Detailed aerial photo from 1965

This is interesting — a very detailed aerial photo of Waikawa Beach from August 1965. Below is only a screenshot, but you can zoom in a long way and with great resolution on the real thing. See it at: Aerial Photograph Print, Waikawa Beach, Sheet 121020 | Archives Central.

Aerial photo August 1965 — screenshot.

Identifier: HDC 00365:2:16

Descriptive Note

Dated: 07 August 1965. Scale: 3 Chains to 1 inch. Company: Aero Surveys. Negative: 121020. Shows the following features: Waikawa Beach Road, Drake Street, Arthur Street, Manga-Pirau Street

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There once was a bridge

Back in the day the footbridge across the Waikawa Stream was upstream closer to the end of Drake Street. Lesley-Anne Walker sent us some photos of how the bridge was, and when it met its end.

Rickety old footbridge.
The old footbridge over the Waikawa Stream. Photo courtesy of LA Walker.
Kids jumping off the rickety old bridge.
A spot of high-tide diving from the old footbridge over the Waikawa Stream. Photo courtesy of LA Walker.
Rickety old footbridge sunk in the stream.
The old footbridge over the Waikawa Stream just gave up. Photo courtesy of LA Walker.

The wonderful journey of Thomas Bevan in 1845

Sometimes when the road’s choked it can take 2 or 3 hours to drive between Waikawa Beach and Wellington, and we feel entitled to complain. With any luck, all the expressways will eventually shorten a standard trip to maybe less than an hour.

But next time you’re stuck grinding along at 5 Kph you might like to think of the trip Thomas Bevan Senior took as a child, back in 1845. [These are merely very small extracts from the full text. It’s still a long read, so settle in. I also recommend you actually read the whole text — there’s a huge amount of very interesting detail in the orginal story that has been omitted here.]

Thanks to Lesley-Anne Walker for suggesting this story.

Reminiscences of an old colonist 1908

My Arrival In New Zealand – How Four Pakeha Children Travelled From Port Nicholson To Waikawa In 1845.

[A false start]

My father … made arrangements for us to come to him [from Wellington to Waikawa Beach] … It was in May, 1845, that the captain of the schooner called at our house to take us four children on board. We were put below in a small cabin, the air in which soon became stifling. We sailed about 9 o’clock in the evening, and very soon after our departure the wind rose to a hurricane.
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The Recollections and Memoirs of Gary Drake, Waikawa, 1875–2018

The Drake Farming Years at Waikawa

In 2018 Gary Drake, from his front porch, looks directly across to part of the 3,000 acres that his grandfather, Arthur Drake farmed. Along with Thomas Bevan, another farmer in the district, they were the early settlers and run-holders that worked the land over 143 years up until the present day. They were the first large European-run farms in the wider Manakau/Waikawa district.

In 1875 Arthur and Thomas Drake settled in the area — Thomas at Ohau and Arthur in Waikawa. Arthur took up 3,000 acres of land. In 1881 a meeting was held in Otaki to consider the establishment of a small farmers’ association in the district. Some 5,000 acres was in the proposal. Some farming statistics printed in the Onslow Historian Journal, Vol. 3 (pp. 90-92) revealed the following numbers of sheep owned by people living in Waikawa:

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A Waikawa Identity: Gary Drake

This is the first social commentary in a series of Gary Drake’s memories.

It may be the South African flag that adorns Gary Drake’s residence at Waikawa Beach that captures ones attention; hung at a time of New Zealand rugby test matches, you get the feeling that this individual is happy to go against the trend and normal support of the NZ rugby supporters in the area.

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Waikawa Beach A Favourite Holiday Destination For Levin Couple

There’s something magical about the beach area. (12 September 2006)

Tuesday September 12, 2006: Graham and Jan Taylor don’t have far to travel when they want to visit their favourite holiday spot.

The Levin couple’s holiday destination of choice is a short distance away at Waikawa Beach.

About ten years ago they bought a section with a garage on it at the beach area in Manga Pirau Street.

They thought about building on the land but decided against going through the hassles of getting resource consent.

Instead after subdividing their Levin farm block and selling off their herd of cows they invested in a bus which they had fitted out into a luxury mobile home they called the Stonycreek Xplora.

After stocking up on food and other provisions they drive the short distance to their plot of land and camp out for as long as they want.

Favourite visiting times are during the whitebaiting season or Christmas periods or simply whenever they feel the urge.

Mr Taylor said there was something magical about the beach area.

“It’s just so peaceful. It’s another world.”

He said very few people knew about Waikawa Beach until about five years ago when subdivisions started happening especially Strathnaver Glen.

“That gave it a lot more publicity and then there was another subdivision with Waikawa Heights.

“We’ve known about the area for years and started to go out there about 40 years ago.

“While more people are living there now there are times when there’s no one around and you’re the only one on the beach.”

Graham and Jan Taylor like to stay at Waikawa Beach in the comfort of their luxury motor home.
Graham and Jan Taylor like to stay at Waikawa Beach in the comfort of their luxury motor home.

Some of the couple’s favourite pastimes in the area include walking around the expansive beach area to casting whitebait nets.

“Our holidays vary from a couple of weeks to just a few days. It’s great because it’s handy enough to get out there anytime. It’s not a big trip away,” he said.

Mrs Taylor said Waikawa was a quiet laid back place.

“There’s no commercial area and not even a shop — but that doesn’t bother us. It’s part of the appeal.”


Source: A Horowhenua-Kapiti Chronicle series celebrating all that is good about life in our region — Tuesday September 12, 2006

Many thanks to Linda Lambess for not only contributing this article from her archives, but also typing it up. See also A Jewel In The Crown.

Original article, September 12, 2006.
Original article, September 12, 2006. Click for larger version.