Long Bay Entrance

Auckland Council have constructed an access road into Long Bay Regional Park from the Long Bay development across the Vaughan Flat, just north of the Heritage Protection Zone (HPZ). The HPZ is a highly significant archaeological landscape containing evidence of pre-European Māori occupation, 19th century settler / farmer occupation and World War II defences. Other significant sites are recorded nearby, including the Long Bay Restaurant site (R10/1374) where kōiwi tangata (human burials) were excavated. There are several archaeological sites recorded around the Vaughan Flat including middens and gumdigger pits.

Six archaeological features, all shell middens, were found during monitoring. Apart from Feature 3, the middens are contemporaneous, probably deposited in the 16th century, reinforcing the interpretation that all these features relate to ether a single occupation or a series of closely related occupations. The date from R10/201 is at least 200 years later. The Long Bay Entrance and Long Bay Restaurant sites were a part of the same landscape, and so have related chronology and resource exploitation patterns. People were collecting shellfish from nearby environments, mostly from the local estuary. Tuangi cockle was the predominant species and the presence of taxa like horn shell indicate mass capture techniques like raking or dredging. Fish were also mostly mass captured with nets, although some may have been caught with baited hooks.

It is apparent that Long Bay and its immediate hinterland were occupied and exploited since at least the early 15th century, associated with, or followed quickly by, occupations on the Awaruku Headland and the Vaughan Flat. By this time the original forest appears to have been cleared and replaced with bracken and scrub, as indicated by charcoal samples. The main attraction would probably have been rich shellfish and fish resources with soils unsuited to kumara horticulture. Although the pattern of occupation at the Long Bay Restaurant site indicates repeated occupation by a kin group, the general pattern is of repeated short-term encampments.

Unearth a world of valuable insights

Scroll to Top