Puhoi is located near Auckland in New Zealand's North Island. In the native Maori language, Puhoi means “slow water.” Puhoi has a distinctly Bohemian feel to it and this is a result of the village's original settlers, who hailed from Bohemia. Migrants from the modern-day Czech Republic arrived in Puhoi from 1863 until 1866. The Roman Catholic German-speaking immigrants resolved to build a church dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, which was completed in 1881. The church still stands today and conducts mass regularly, and the village's original Bohemian heritage can be seen in the architecture of the church and other buildings.
The German-speaking Bohemians from Staab, in modern-day Czech Republic, first arrived in Puhoi on the 29th of June in 1863, which is the day of the Feast of Saints Paul and Peter, as celebrated by them. The government had given them parcels of densely forested land when the immigrants had arrived, which had to be deforested for it to be made useful.
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Places to Visit
Bohemian Museum - The Bohemian Museum highlights the early settlement in the area by the Bohemians. The scriptures and artefacts tell a forgotten tale of their struggles and evolution.
Church of Saints Peter and Paul - The Catholic Church of Saints Peter and Paul was built in the year 1881. This beautiful church is replete with paintings, stained glass, and stunning statues.
Puhoi Centennial Hall - This hall in Puhoi is run by a community and is an integral part of the village’s culture and history. The hall can be rented for activities like concerts, art exhibitions, dances, garage sales and community meetings, weddings and boxing nights.
Puhoi Town Library - This small library is just a remnant of the original one. This is mainly because of being hit by floods twice in 1924 and 1977.
Walking Trails in Puhoi
Puhoi Heritage Trail - This is one of the best trails that take you through the rich culture of Puhoi. Dunns Bush Walk - This walk is a part of Te Araroa track. A mix of bushes and farmlands, the Dunns Bush Walk is private land. Please leave the cattle undisturbed.
Puhoi Pub - Get the vintage vibe at Puhoi Pub! This is yet another place to chill if you are looking for old school bars with wooden furniture and animal heads.
Puhoi Cottage Tea Rooms - After all the exhausting activities, one needs some good refreshment. Head to Puhoi Cottage tea rooms for tantalizing tidbits. Do not miss the Devonshire cream tea.
Brickbay sculpture trail - Brickbay sculpture trail is a must-do for nature lovers. The trail exhibits outdoor sculptures of all shapes and sizes for suburban gardens and for other urban and civil projects too. Duration - one hour. Dogs are allowed. Not wheelchair friendly.
Wenderholm Regional Park - It is the first regional park in Auckland and is known for its serene environment and birdlife.
Mahurangi Regional Park - Mahurangi Regional Park can be accessed for its scenic beauty, walking tracks, camping, swimming, picnics and water activities.
Honeycentre - Honeycentre produces some of the world's most sought-after natural honey. You can visit them and observe the beekeeping and honey making processes.
Red Beach - Red Beach is located on the Hibiscus Coast and offers a charming sunset view.
Things to Do
Kayaking or Canoeing - Puhoi river has some amazing water sports to offer. Whenever you get free time, go kayaking or canoeing and get the water splashing. All the gear and necessary equipment are easily available.
Horse riding - Another way to unwind is to go galloping and cantering on horseback to the fields and riding tracks. Try to go on a pleasant day for the best experience.
Puhoi coffee - Puhoi coffee is a coffee processor found in the village of Puhoi. It boasts the best quality organic coffee beans that stimulate your taste buds with a robust flavour.
Puhoi valley cafe and cheese store - Puhoi valley cheese store is run by a group of master cheese craftsmen who are passionate about the fine art of cheese making and maturing. Here you can find different varieties of cheese varying in sharpness, colour, maturation etc. If you relish cheese platters and want to stock up your fridge, this place is a must visit. The cafe’s menu is just mouthwatering and screams all things dairy! The food served at the Puhoi cafe is very rich and the desserts are decadent and creamy which certainly cannot be missed.
Orewa cycleway - Orewa cycleway is 40 minutes from North Auckland. The cycleway will take you trailing through beaches, estuary and parks. Enjoy the view and flocking birds that you see on the way. Don't forget to see the carvings of the Maoris here!
Snells beach - Snells beach is yet another stunning beach in the area with an amazing view - fit for swimming and other water sports. This is a perfect place for a barbeque with friends and family.
Matakana Coast and Country Tour - This trip will take you to local pottery spots and honeycentre along with showing you the best Puhoi has to offer. Duration - 6.5 hours.
Play golf - How about playing golf in the morning followed by a hearty brunch? Sounds great! Golfing is another star attraction here and the golf courses are manicured to perfection.
Snowplanet - Located on the Hibiscus Coast (a little away from Puhoi), Snowplanet is an indoor snow recreation activity centre where you can get your hands on skiing, snowboarding etc, You can also hire the gear and take private lessons here.
Sunday market - The farmer’s market is open only on the last Sunday of the month. This is the Puhoi village market which is open from 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM. You name it and you will have it. Colourful, exotic fruits and vegetables in all shapes and sizes are a treat to the eyes. You will also find plenty of eggs and other dairy products along with freshly baked cakes, bread, chutneys and sauces. They also sell healthy gluten-free items too.
How To Reach Puhoi River
By car - Puhoi can be accessed from Auckland throught two routes via car; either through Northern Gateway Toll Road (which is paid), or through the Hibiscus Coast Highway.
By bus - Many buses run to and fro between Auckland and Puhoi. Intercity bus departures are extremely popular amongst tourists. Make sure to pre-book your ticket from reputed operators.