History - Birth of the Bridgehouse

The site on which the modern Bridgehouse hotel stands in Warkworth is significant because it marks the spot of the earliest European habitation in the area. A police census in 1845 found 30 males and five females residing at Mahurangi Sawing Station (Brown’s...... Read More

Water torture

The summer of 1871-72 was extremely dry. During the fine weather, the settlers of Puhoi, by working together, had amassed an enormous quantity of shingles, blocks, palings, planks and spars in all the tributaries of the Puhoi River. They had, as usual,...... Read More

History - Daring rescue

A popular topic of discussion at the moment is last year’s appearance of the schooner Daring on the sands at Muriwai. High tides and some rough weather caused a large area of sand to fall away into the sea, leaving the hull of the ship exposed. The...... Read More

History - In memory of Mavis

On May 27, 2004, the citizens of Leigh were saddened to hear of the death of a much-loved neighbour, 94-year-old Mavis Davidson. Mavis was a pioneer in the fields of mountaineering, exploration and zoological research. She, together with Warkworth’s...... Read More

History - Puhoi church

It took the settlers of Puhoi just a year to build the original Puhoi Catholic church. In 1877, Puhoi was named as the centre of a parish that extended from Auckland’s North Shore to Whangarei. Father Adelaar travelled to all corners of the parish...... Read More

Albertland’s Archie

Recent news of the latest royal baby brought to mind an interesting second-generation Albertlander. Archibald Edwin Brookes was born in 1878 in Taranaki, where his father, Edwin Stanley Brookes Jnr, was working as government surveyor. When Archie’s...... Read More

Overcoming opposition

Successive bishops and priests of Puhoi parish attempted to establish a convent school. They were met with resistance, probably because in Bohemia, the Chotieschau Convent had been the feudal overlord of the region where Puhoi residents once lived. This...... Read More

Logging at Mangawai

By the 1850s, native tree felling was taking place all over the north of New Zealand. The prime target was giant kauri. No matter how remote the tree location, man sought it out, cut it down and shaped it ready for transportation to the nearest port....... Read More

Delightful destination

Even before motor transport was available, picnic parties and summer campers found their way to Snells Beach. My grandmother, like others of her generation, brought her family to stay in home-made ridge pole tents. A letter survives, written in 1917,...... Read More

The rise and fall of Tungacres at Te Arai

In 1930, a new-found wonder filled the newspapers as they wrote about the benefits of tung oil. Tung trees originated from China and the oil from their nuts became the ‘lifeblood’ of the paint and varnish industries. Later discoveries showed...... Read More