Ramarama

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For the New Zealand native plant, see Lophomyrtus bullata.

Ramarama, previously known as Sheppards Bush, is a small community at the far south of the Auckland Region in New Zealand's North Island, located just to the north of the Bombay Hills (a point commonly regarded as the most southern part of the Auckland region). Ramarama has an off-ramp at exit 466 on the motorway south of Auckland. The suburb is effectively sliced in two by the motorway, this section of which was constructed in 1978.

The main settlement of Ramarama contains a convenience store, a caravan park and several small businesses. Most of the land in the area is made up of market gardens, farms and lifestyle blocks as would be expected from the entirely rural region in which it is located. There are several floral/garden/nursery businesses with large glasshouses and a number of poultry/egg producing farms in the surrounding area. [1]

Ramarama School is located in Ramarama. It was formally known as Maketu School but changed its name to what it is now. In the 1950s the school was almost closed down because it had only 12 students but the school population has risen to over 200.

History[edit]

Ramarama was originally only bushland and also there was a pa site inhabited by the Ngāti Pou tribe of the Maori. It also hid pathways between Tamaki, Hauraki and the Waikato.

In the 1850s, the British built the Great South Road through the land. At the time of the Waikato War, the area was known as Sheppards Bush.[2]

Reverend McDonald, a widely famed priest at the time, decided to build a church where the Pratts Road Cemetery stands now. The Church was called Saint Brigids and also functioned as a school. The church itself was moved to Selwyn Oaks but the school was called Maketu School and henceforth Ramarama School.

The Te Maketu Waterfall is hidden behind the Pratts Road Cemetery. Reverend McDonald wrote a book on it called “The Well Known Secret of the Waterfall”

Ramarama is named after the Ramarama Tree, a small tree that is hard to find and its leaves can cure bruises if crushed.[2]

Places of interest[edit]

Te Maketu Falls - This is a tranquil waterfall about five minutes walk from Pratts Rd Cemetery. Has a large swimming hole at the base of the waterfall. An awe-inspiring place to walk to, have a swim or photograph.

Pratts Road Cemetery - A place to remember the dead, and dead soldiers, who fought in the war

St Brigid’s Church site - This is the site of the Catholic Church that was closed down in 1969, 45 years after it was opened in 1924. As most of the English and Irish immigrants were Catholic it was decided that a church be opened for bible and Sunday school sessions.

In the suburb of Ramarama, the Drury Stevensons Quarry is located about five to ten minutes from Pratts Road Cemetery. This is a multimillion-dollar business, which produces 84,000 tons of rock and aggregates.

Notable people[edit]

Jane Mander, novelist, was born in Ramarama on 9 April 1877.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ramarama Travel Guide". Jasons Travel Media. 
  2. ^ a b Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling, ed. Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. p. 338. ISBN 9780143204107. 

Coordinates: 37°09′S 174°57′E / 37.150°S 174.950°E / -37.150; 174.950