Horeke

Horeke

Horeke is a settlement in the upper reaches of the Hokianga Harbour in Northland, New Zealand. Kohukohu is just across the harbour.


Horeke has many wonderful tales to share. Horeke sprang up overnight when an Australian firm established a shipyard in 1826. Only a few ships were built here but Horeke became the Heart of the Hokianga for the next decade.

It is the second oldest town in New Zealand and is the site of New Zealand’s first ever pub, the Horeke Hotel. It might not have had a liquor license, but it served the many ship builders working in the first commercial shipbuilding yard in New Zealand, which was situated right beside the Hokianga shore.  New Zealand’s first murder trial took place at the nearby Methodist Mission. The dark bluff across the Hokianga River further east is called Marmon’s Point, the home of Cannibal Jack, Hokianga’s first white settler. He lived as a Maori and is believed to have ‘joined the Maoris in their cannibal feasts’.

Between Horeke and State Highway 1 at Rangiahua are some of the finest tidal marshes in New Zealand. Hundreds of wildfowl and endangered swamp birds thrive in these vast aquatic ‘wastelands’.
The old buildings of Horeke were mostly built over water, because at the time there was no land for sale or available for development.

Nearby 3km up the road is the Māngungu Mission, which is the end of the cycle trail, it is situated on a hillside with a stunning view over the Hokianga Harbour, and it is the western terminus point for the cycle trail. Established on the shore of the spectacular Hokianga Harbour in 1828 as a Wesleyan Mission station. It was built in 1838-1839 for the Reverend Nathaniel Turner. Overlooking the harbour where the largest signing of the Treaty of Waitangi in the country took place here, with over 70 chiefs, before a crowd of up to 3,000 people on the 12th February 1840. The first honey bees were introduced at Māngungu, providing a major contribution to the success of pastoral farming in New Zealand. Explore the Mission House and learn about the key events that happened here.

3km by road also is the Wairere Boulders - A geological piece of paradise, of stunning rock formations that like a stream of rocks and boulders flowing down towards the Hokianga Harbour. Easy walks and tracks that lead you over, between or under the boulders.

Surrounding Areas include