Gerald Crapp Reserve


The Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve comprises a coastal strip around the headland of Omokoroa Point.

Most of the reserve is located on relatively flat land situated at the top of steep cliffs. The rest of the reserve includes 7 metre high cliffs and shoreline to the mean high water mark. Developments have included a significant planting of trees and shrubs but most significant are the older trees planted in the 1870s.

The southern end of the reserve slopes gently down towards the cliff edges, and at the northern end of the reserve on the head land there is an area of raised ground which was the site of a Maori Pa (Wai-Huri).

Access is from Gellibrand Place, up the path from the Omokoroa Domain or along the cliff-top walkway from Bramley Drive or Ruamoana Place.


In 1877 a retired minister Joseph Tice Gellibrand, began purchasing land on the peninsula and in Tauranga. He continued to buy blocks of land at Omokoroa until he owned practically the whole peninsula. Gellibrand constructed a large kauri homestead out near the Point and poured money and man power into creating a productive farm. In 1878 Gellibrand's adopted daughter married Captain Arthur Crapp. While returning from their wedding in Auckland, Gellibrand's wife Selina was drowned on Tauranga Harbour within sight of her home.

Captain Arthur Crapp had been a surveyor and member of the Armed Constabulary as well as a veteran of the Maori Wars. He became a friend and advisor of Gellibrand and later married Elizabeth, Gellibrand’s adopted daughter, eventually taking over management of "Omokoroa". It was he who germinated and planted on the peninsula many of the seeds collected and sent home by Gellibrand on his travels. Gellibrand was a keen naturalist and consequently Omokoroa Point was planted with many exotic trees and shrubs. The reserve today contains many trees planted by Gellibrand, some of which are outstanding and unusual specimens.

Today the Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve contains many fine examples of exotic and native trees, the majority of which were planted by Tice Gellibrand and Arthur Crapp in the late 1870 -1900.

In 1975 Mr G V Crapp of Omokoroa Beach gifted to the nation as a reserve an area of just over two hectares and this has become the Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve. Mr Crapp was born on the property and lived at Omokoroa Beach 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 Point, the tip of a peninsula jutting into Tauranga Harbour. Access is via State Highway No. 2, along Omokoroa Road, down Myrtle Drive and the reserve is at the end of Gellibrand Place. (See map above)

The reserve has 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 recently been planted.

In another areas of the reserve can be found a huge Moreton Bay Fig, London Plane and Holm Oak.

Sadly, a Eucalyptus botryoides (Southern Mahogony) was felled in 2011 due to rot and possibly being a danger to people using the reserve. It was an outstanding tree of National Interest. The stump of this tree was carved into a likeness of Rev Joseph Tice Gellibrant by Warwich Lilley of Rotorua. This is a remarkable carving and is now enjoyed by the locals and visitor alike.

Historic and Notable Trees

Quercusrobur - English Oak 1 large, 2 others

Cinnamomumcamphora - Camphor Tree 1 large, 1 other

Vitexlucens – Puriri 1 Large, several others

Cordylineaustralis - Cabbage Tree 1 large, several others

Quercus ilex - Holm Oak 1 outstanding, 4 good (of Local Interest)

Acacia melanoxylon - Tasmanian Blackwood 1 large (outside reserve,) others PlatanusxHispanica - London Plane 1 outstanding, 1 good, 1 rotting at base (of Local Interest)

Ilex aquifolium - Common Holly 1 good

Magnolia grandiflora 1 good, 1 other

Corynocarpuslaevigatus – Karaka 1 good, others

Metrosideros excelsa – Pohutukawa 1 fair, others

Eucalyptus botryoides 1 outstanding (Of National Interest) Felled in 2011 due to danger

Eucalyptus oblique 1 good

Eacalyptuscamaldulensis var. Obtusa Murray Red Gum 2 good

Eucalyptus sp. 1 large, 1 good

Ficusmacrophylla - Moreton Bay Fig 1 outstanding

Pinusradiata 1 fair, others

Juglansnigra - Black Walnut Many, (Registered Seed Source NZFS)

Juglanscineria - Japanese Walnut 1 fair (rare tree - seed source)

Camellia - "Grand Sultan" 1 fair (Protection for Propagation)

Michaelia figo - Port Wine Magnolia fair