Bay area was historically serviced by a mobile library. After repeated requests including a ‘sit in’ protest at a council meeting, locals were successful and their library was opened in 1995. Follow the path to historic Armanasco House - a kauri farmhouse built in 1890 that’s one of the earliest houses in Blockhouse Bay.
Te Whau Point — the decline of a landmark On early survey maps of the Whau area, now Blockhouse Bay, and charts of the Manukau Harbour, Te Whau Point is clearly marked. Jutting into the sea it acts as a protective arm for the beach. The pine tree-crowned cliff face could clearly be seen when coming up the harbour and made an attractive landmark for boaties. Te Whau Point in the 1880s, showing mangroves in the bay Te Whau Point in the 1880s.
The Blockhouse Bay sea wall Before the early 1930s Blockhouse Bay, being typical of the Manukau Harbour, was a muddy tidal exit for two streams. On 23 April 1930 Mr. P. Turner convened the first meeting of the Blockhouse Bay Improvement Association, with a committee of eleven interested local residents. Its first aims were to protect the foreshore and improve the reserves. The Auckland City Council was approached about building a seawall to protect the reserve area from erosion from the sea which was taking place, and improve the reserve.