Wairarapa Graves - Tapuwai Site Track


The Tapuwai graves can be found at the north end of Whangapoua beach.

From the end of Mabey Road follow the signposts to Whangapoua beach. Turn left and wander along the beautiful Whangapoua beach to Tapuwai Point.  The grave sites are surrounded by a white picket fence.

On 29th October 1984, the Wairarapa was sailing between Sydney and Auckland when it struck Miners Head on Aotea/Great Barrier Island.  Of 235 passengers and crew, around 130 people lost their lives making this the third worst shipping disaster in New Zealand history.

Tapuwai and Onepoto are the two main burial sites with 60 bodies between them, many others were transported to the mainland.

Ngati Rehua residents in Katherine Bay played a huge part in rescuing and caring for survivors, as well as recovering bodies from the shipwreck.

Have a look at the Aotea map here!

Points of Interest

SS Waiaraapa grave site

30 minutes one way
Child friendly
Dog Rules
Dogs are not permitted