Haruru Falls today is a small residential settlement, about three kilometres inland from its larger neighbour, Paihia. But, in the days of early European settlement, it was the scene of many firsts.
Haruru Falls was New Zealand’s first river port and an aramoana (sea road or ocean path) for the inland Maori tribes and for the early vision boats. HMS Dromedary was one, Karere (meaning messenger’) another. Missionaries once saw 60 to 100 canoes pulled up on the mud banks. Maori had a small settlement here where they traded. There were nine kaianga (villages) between Haruru and Waitangi.