In 1975, Mr Gerald V Crapp of Omokoroa Beach, gifted to New Zealand an area of land that is just over two hectares. This piece of land has now become a popular walk known as the Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve.
Mr Crapp was born on the property and lived at Omokoroa Beach throughout all his life. The reserve has important associations with his family and the European settlement of the district as well as with pre-European occupation of the area.
The Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve is situated 22 km north of Tauranga on Omokoroa Peninsula, this peninsula juts into the Tauranga Harbour. Access to this reserve is via State Highway 2, along Omokoroa Road, down Myrtle Drive where the reserve is located at the end of Gellibrand Place.
The Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve provides a walk around the headland of Omokoroa Peninsula with stunningly beautiful views and scenery.
Most of the reserve is located on mostly flat land sitting at the top of steep cliffs. The remainder of this historic reserve includes 7 metre high cliffs and shoreline to the mean high water mark. Developments throughout the reserve have included a significant amount of trees having been planted as well as shrubs. But most significantly, it’s the older trees planted in the 1870s that capture the minds of walkers.
To the south of the reserve, it slopes gently down towards the cliff edges, whereas at the northern end of the reserve on the head land, there is an area of raised ground which was the site of a well known Maori Pa (Wai-Huri).
The reserve has notably been classified Historic.
The Wai-Huri Pa, is an important archaeological site and has a deep trench still in existence.
The area of the Pa has a predominance of native trees – Karakas, Pohutukawas and Puriris. A few Kauri, Totara and Lacebark have also recently been planted.
In other areas of this reserve can be found a huge Moreton Bay Fig, London Plane and Holm Oak.
Unfortunately, a Eucalyptus botryoides (Southern Mahogony) was felled in 2011. This was due to rot and the tree possibly being a danger to people walking throughout the reserve. It was an awesome tree of National Interest. Greatly, some of this interest has been harnessed in a different kind of way. The stump of this tree was then carved into a likeness of Rev Joseph Tice Gellibrant by Warwich Lilley of Rotorua. This is a superbly remarkable carving and is now thoroughly enjoyed by the locals and visitor alike.