History of Honeymoon Bay
In 1954, the owners’ family sub-leased the land around Honeymoon Bay from a local farmer who was himself leasing it from the Crown. At that time there were two small army huts close to the beach. They had many years of family holidays, fishing trips, bush walking and swimming.
In the mid 1960s, the family acquired the lease on the Bay and shortly after that when the lease was up, bought one half of Honeymoon Bay from the Crown.
The army huts had no electricity, no running water and no indoor plumbing. Toilets were long drops, washing was done in the stream, and all cooking was either on a coal range or a kerosene stove. Chalfont Cottage dates from 1971 which is also when the Bay was electrified. From that time a water system was used to pipe water from the stream allowing for full (normal) plumbing. Telephone service came much later. Initially in the mid 1980s, a party line was installed. Until the 1990s when a regular tone dialing phone system was put in, Honeymoon Bay was one of the last 200 party line phones in New Zealand.
Fire was, and is, one of the greatest risks in the Bay. In the middle of last century, fire swept through the bush surrounding the Bay. The current state of the vegetation shows how quickly the native bush regenerates. It is also interesting to see different stages of regeneration in different areas of the bush, starting with manuka scrub, then dense bush with treeferns and finally mature beech forest, relatively open under the high canopy.