Hokianga Harbour Attractions
Hokianga Harbour, a long, ramified inlet on the west side of the northern tip of the North Island, is a drowned valley system with different landscapes on each side. On the bare north side are tall sand dunes; on the green south side are the little holiday resorts of Omapere and Opononi, both of which have beautiful beaches. Many ships have come to grief on the shallows and sandbanks.
Horeke, New Zealand
Horeke is a picturesque little port town to the north of Taheke, with its houses built on piles. A shipyard was established here around 1827-8, but by 1830 its Australian owners had run out of money.
Mangungu Mission House
A Wesleyan mission station was established to the west of Horeke around 1838. The Wesleyans had started their missionary work 10 years before with the support of Chief Eruera Patuone, who is believed to have had some contact, as a small boy, with members of Captain Cook's crew. One of the missionaries, John Hobbs, had good relations with the natives and spoke Maori, and later he was able to act as Governor Hobson's translator during the negotiation of the Treaty of Waitangi. When the population of the area moved south the mission station was transferred to Auckland (1855). The old mission church has gone but the churchyard with its gravestones remains. The Mission House, furnished in period style, is run by the Historic Places Trust.
Kohukohu, New Zealand
Kohukohu, on the north side of Hokianga Harbour, was once an important loggers' settlement. The first Roman Catholic mass in New Zealand was celebrated here by Bishop Pompallier in 1838 - an event commemorated by a memorial on Totara Point. Kohukohu is now favored by artists and people who desire a life away from the city.There is a ferry from Kohukohu to the neighboring settlement of Rawene, to the south.
Omapere, New Zealand
Onoke, New Zealand
In the little township of Onoke, situated at the point where the Whirinaki River flows into Hokianga Harbour, is a house that belonged to Frederick Maning (c 1860), the trader and writer who became widely known under the pseudonym A Pakeha-Maori.
The holiday resort of Opononi, near the Hokianga Heads, has a beautiful beach. A well-known Opononi character was a dolphin called Opo who was particularly friendly with children playing on the beach and is now commemorated in a sculpture by Russell Clark. 2km further east, at Pakanae, is a monument to the legendary Polynesian seafarer Kupe. There are fascinating cruises from Opononi on a historic steamer round the many arms and inlets of Hokianga Harbour.
Clendon House, Rawene, New Zealand
The old loggers' settlement of Rawene (pop. 350) is prettily situated on a promontory. Some of its houses are still built on piles in the water. This is another little place that has been given a fresh lease of life by artists and escapees from modern life. Notable buildings are the Old Hotel, the former hospital beside the landing stage and above all Clendon House, built in the 1860s for the successful British businessman James R Clendon. Clendon had first brought a consignment of convicts to Australia and then became a dealer in kauri wood. In the Bay of Islands he established contacts with American whalers and finally was appointed the United States honorary consul in New Zealand. His personal contacts gave him great influence. He built himself a number of houses, three of which have survived - in Russell, in Manawaora (east of Russell) and in Rawene. His house in Okiato (south of Russell), which served as New Zealand's first Government House, was burned down in 1842. Clendon House, furnished in period style, stands on the Esplanade in Rawene and is open to the public as a museum.
Hokianga Harbour Pictures View All