1800s - Felling and clearing

The island was once all covered in forest

Before the arrival of people, almost all of Waiheke was covered in forest.

In pre-European times, Māori found their food resources in the forests, the wetlands, and in the surrounding sea. After European contact, Māori cleared the land (selling firewood to Auckland), and took up horticulture and sheep farming.

On the hills above Matiatia are regenerating coastal broadleaf/podocarp forest. There would have been kauri trees here, but probably less than at the eastern side of the island.

  • <p>Cartoonist Jim Storey illustrated a column by Don Chapple entitled 'Forest for the Future', in <em>Gulf News</em>, 2 September 1983.</p>
  • <p>A golden eve, Waiheke Island, c1890. <em>Watercoulor by Alfred Sharpe, http://collections.tepapa.govt.nz/object/367421.</em></p>
  • <p>The foreshore and southern headland at Matiatia Bay, c1922. <em>Fred Alison, Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>
  • <p>Matiatia bay and wharf, late1980s. <em>Bruce Croll Collection.</em></p>