This tranquil riverside village is home to premium cheese, strong Bohemian roots and one of the best self-guided kayaking routes in Auckland.

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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.