Meola Reef

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Te Tokaroa Reef, looking south from Kauri Point, near Kendall Bay, North Shore
Te Tokaroa Reef, looking north
Te Tokaroa Reef, looking from above at Meola Reef Reserve
Looking along the line of the reef into the harbour

Meola Reef, or Te Tokaroa in Māori ('toka'='rock', 'roa'='long'),[citation needed] is a lava flow forming a reef peninsula across part of Auckland's Waitemata Harbour, New Zealand. The reef extends for over 2 kilometres across the harbour, to within 500 metres of Kauri Point on the northern shore.[1][2]

The reef was formed more than 28,000 years ago from the final portion of an 11 kilometre lava flow that originated from Mount Saint John volcano. Until 2008 it was believed the lava had flowed from Te Tatua-a-Riukiuta volcano, but geochemical analyses that year revealed that the lava matched that of Mount Saint John. The route of the lava flow had been disguised by Maungawhau / Mount Eden, which had later erupted through it.[3]

The reef is easily seen in the west from the Auckland Harbour Bridge at low tide, when much of it lies exposed. The best viewpoint is at Kauri Point, the headland to the east of Kendall Bay. The portion of the reef close to shore is covered by mangroves, and further out the rocks are covered by rock oysters, then bare. Strong footwear is needed to walk on the lava.

Located between the Point Chevalier and Westmere suburbs and protecting the calm waters of Coxs Bay, it was the site of the city's tip for many years.[4] This has now been capped[5] and replaced by a 15 ha public reserve, with mangrove swamps in the streams and tidal salt marshes either side.[6][7]

In the 1970s, plans for a Second Harbour Crossing from the reef to Birkenhead were shelved after public outcry.[8]


  1. ^ Homer, Lloyd; Moore, Phil; Kermode, Les (2000). Lava and Strata: A Guide to the Volcanoes and Rock Formations of Auckland. Landscape Publications Ltd. ISBN 0-908800-02-9.
  2. ^ Kermode, Les (1992). Geology of the Auckland Urban Area. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences. ISBN 0-478-07000-4.
  3. ^ Hayward, Bruce W.; Murdoch, Graeme; Maitland, Gordon (2011). Volcanoes of Auckland: The Essential Guide. Auckland University Press. ISBN 978-1-86940-479-6.
  4. ^ Annexure B – Contaminated Sites, City of Auckland – District Plan – Isthmus Section – Operative 1999. Retrieved 17 March 2008.
  5. ^ Pollution of Western Bays Beaches – Going, Going, Gone (from a City Vision press release, 27 September 2007. Retrieved 17 March 2008.)
  6. ^ Meola Reef (from an image entry of the Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 March 2008.)
  7. ^ Waitematā Harbour – Natural features (from Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 17 March 2008.)
  8. ^ Dearnaley, Mathew (30 May 2009). "Agency in no hurry to replace bridge with harbour 'tubes'". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 23 October 2011.

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Coordinates: 36°51′03″S 174°42′38″E / 36.850917°S 174.710598°E / -36.850917; 174.710598