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New Zealand


A Town of History, Culture, and Charm



Nestled in the rolling hills of the Northland region, Kaikohe is a town with a rich history, vibrant culture, and undeniable charm. From its origins as a Māori settlement to its role in the early days of European colonization, Kaikohe has played a significant part in shaping the story of New Zealand. Today, this friendly and welcoming town is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to experience the authentic heart of the Far North.

Rich Māori Heritage

The area around Kaikohe has been inhabited by Māori for centuries, and the town itself is steeped in Māori heritage and tradition. The name "Kaikohe" means "to eat crayfish" in Māori, and the town is said to have been founded by the legendary chief Taonui, who settled here with his people in the 16th century.

Today, visitors to Kaikohe can learn about the town's Māori roots at the Ngāpuhi Tribal Office, which offers guided tours and cultural experiences. The office is located in the historic Kaikohe Hotel, which was built in the 1890s and has been lovingly restored to its former glory.

Another must-visit attraction for those interested in Māori heritage is the Te Whare Taonga o Kaikohe, or Kaikohe Museum. This small but fascinating museum houses a collection of Māori artifacts, including carvings, weapons, and traditional clothing, as well as exhibits on the history of the Ngāpuhi people.

Fascinating Pioneer History

In addition to its Māori heritage, Kaikohe also has a fascinating pioneer history that dates back to the early days of European settlement in New Zealand. The town was founded in the 1860s as a service center for the surrounding farming district, and quickly grew into a bustling hub of commerce and industry.

One of the best places to learn about Kaikohe's pioneer history is the Pioneer Village, a recreated 19th-century village that features a range of historic buildings and exhibits. Visitors can explore a colonial schoolhouse, a blacksmith's shop, and a vintage printing press, among other attractions.

Another important site for history buffs is the Kaikohe Cemetery, which dates back to the 1870s and is the final resting place of many of the town's early settlers. The cemetery is a peaceful and contemplative spot, with beautiful old headstones and a serene atmosphere.

Charming Small-Town Atmosphere

Despite its rich history and cultural significance, Kaikohe remains a charming and unpretentious town with a friendly, laid-back vibe. The town center is a delightful mix of historic buildings and modern shops and cafes, with a strong sense of community and local pride.

One of the best ways to experience Kaikohe's small-town atmosphere is by visiting the weekly farmers' market, which takes place every Saturday morning in the town square. Here, visitors can browse stalls selling fresh local produce, artisanal crafts, and homemade baked goods, while chatting with friendly vendors and soaking up the lively atmosphere.

Another popular spot for locals and visitors alike is the Kaikohe RSA, a historic building that now serves as a community center and event venue. The RSA hosts regular live music performances, quiz nights, and other events, and is a great place to meet and mingle with the friendly locals.

Beautiful Surroundings

While Kaikohe itself is a charming and historic town, it is also surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in Northland. The nearby Ngawha Springs are a popular spot for swimming and soaking in the geothermal waters, while the Puketi Forest is a pristine rainforest with hiking trails, waterfalls, and rare native bird species.

A short drive from Kaikohe is the stunning Bay of Islands, a world-renowned destination for sailing, fishing, and other water sports. The bay is home to over 140 islands, each with its own unique character and charm, and is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Far North.


With its rich Māori heritage, fascinating pioneer history, and undeniable small-town charm, Kaikohe is a town that truly has something for everyone. Whether you're a history buff, a culture vulture, or simply looking for a friendly and authentic Kiwi experience, this delightful town in the heart of Northland is sure to leave a lasting impression. So why not add Kaikohe to your Far North itinerary and discover the magic of this charming and historic town for yourself?

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