All about Auroa (the real one)

The locality of Auroa is set in southern Taranaki. The Mount Taranaki strata volcano directly to the north, with Hawera nearby to the southwest.

But New Zealand also features in the story of a functional Aurora, the remote archipelago featured in the award-winning military tactical shooter video game Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon.

In and around Auroa

Auroa, New Zealand (the real Auroa) is located in the Taranaki region of the North Island. It’s a part of the country known for it’s incredible landscapes, including Mt Taranaki itself, a picture-perfect dormant stratovolcano that dominates the skyline in the region.

Located in Te Papakura o Taranaki, or Egmont National Park, the flanks of Taranaki Maunga are covered in lush rainforest thick with kamahi and rimu, which gives way to scrub at higher altitudes. The walking and hiking opportunities are endless, from short strolls like the 600-metre Kamahi Loop Track, also known as the Goblin Forest (thanks to it’s moss-covered twisted tree trunks), to the multi-day Pouākai Circuit.

What “auroa” means (according to the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage)

The New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage gives a translation of “long cloud” for Auroa. But the te aka dictionary translates auroa as a verb meaning prolonged, protracted or drawn out.

Auroa in Ghost Recon: a legacy of World War II

Auroa is also a famous setting in the video game world. In Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Auroa is an archipelago in the South Pacific that was a strategic location both in World War two, and later during the Cold War when it was the site of American airbases.

Story goes, European settlers first tried to set up trading posts and sea forts on Auroa in the 16th century, but they were repelled, only to return and set up more permanent settlements on Auroa in the 19th century.

The fictional Auroa has volcanoes too: an ancient collapsed on that has become Darkwood Island, and and active volcano known as Golem Island which hosts a secret drone programme (or course it does!). The original inhabitants of Golem Island were the The Kings of the Forest or the Ancients, but the vanished long ago. Only relics of the ancient civilization remain.