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Hokianga Sojourn


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Hokianga Sojourn


Saturday 28 January from 10am – 4pm Cafler Park (Rose Gardens)

Endless summer that’s what is all about... days at the beach, walks in the bush and little sojourns into quaint townships to check out local food, retro shops, arts and crafts and whatever else is on offer.

This summer I visited the Hokianga - one of the most idyllic places on earth. It’s about 1 and a half hour’s from Whangarei to Opononi, then 5 minutes to Omapere. These settlements have the best view in town looking directly across to the sand dunes on the north side of the Hokianga - stunning. However, 16 minutes away is the coastal enclave of Rawene and the Hokianga ferry that takes you across the scenic harbour to Kohukohu where you can travel north to the communities of Panguru, Mitimiti or north west to Broadwood and Pawarenga on the Whangape harbour.

Rawene is always special in my mind to visit, nestled on the shores of the Hokianga harbour, it is tranquil and peaceful and has a strong sense of heritage which is reflected in its buildings and the eclectic array of galleries, second hand shops and coastline to chillax the hours away or while you wait for the Ferry.

We all like a browse (even the men folk) and there are some cool finds such as ‘The Station’, a second hand shop that has been opened by Joanne Barrett and Eru Wano who have relocated from Auckland. Eru is a musician and Jo is the publisher of Ponsonby News and recently won the Far North Arts Award. Just down the road on the corner is No.1 gallery the vision of Lynn Lawton and Linda Blinko who are both creative directors of the Depot Gallery in Devonport, Auckland. Their style has transformed this space, supported by community volunteers and more. Across the road is the Feltz Hat shop not to be missed, then there’s the retro shop with amazing vintage clothing to meander the hours away. If you’re hungry the Boatshed Cafe is the place to drink good coffee, eat country style baking (melting moments were to die for), then take a walk to Clendon House, a historical landmark of entrepreneurship.

The car ferry is a 10 minute trip across the harbour to Kohukohu, this community has one of the best examples of heritage buildings and old villas - some lovingly restored and others loved by the people who live in them. When you hit the township there is that wow moment where artlovers experience something out of the ordinary, with the likes of Village Arts Gallery, ArtWorld, Studio Gallery and Morrow Photography. This community has a number of writers, musicians, artists who have made this special part of the world their home.

The wonderfully scenic drive that connects these places is littered with beautiful examples of old colonial churches and if you want go exploring there are other oddities such as the ‘chainsaw’ house on the road to Herekino from Broadwood. You can feel your care’s being washed away as you find yourself drifting back to a time when life was perhaps a bit simpler.

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