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European Occupation

In 1877 a retired minister Joseph Tice Gellibrand, began purchasing land on the peninsula and in Tauranga. He continued to buy blocks of land at Omokoroa until he owned practically the whole peninsula. Gellibrand constructed a large kauri homestead out near the Point and poured money and man power into creating a productive farm. In 1878 Gellibrand's adopted daughter married Captain Arthur Crapp. While returning from their wedding in Auckland, Gellibrand's wife Selina was drowned on Tauranga Harbour within sight of her home.

Captain Arthur Crapp had been a surveyor and member of the Armed Constabulary as well as a veteran of the Maori Wars. He became a friend and advisor of Gellibrand and later married Elizabeth, Gellibrand’s adopted daughter, eventually taking over management of "Omokoroa". It was he who germinated and planted on the peninsula many of the seeds collected and sent home by Gellibrand on his travels. Gellibrand was a keen naturalist and consequently Omokoroa Point was planted with many exotic trees and shrubs.The reserve today contains many trees planted by Gellibrand, some of which are outstanding and unusual specimens.

Today the Gerald Crapp Historic Reserve contains many fine examples of exotic and native trees, the majority of which were planted by Tice Gellibrand and Arthur Crapp in the late 1870 -1900.