Camp Mackay

Camp Mackay

The Camp Mackay site is located on Whareroa Farm, now a beautiful recreation reserve with links to the adjoining Akatarawa Forest and Queen Elizabeth Park.

Camp Mackay, named after the Mackay family, the first European owners of the land, was the first of the Paekākāriki Camps to be completed when the Marines arrived in Wellington on June 14,1942.

After an enormous public welcome, they berthed at Aotea Quay, sorted their equipment and quickly organised a parade before boarding the train to Paekākāriki, disembarking to march up the highway to Camp Mackay.

Built in six weeks on the flat plateau, south of the current entrance to Whareroa farm, the legendary camp was ‘good to go’ when the Marines arrived.

Complete with running water, a sewerage system, huts, tent decks and a raft of other buildings, it housed 4,650 men from the 5th Marine Regiment of the 1st Marine Division and the 6th Marine Regiment of the 2nd Marine Division.

Camp Mackay was also famous for its recreation hall dances and was the ‘start point’ for the punishing route marches the men were required to do as part of their training.