Tawatawa Reserve

Tawatawa Reserve is surrounded on three sides by hills. It is marked by a pouwhenua, and has a dog exercise area.

Location: Suburbs of Owhiro Bay, Kingston and Island Bay.

Entrance and exit points: Murchison Street and Quebec Street.

Brief description: At Tawatawa Reserve there is a large flat grassed area below the hills that is a play space for locals and a dog exercise area.

Tracks on the surrounding hillside include a loop track beginning at the nursery.

A track down the western ridge to Happy Valley Road links to Te Kopahou Reserve and the Tip Track. This part of the reserve is also grazed by horses.

On the eastern side, tracks join Quebec Street and link with the City to Sea Walkway down to the Berhampore Golf Course.

Parking: Reserve car park is off Murchison Street.

Accessibility: There is a flat circular walkway suitable for wheelchairs.

Dogs: Off-leash dog exercise area on the flat.


‘Te Rauparaha’ pouwhenua – see details below.

The Southern Environmental Association has a nursery at this site and has planted more than 30,000 shrubs and trees here and in other local sites. Fill has been used to create mounds for planting, a circular walkway has been built and a wetland has been developed at the north end of the park. 

History: This former landfill site used to be known as Preston's Gully.

Friends groups: Southern Environmental Association, Friends of Owhiro Stream.

Visit map

‘Te Rauparaha’ pouwhenua

Master carver Matahi Avauli Brightwell worked with his daughter, Te Whanganui-a-Tara based artist Taupuruariki (Ariki) Brightwell, to restore the pouwhenua (land marker post) he carved and erected at Tawatawa Reserve in 1981.

The carved stone pou was created by Matahi for Bruce Stewart, founder of Taputeranga Marae and includes depictions of important Ngāti Toa rangatira Te Rauparaha and his nephew, Te Rangihaeata, and Te Ātiawa tipuna Wiremu Kingi Te Kapunga.

The restoration of the pou has seen the addition of a painted base featuring the Tahitian motif niho mango to reference the connection between Māori and Eastern Polynesia.

We look forward to sharing the full story of ‘Te Rauparaha’ on video soon.

Visit the newly restored pouwhenua ‘Te Rauparaha’, near the Quebec Street entrance, or walk up from Murchison Street.