Float down the river by kayak or paddle all the way to Wenderholm Regional Park. Weave through native bush and a mangrove forest before reaching the estuary and beachfront at Wenderholm. You can hire a kayak from Pūhoi River Kayaks, which includes a shuttle at your finish point.
Back in the 1860s, pioneers from Bohemia (now part of the Czech Republic) endured a 124-day trek from their homeland up into the Pūhoi forest, arriving on this very river via Māori waka. The settlers learned to live off the land thanks to the help of Ngāti Rongo chief Te Hemara Tauhia, and slowly cleared it for farmland. Out went kauri trees and in went dairy farms, which the region is known for today. In fact, some staff at the Pūhoi Valley Cheese Company descend from the original Bohemian settlers. Immerse yourself in the town’s history at the Pūhoi Heritage Museum, which also offers village tours.
A meal at the iconic Pūhoi Pub Hotel & Stables, established in 1879, is a must-do. Sip on a cold beer on the lawn or enjoy a ticket from its bistro-style menu on the balcony – this grand old lady is beautiful inside and out. Relax with a Devonshire cream tea (complete with a warm scone) at one of New Zealand’s oldest tea rooms, the Pūhoi Cottage and Tea Rooms.
Take a scenic walk up the Pūhoi Loop Track, which forms part of the famous 3000km Te Araroa Trail that carves across the entire country. To cool off, how about a swim at Wenderholm Regional Park?
Browse artisan stalls to upbeat live music at the Pūhoi Village Market, held the last Sunday of every month. Snack on delicious food before heading to a scenic riverside spot – picnic-perfect, indeed.
Location Te wāhi
PuhoiPlan your route
Getting there Te huarahi ki reira
It takes 35-34 minutes to drive from the city centre to Pūhoi, with the faster option via the Northern Gateway Toll Road. Take the last exit before the toll road for the free alternative.
Local tip He tīwhiri mō te rohe
There’s often live music at the Pūhoi Pub Hotel & Stables on weekends, which draws quite the crowd. Call ahead to see if there’s a show – if there is, get your food order in early to avoid delays.