In the 1820s Ngāti Toa captured Kāpiti Island. Local tribes launched a massive retaliation, landing here at Waiorua Bay, at the northern end of the island. But despite their superior numbers they were repelled by Te Rauparaha’s forces. One explanation for the rout is that the steep beach prevented the invaders from landing their canoes. This forced them to swim ashore and then clamber up the gravel beach, from which they were hurled back by Ngāti Toa, some of whom had muskets. Many of the slain were eaten in a victory feast.
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Photograph by Chris Maclean
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