|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.
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. The homestead, now largely restored, is open to the public. The Wagener Museum at Houhora Heads, built by W E Wagener, was built near the homestead. It contained an eclectic collection of artefacts, but closed in 2003 and a substantial part of the collection was sold off.
A lifeboat from SS 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.
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- 2013 Census QuickStats about a place : Houhora
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- Education Counts: Pukenui School
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Media related to Aupouri Peninsula at Wikimedia Commons