Rarangi, place where the sun rises, as Māori called it, is a small coastal settlement at the far north east of Cloudy Bay. The land was initially subdivided for settlement in 1920 by Chaytor and Co. Ltd, with the first advertisement for sections at Rarangi appearing in the Marlborough Express on 25 November 1920.
Currently there are no shops, however there is a community hall and playground, BMX track, fire station, and a DOC campground. There is also an 18 hole golf course. The population at the 2013 Census was 516 for Rarangi and the surrounding area north of the Wairau Diversion and east of Tuamarina, although Rarangi was identified as part of the wider Tuamarina area, with a combined population of 1,122. (Source Stats NZ)
The settlement has attracted a number of artists over the years with a number of painters and phtographers have lived at Rarangi, including Sally Mason, Don Kelly, Triska Blumenfeld, and Karen Neil among others.
Rarangi Landcare Group, is a conservation group established in 2000, that has engaged in extensive native planting and protection of the foreshore environment with the support of Marlborough District Council and DOC.
In 2012, the Rarangi District Residents Association won the Trustpower Marlborough Community Awards supreme award.
At the north end of the long sand and gravel beach, a rocky headland rises up to the flanks of Mt. Robertson. Coastal broadleaf forest grows on the rugged hillside. Species include among others the Huge leafed puka Grisilinea lucida, pepper tree Macropiper excelsum and ake ake dodonea viscosa. Along the foreshore where there also used to be coastal forest there are Radiata pines which shelter the settlement from the worst of the Pacific storms. To the north of the settlement there is a sea cave with glow worms and two walking tracks, including the Whites Bay Track, and a very short track to Monkey Bay. A number of rare insect species are found only in the Rarangi beach environment including a stone moth, and a mat daisy jumper. Katipo spiders may also be found in the foreshore environment.
Selected Historical Events
- November 1920 - Sections advertised for sale at Rarangi in Marlborough Express
- October 1925 - Parliamentary candidate for Wairau, Mr. W. Girling and party walk from Ocean Bay to Rarangi, after storm prevents return by boat during electioneering.
- January 1927 - An exhausted albatross is blown ashore at Marshlands, and found by Mr. H. Stace who released it at Rarangi after allowing it to recover.
- February 1928 - A Blenheim resident gets a fright while taking a swim at Rarangi after being circled by a large shark.
- June 1928 - A local resident is reported as attempting to excavate sea caves in the belief that they will connect Rarangi and Whites Bay.
- August 1930 - William Parrish attempts suicide at Rarangi by throwing himself into the sea. Extensive Marlborough Express report describes Parrish as severely depressed.
- March 1935 - Rarangi Improvement Association organises sports gala held on Easter Monday to raise funds for tennis courts.
- May 1935 - Subcommittee of Marlborough Automobile Association meets with property owner, T. Hebberd to arrange establishment of motor camp.
- March 1947 - Six year old, John Whimp, killed after falling off cliff at Rarangi.
- 1979 - Rarangi Fire Station established.
- November 2011 - Children's playground opened
- 2012 - Rarangi District Residents Association wins Trustpower supreme award
- October 2016 - Dead orca calf found washed up on beach.
- January 2019 - Female elephant seal found on beach.
(Sources - Papers Past and Stuff)