Secrets of QEII Park

This gateway to the park is where residents are most likely to meet their neighbours. Sometimes it seems the whole township is here on those balmy evenings, either mountain biking or walking the many challenging coastal or inland tracks.
You can stroll a comfortable few kilometres up the beach to the Whareroa Stream and back, or take a more challenging 8-kilometre walk to ‘the tyres’ and back. This strange landmark is a tower of washed up car tyres staked on a pole on the beach near the Paekakariki Surf Club. ‘The tyres’ marks where you leave Raumati South and enter Paekakariki, the invisible boundary that no map will ever show but everyone knows.

The entrance to Queen Elizabeth II Park at the south end of the Esplanade.

On Boxing Day 2003, after a particularly wild storm over the Christmas period, my husband and I found the èntire dismembered torso of a young adult high across the sand dune. Extensive calcification showed the torso was much older than the skull pictured. It appeared the bones had been exposed by the harsh wind wiping away the covering layer of sand.
Jacqueline Elliott

These koiwi were referred to the Kaumatua of the Te Ati Awa Ki Waikanae and have since been reinterred.

Close up of top of the skull found exposed near foot of the dune. This bone may have been exposed by erosion worsened by people climbing and sliding on the dunes. Dogs can also quickly destroy delicate skeletons.
This skull, found in early 2003 by a resident on the Whareroa stream sand dunes, does not appear to be from the same body as the bones found since then.

These four human bones were found in the top of the same dune by Jacqueline Elliott in November 2004. They are two tibia and fibia, or the leg bones of a healthy mature male. The exposed ends are knee joints. The bones have been in the sand for round 100 years and have suffered extensive demineralization which would lighten them considerably. The red discolouring is ferrous oxide deposits from the naturally high iron content of the sand. From their sitting position high up on the dune with a view out to sea, these bones could have been in their buried state.