Location

Houhora is one of the mecca places in New Zealand to catch big snapper and kingfish!

It’s a place where you can sit back and admire the areas’ natural beauty.

HOUHORA JOURNAL

Houhora is located in Northland, 41km north of Kaitaia, on the eastern side of the Aupouri Peninsula, 70km south of Cape Reinga. The town is officially called Pukenui Village, however everyone calls it Houhora.

The Far North is known as “Te Hiku o te Ika” or “the tail of the fish”.  The fish being the North Island of New Zealand, which was pulled up from the ocean by Maui, our great ancestor.

Aupouri Peninsula was originally covered in a giant Kauri Forest. This was buried over time beneath peat swamps and sand dunes. Today still the ancient Kauri is dug up from swamps and used for manufacturing ornaments and furniture.

The main industries in the area are Avocados, Forestry, tourism and fishing.

Relatively close to Houhora are famous landmarks like Cape Reinga, Tapotupotu Bay and Spirits Bay.

There’s plenty for active people to do – apart from a trip with Houhora Fishing Charters. Such as Golf at the 9 hole golf course in Houhora, Surfing, Sand Surfing at the Giant Te Paki sand dunes along with plenty of hiking options.  Aupouri Forest has 100km of biking trails - you could lose yourself in there for days, but you will need to bring your own bike though, as there's no hire place.

There are numerous fishing competitions, the golf club has a decent calendar of tournaments and there are two market days that galvanise the community, with St John and the Raeo Hall holding monthly events.

Have lunch at Pukenui Pacific Cafe overlooking the harbour, with spectacular views and yummy food. Take the kids to Houhora Heads for swimming, or try Wagener Holiday Park, where there's lots to do and a swimming pool that the public can pay to use.

A great place for a walk is Arethusa Reserve, just 10 minutes out of town, and is looked after by Forest and Bird It’s famous for its ancient dune-scapes and beech forest. The impressive wetland reserve is teeming with birds, including grey ducks, pied cormorants, paradise shelducks, kingfishers and spotless crake.

You’ll get an awesome view from the top of Mt Camel (aka Mt Houhora, aka Mt Tohoraha). You'll need to catch a boat and then climb it, but it's pretty easy to hitch a lift with a local.

The Subritzky Homestead, built in the 1860s at Houhora Heads, has been restored to its original glory and is open to the public by appointment.

For all your provisions check out the  Houhora Wharf Four Square - you'll be surprised by what you'll find there. If you're after old leather-cut washers for a Davies pump, rowlocks for a dinghy, or very fine scotch fillet, this is the place to go. 

The gift shop at Houhora Game Fishing Club is also cool, with fishing memorabilia and the works of local artists for sale.

Pukenui Pacific has one of the only coffee machines in town, plus that view, while The Hub Restaurant and Bar is also good. Pukenui Pacific makes cakes and sandwiches, and its chicken and mushroom pie is famous. Pukenui and The Hub serve good grub, and every Friday and Saturday the Sports Fishing Club opens for dinner, with a buffet on the first Friday of each month.

If you want to wet your whistle, the Historic Houhora Tavern is the country's northern-most pub. Moved many years ago from near 90 Mile Beach, it's utterly charming.

A public safety warning though: Don't become addicted to the life up here because you'll never leave.

Visitors say: We don't want to leave.
Locals say: We don't have to leave!