Parakai is a township in the North Island of New Zealand. It is sited 43 kilometres (27 miles) northwest of Auckland, close to the southern extremity of the Kaipara Harbour. Helensville is about 3 km (2 miles) to the south-east, and Waioneke is 22 km (14 miles) to the north-west.
The surrounding area, particularly to the north and west, consists of dairy farming, sheep farming and deer farming community.
The Haranui Marae is 6 km north of Parakai.
Parakai Rugby Club existed between 1918 and 1937, before amalgamating with the Helensville Rugby club in 1943.
In the early 1900s a small milk processing factory known as Ambury and English's Creamery existed in Parakai at the corner of Fordyce road and the main road to South Head.
The Parakai School community catchment area reaches from the immediate flats surrounding the Kaipara River and up the South Kaipara Heads Peninsula.
Geothermal Mineral Pools
Parakai is noted for its hot springs with geothermal mineral water occurring naturally. There is a complex of mineral pools and recreational activities, such as Parakai Springs. These pools are fed from bores which draw from a geothermal aquifer which lies in the fractured Waitemata sandstone and compacted alluvial sediments.
There is little recorded history of Māori using these springs, though it is to be assumed that they were known as the local iwi Ngāti Whatua had made use of the springs in the neighboring Helensville.
In 1864 Robert Mair 'discovered' the hot springs, which at the time consisted of one natural hot pool. In 1905 a bore was sunk 20 metres and a year later a new bathhouse was built. This began twenty-five years of tourism and investment in the hot pools (and Parakai more widely) which, at its peak, included a Reserve which contained a Massage Institute, 24 private baths, and men's and women's swimming baths. The economic downturn of the Depression and onset of World War II caused visitor numbers to dwindle, and by 1958 two of the boarding houses had burned down, and the swimming baths were closed.
Pre-European History of Area
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- "archive.stats.govt.nz/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-a-place.aspx?url=/Census/2013-census/profile-and-summary-reports/quickstats-about-a-place.aspx&request_value=13210&parent_id=13171&tabname=&p=y&printall=true". archive.stats.govt.nz. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
- "Parkhurst". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. 1902.
- "Parakai Primary School". Archived from the original on 2008-10-06. Retrieved 2008-09-13.
- "Parakai School 50th Jubilee". Education Gazette New Zealand. 87 (11). 30 June 2008. Archived from the original (– Scholar search) on 16 October 2008.
- "Parakai School - 01/06/2016". Education Review Office. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
- "Parakai Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media.
- Auckland Regional Council (1993). "Parakai Geothermal Groundwater Resource Statement and Management Plan" (PDF). Auckland Regional Council Environment Technical Publication. 25.
- Hayward, Bruce W; Diamond, John Thomas (1978). Prehistoric archaological sites of the Waitakere Ranges and West Auckland, New Zealand.