At the shallow head of the harbour between Barry's Bay and Duvauchelle lies the once fortified Ngai Tahu Pa, "Onawe".
The distinctive whale-shaped peninsula that juts out into the water was the site of a bloody massacre when it was invaded by the Ngāti Toa chief, Te Rauparaha, in 1832 following the sacking of Kaipoi in 1831. Situated on a peninsula the pā was surrounded by the sea at high tide. It could easily be seen from the surrounding shores, and it was on both sides of the peninsula that Te Rauparaha would establish his Ngāti Toa (Barry’s Bay) and Ngāti Awa (Head of the Bay) warriors prior to the battle. Many Ngāi Tahu had sought refuge at Ōnawe after the decimations further north.