|Views of the Waipu Golf Course|
The nearby tiny village of Waipu boasts a museum recording one of the most remarkable migrations to New Zealand. Scotsman Norman McLeod was a feisty character who lost his preaching license in his village in Scotland due to conflict with the established minister and consequently left to settle in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1817. There was already quite a large settlement of Scots there due to the land clearances in Scotland and many others soon followed. By this time Norman was a fully ordained Presbyterian minister and his stern, firebrand style appealed to many of his fellow countrymen who became faithful followers known as Normanites. After a few years of harsh weather conditions and failing crops the Normanites led by Rev McLeod decided to try their luck in Australia. The sea trip was gruelling and challenging but they finally made it. Australia, however, was not the promised land they had hoped for, land prices had soared due to the gold rush and three of Rev McLeod's sons died of typhus there. The struggling group once again, looked for greener pastures. They made a plea to Governor Grey of New Zealand for some land, he obliged and the Normanites sailed for New Zealand settling in Waipu and the surrounding area in 1853. Eventually others followed from Scotland with the number of settlers rising to almost 1000. They spoke Gaelic, maintained their heritage and thrived in New Zealand. Today their descendants number tens of thousands. Although Gaelic is no longer spoken and there has been much intermarriage Waipu is still immensly proud of its Scottish heritage with a Scottish Heritage shop and many of the street names reflecting the history of the Normanites, there is even a registered Waipu tartan. In order to celebrate its heritage the village holds an annual and highly popular Tartan Week and Caledonian games celebrating all things Scottish..