|District||Far North District|
Houhora is a locality and harbour on the east side of the Aupouri Peninsula of Northland, New Zealand. It is 41 km (25 mi) north of Kaitaia. Waihopo, Te Raupo, Pukenui, Raio and Houhora Heads are associated localities on the southern shores of the harbour. State Highway 1 passes through all these localities except for Houhora Heads. Te Kao is 24 km north west, and Waiharara is 22 km south east.
The harbour is long and narrow, mostly sheltered but with exposed sand banks at low tide. There is a deep channel along the southern shore as far as Pukenui Wharf. Mt Camel/Tohoraha (also called Mt Houhora) is a 236 metre hill forming the North Head. The South Head is a flat area.
The population was 837 in the 2006 Census, a decrease of 78 from 2001.
Houhora Mountain was the first part of New Zealand that the early explorer Kupe saw, but he thought it was a whale, according to Māori legend. Houhora was a Māori base settlement in the early 14th century. Snapper, seals, dolphins, moa and other birds were food sources.
In the 19th century, Houhora Harbour provisioned whalers, and residents mounted their own whaling expeditions in open boats. Three families - Wagener, Subritzky and Yates - settled in the area to farm and trade. The Subritzky family, who arrived near Motueka in 1843, claim to be New Zealand's first Polish settlers. They moved to Australia and then to Houhora Heads. Their homestead there took two years to build in the 1860s. It was sold to a member of the Wagener family in 1897.
A lifeboat from Elingamite, which was wrecked on the Three Kings Islands on 9 November 1902, arrived in Houhora the following day with 52 survivors. One of the whalers immediately was dispatched to intercept any vessel along the coast to divert it to the Three Kings. This mission was successful.
The Wagener Museum at Houhora Heads was built by W E Wagener. It contained an eclectic collection of artefacts, with a particularly comprehensive of seashells. In 2003 the museum closed and a substantial part of the collection was sold off, but the museum subsequently reopened with more localised displays. The adjacent Subritzky Homestead, largely restored, is also open to the public.
- Peter Dowling (editor) (2004). Reed New Zealand Atlas. Reed Books. pp. map 2. ISBN 0-7900-0952-8.
- Roger Smith, GeographX (2005). The Geographic Atlas of New Zealand. Robbie Burton. pp. map 16. ISBN 1-877333-20-4.
- Parkes, W. F. (c.1965). The Visitors' Guide to the Far North - Mangonui County (3rd edition ed.). p. 34.
- Quickstats about Houhora
- "Coastal explorers". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- Michael King (2003). The Penguin History of New Zealand (7th edition ed.). p. 67. ISBN 0-14-301867-1.
- Louise Furey (2002). Houhora : a fourteenth century Maori village in Northland. ISBN 0908623526. Quoted in The Penguin History of New Zealand
- Parkes, W. F. (c.1965). The Visitors' Guide to the Far North - Mangonui County (3rd edition ed.). p. 35.
- "Muriwhenua Tribes - Ancestors Peninsula". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- "HEKE POKAI, Hone". Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- "Aupōuri Peninsula". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- "Poles - The first arrivals". Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand.
- "Te Kete Ipurangi - Pukenui School, Northland". Ministry of Education.
- "New Zealand Archaeology News". New Zealand Archaeological Association. 22 October 2003.
- Laura Harper, Tony Mudd, Paul Whitfield (2002). The Rough Guide to New Zealand 3. Rough Guides. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-85828-896-3.
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