The river was the original portal to South Taranaki for both Māori and European.
It had, and still has, the advantage of being the only navigable river in South Taranaki.
The breakwaters were started in 1878 and are currently being refurbished by the South Taranaki District Council.
In the 1920s it was the largest cheese exporting port in the world! The Grader Cool Store received cheese for grading from all over South Taranaki and as far south as Oroua Downs near Himatangi. After grading it was loaded into coastal ships at the grader wharf for transport to Wellington where it was transhipped into overseas ships for export.
The Patea Freezing Works also shipped their meat products to Wellington through this port.
Patea served as a minor port until July 1959.
The river also has the longest man-made lake in New Zealand (46km), Lake Rotorangi, formed when the Patea Borough Council built the Patea Dam in 1979-84. The interesting southern access drive is via Ball Road through Alton and Hurleyville. There is a free camping site with toilet facilities at the dam.
Stratford: nestled beside the Patea river, Stratford sits at the junction of two major highways (SH3 and SH43) in the heart of the Taranaki region. The town is known for its beautiful parks and gardens and for New Zealand's only glockenspiel tower, which enacts a scene from Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet.(Company overview)
May 01, 2009; BUSINESS OVERVIEW Stratford is a rural service centre for the surrounding agricultural area and fertile dairy farmlands. Taranaki...