A Walking Guide to the Puhoi Historic Village and its Bohemian Heritage
Excerpts from the booklet are reproduced here with kind permission from the authors. Copies can be obtained from Puhoi Historical Society
This booklet has been produced by the Puhoi Historical Society to serve as an introduction and walking guide to the heritage of the historic Bohemian village of Puhoi for visitors and others who wish to learn more about its places of interest and their history.
The booklet is a companion to the briefer Puhoi Heritage Trail brochure, available from various locations. As a publication of the Puhoi Historical Society, it also provides a link to the contents of the Puhoi Museum, and the extensive collection of historical documents and photos held by the Society.
The booklet’s publication coincides with the 150th anniversary of the settlement of Puhoi, which takes place in 2013. This anniversary celebrates a saga which commenced in 1863 when a group of 83 cold and apprehensive migrants from central Europe stepped onto the banks of a tidal river in heavy bush at the other end of the world. They had left behind a Bohemia which, in 1848, was struggling out from under the yoke of a feudalistic system of land ownership, social restrictions, industrial revolution, and political unrest. Helped initially by the local Maori under the leadership of Chief Te Hemara Tauhia with vegetables and fruit, they set to and gradually cleared the forest, grew food, built their own houses, and encouraged several other groups and families to join them from the old homeland. The evidence of this challenging history can be further studied in the Museum.
We welcome visitors, locals and information seekers to explore the village of Puhoi and its unique history. If your visit coincides with our 150th celebrations, you are especially welcome.
To everyone, welcome to Puhoi as a small community with a distinctive heritage!
Hans Everts, Project Coordinator,
Puhoi Historical Society, January 2013
The following is a excerpt from the chapter on the Wharf area of the village:
14. WHARF AND SHEDS
The wharf, with its steamer service, was the gateway to Puhoi’s river lifeline until the main road improved. From 1876, under the helm of several colourful captains, the ‘Kotiti’ shipped in supplies and took produce and passengers to Auckland and its markets, carefully negotiating the drawbridge which once connected the rest of New Zealand to the North.
In the great flood of 1924 one of the two wharf sheds floated away and sank, while the other now stands across the road beside the store. Since its relocation it has been used as a shop store shed, antique and craft sales outlet and real estate office. In 2009, two smaller landings replaced the long-gone utilitarian wharf, and cater for recreational uses such as diving, small boat launchings and the many kayaking groups which now use the river.