Cape Turnagain is a prominent headland on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, partway between Hawkes Bay and Cook Strait, between the mouths of the Pōrangahau and Ākitio Rivers. The Cape was named by Captain James Cook in 1769. On his journey of discovery, he sailed south to this point before deciding to turn and head north around New Zealand and named the point as a result of his decision.
Ākitio is a small and friendly settlement located approximately 75km east of Dannevirke. With awesome sand dunes, rocky shore, historical homesteads, great fishing, diving and surfing, there is something for everyone.
The Ākitio River runs for approximately 35 kilometres in the southeast by northwest direction, leading to the town of Weber, on State Highway 52. At its peak, shipping would call once a week to the mouth of the Ākitio River, which, before the region's conversion to farmland (and subsequent erosion), could provide safe anchorage in storms due to the tidal ebb and flow reaching 10km inland. Today, the river-mouth can nearly be passed on foot at low slack-water, approximately in front of the old harbour master/postmaster's cottage site.
Ākitio Point approximately 1.5km south of the river mouth, offers local fishermen a protective reef, where paua, crayfish and many types of game fish are easily caught.
A jetty, the remains of which characterise the low tide landscape, would run out into the surf to lighters that would ferry passengers and valuable cargo to and from the freighters. Wool was loaded onto lighters by bullock train. Several ships have been lost in the Ākitio Bay.
Ākitio is primarily a farming district, specialising in sheep and beef production.
Opposite the site of the last remaining landing sheds is the Ākitio Point Camping Ground, and the Ākitio Surf Beach. Occupying the prime location, and incorporating the local Surf Lifesaving Facilities, is the Ākitio Boat Club. The Community Centre, Fire Station, and Public Ablution Facilities are located opposite the local primary school in the centre of the community approximately 1km from the end of the 'point'.
The sealing of the road to Ākitio from Dannevirke was completed around 1997.
Herbertville is a small settlement on the eastern coast of the lower Hawkes Bay area. The large promontory just north is Cape Turnagain. So named by Captain Cook who used the location as a well-remembered point where he turned his ship and retraced his steps. Herbertville has a hotel /shop and camping ground with all amenities.
Herbertville, located 70km east of Dannevirke, has a large stretch of sandy beach and all the attractions of the seaside such as swimming, surfing and snorkelling.
At the turn of the century, Herbertville was a thriving community. It had a large hotel and several shops, a police station and a blacksmith. Schooners were beached on the vast expanse of shallow sandy beach on high tides and passengers and cargos were unloaded. The ships would then be refloated on the next high tide and would carry on their way. Horse-drawn coaches then made their way inland towards the settlement of Dannevirke via Weber.