Wairau Bar

Wairau River Mouth
Wairau Bar, Nelson/Marlborough
The Wairau Bar, is one of New Zealand's most famous archaeological sites. Here, in 1939, a schoolboy, Jim Eyles, discovered a Moa hunter burial complete with tools and ornaments and a complete Moa egg which had been drilled at one end to extract the contents.

Archaeologist Roger Duff’s excavations at Wairau Bar established conclusively that the moa hunters were an early Maori people. He showed that differences between human tools found in different excavated layers could be explained by the evolution of a Maori culture, and were not evidence of a separate, pre-Maori people in New Zealand.

Some authorities consider that this could have been the first site in New Zealand to be colonised.


Ecotour, Heritage
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Note: Location is approximate.


  • Wairau Bar
    Wairau Bar
  • Wairau Bar Location
    Wairau Bar Location
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