Scandrett Regional Park, Mahurangi East, Rodney

Scandrett Bay

Rodney Beaches

Scandrett Regional Park is located on the north east tip of the Mahurangi Peninsula.  Surprisingly this spot feels still relatively undiscovered, because on the day we visited it was a stunning summer Sunday afternoon and whilst the neighbouring Martins Bay was packed, Scandrett bay felt secluded and quiet. We were also fortunate to spot some baby shorebirds foraging along the rockbeds.

It is picturesque and sheltered and includes lovely grassy areas to picnic and play sport. Pohutakawa trees provide lovely natural shade right on the beach. Carparking is nice and handy to the bay, public toilets, drinking fountains and running water also available. 

Boat launching facilities are not available, however it is a popular spot for fishing off the rocks.

A lovely safe swimming beach and a great spot to launch a kayak and explore the coast.

It is a place of historical significance featuring the family homestead of the Scandrett family and the original farm buildings (cowshed, diary, boatshed etc) dating back to the late 1870s.

It is also a great place to view shorebirds with a resident population of NZ dotterel and oystercatcher. Kereru, tui, fantail are often spotted here as well.

There are some great walking tracks as well; 

Martins Bay Track - Next to the park is Martins Bay. Park at the entrance car park just before the old cream shed and head down the hill   Mullet Point Loop - 1 hour (2kms). This loop track begins below the carpark next to the historic farm area and includes Kawau Bay and Pigsty Tracks. Experience the historic Maori Pa site and panoramic views at Mullet Point.   Scandretts Bay Loop - 3/4 hour (1km). This loop starts at either car park and takes you through the historic farm area, the former orchard and the present farm whilst providing great views of Scandretts Bay  

History as Sourced from Wikipedia

Scandrett Regional Park is a regional park located on the north east tip of the Mahurangi Peninsula, north of the city of Auckland, New Zealand. It encompasses Mullet Point and includes regenerating coastal forest, rocky headlands that protrude into Kawau Bay, Scandretts Bay beach and a precinct of historic farm buildings.The total area of land is 44.4 hectares or 100 acres. The people of Auckland own the park through the Auckland Council.     The Mullet Point area was known to Maori as Purahurawai “the expansive, sparkling waters”. Maori came from throughout the Hauraki Gulf to Kawau Bay (off Mullet Point) to catch and dry sharks for a winter food source. There are a number of sites of past Maori settlement within Scandrett Regional Park, including two headland pa.  The land was the site of early shipbuilding during the 1850s and 1860s.     In 1864, the land was sold to George Scandrett and John Braithwaite settlers of Kawau Island, with Sir George Grey putting up part of the funding. Scandrett had arrived the year before from Northern Ireland and he married Helena Dillon in the same year as he bought the farm.  Scandrett named the farm Lisadian after his hometown in Ireland and gradually brought it into production. In the 1870s, a Norfolk pine, which as of 2011 is still growing on the park, and oak trees, gifts from Sir George Grey were planted on the property. At first, the family lived in a wooden house on the farm before moving into the present concrete house which was built around 1885 and is made of an early type of concrete instead of kauri timber.     The original invoice for the house was discovered and is being preserved by the council with a copy on display at the farm.  The cost of the home and some additional work on other buildings was 418 pounds and 6 shillings or the equivalent of $NZD 474,000 in 2010.  One of George and Helena’s nine children, Thomas was born in 1876.   In turn, he became a successful farmer and an orchardist supplying quantities of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk and meat to the surrounding districts. Fruit, honey, eggs and wool were all marketed under the Lisadian label.  When Thomas died in 1926, his sons George (III), aged 17, and Raymond, aged 13, helped their mother Lucy run the farm; along with their sister Mabel, from aged 19, for much of the following decade; and their brother Thomas (II), from aged 9. In 1951 George and Ray took over management of the property and farmed as Scandrett Brothers.     They also ran Scandretts Bay as a private camping ground for almost 50 years until the Auckland Regional Council (ARC) bought the property and the caravan site leases were withdrawn, with bach leases also gradually running out.  Raymond who died in 1993, was the last Scandrett to live permanently in the concrete house.   In 1998, the property was purchased by the ARC for use as a regional park. At the time of purchase, there was a near complete collection of farm buildings dating from the 1880s or earlier, including the homestead, a barn, boatshed, cow shed, implement shed, tractor shed and a henhouse / calf shed. In the past, whenever a farm has been purchased for use as a regional park, there has been a tendency for the old farm buildings to be demolished except for the farmhouse. In the case of Scandtrett’s farm, however, the heritage division of the ARC saw all the buildings retained and preserved.     Three 40s-style baches were also restored for rental. Two had been previously owned by Geoff Moon and the family of Trelise Cooper.      Prior to most of the Scandrett baches being removed, the motion picture Rain was filmed on the property in 2000 with the coastal beach replacing Lake Taupo which was the setting of the novel the film was based upon.  Scandrett Regional Park was opened by Prime Minister Helen Clark on 26 Sept 2004.     The ARC received a New Zealand Institute of Architects heritage award in 2007 for the conservation work done on the farm buildings. In 2011 interpretive panels were installed in the old homestead on topics such as information about Scandrett family members who lived on the farm, the buildings and architecture, and about historical food production.  Auckland Council produced two videos about the park and its history in 2018: Season by Season about Ray and Fran Scandrett's homestead garden and Living at Scandretts Bay as recollected by George Scandrett's Scandrett Regional Park is a regional park located on the north east tip of the Mahurangi Peninsula, north of the city of Auckland, New Zealand. It encompasses Mullet Point and includes regenerating coastal forest, rocky headlands that protrude into Kawau Bay, Scandretts Bay beach and a precinct of historic farm buildings.   The total area of land is 44.4 hectares or 100 acres. The people of Auckland own the park through the Auckland Council.

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  • River
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  • Rock
  • Bench
  • Sea life

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17 November 2020

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