Sprawling around the Pahurehure Inlet, Papakura is a suburb in the far south of Auckland. It takes its name from the Māori words for “earth” and “red” due to the fertile soils on which the village was founded in the 1840s. A road from Auckland passing through Papakura was established in 1862 to transport supplies and soldiers fighting in the New Zealand Wars.
Things to do in Papakura
Exhibits related to local history and culture can be found at the Papakura Museum, which is located on the suburb’s main street. Learn about the Māori who originally inhabited the area before a settlement was established, with the Welsh-born George Cole one of its earliest residents. The Military Gallery details the Papakura Military Camp that was established on the town’s outskirts in 1939.
On the western side of Papakura railway station is Central Park, where you’ll find leafy walking trails and a children’s playground. On the opposite side is Massey Park, which is home to an athletics field and track, as well as a public swimming pool. Also within the complex is a sauna, steam room and spa where you can relax on a rainy day.
A short drive east of Papakura is Hunua Falls, which tumbles over a basalt lava plug into a small pool along the Wairoa River. Follow one of the short trails that lead to the waterfalls’ lookouts or embark on a longer hike into the Hunua Ranges. This ruggedly scenic area encompasses one of the largest tracts of native bushland in Auckland.
Getting around Papakura
Papakura is around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre of Auckland and 20 minutes from Auckland Airport. Trains connect to the surrounding suburbs from the Papakura railway station and buses travel throughout Papakura. The centre of Papakura is compact enough to explore on foot.