To local Maori the Helensville District including Parakai was originally known as Te Awaroa - "The Valley of the long River".
Until the turn of the century, the whole greater Kaipara area was where Kauri was King. Countless Kauri logs were milled and shipped out from busy Helensville wharves. One of Te Awaroas development stages started with the rise of the dairy farming prior to the First World War & realisation of visitor potential of the Natural Hot Springs at Parakai 5 kms west of Helensville - not yet developed into - Parakai Springs.
The Kaipara Dairy Company, established in 1911 soon became the towns largest employer, while the Natural Hot Springs (now Parakai Springs) attracted thousands of visitors between the 2 World Wars.
Our restorative thermally heated pools were the health spas of the southern hemisphere in the early 1900s.
In 1883 the first public baths in Parakai were made by boarding up the natural springs with large kauri planks. Across the road from Parakai Springs is Craigwell House, the only reminder of Parakais bustling 1920s and 1930s spa era. The house, originally built as a spa retreat, is now a retirement home, with thermal bathing facilities still available for its residents.