Whatipu is a remote beach on the rough and rugged West Auckland coastal bay, at the southern end of the Waitakere Ranges. Swimming there is considered risky due to all the currents and rips.
The region has a dark and tragic past. mysterious deaths, suicides, drownings and murder.
Tragedy occurred in 1863 just inside the Manukau Harbour entrance south of Whatipu.
The ship HMS Orpheus ran aground in the biggest shipping disaster in New Zealand history, causing the deaths of 189 people on board. Many washed up dead along the shoreline with the tide.
Since that devastating event, many people have claimed to have witnessed apparitions along the coastline. Mysterious lights are also seen flitting through the dense bush at night in areas deemed unreachable. There are reports of the sounds of guttural screaming being carried along on the wind with no apparent source.
Many say the area of the tragedy feels heavy and emotional. Much sadness, fear and uncontrollable despair is apparently felt in certain areas. One such witness was former Waitakere City mayor Bob Harvey who, after his own personal experiences there, refers to the area as a ‘coast of ghosts’.
The original settler homestead of the area, now called Whatipu Lodge, was built in 1860. Local mill operators, the Gibbons family built the home and resided in it until moving away in 1929. Many years, and a few owners later, the Auckland Regional Council took it over in 2002.
A former owner, as well as previous tenants, has reported strange activity while living in the home. One common spirit that many have described in detail is the ‘Pink Lady’. It is thought that the mysterious ‘glowing, translucent woman’ with a ‘pink aura’ who appears mostly during the daytime is that of one of the original occupying family, Matilda Gibbons.
On Oct 19th , 2019 Mark and Sam from paranormal research team Haunted Auckland journeyed to this intriguing rugged but beautiful West Auckland region to spend time exploring, camping and conducting further research within the allegedly haunted caves that pierce the coastline, in the hopes of experiencing interaction or documentation to accompany the stories that span many generations.
The largest of the caves was once used as a secret social gathering site; complete with a large wooden kauri ballroom dancefloor, now buried beneath five metres of shifting sands.
For more than 60 years, from 1899 onwards, party-goers trekked across the rugged Whatipu coastline to Te Ana Ru cave to mince across the lamp-lit floor and steal away into dark corners.
Paranormal activity experienced in these caves – Shadow people and apparitions seen walking around, the sounds of talking and singing. Also the rhythmic thumping of hard shoes on timber; as if someone was dancing, perhaps?