Wark­worth’s won­ders

This his­toric town of­fers it all

Real Estate Outlook - - Location -

Wark­worth is a town 64km north of Auck­land and 98km south of Whangarei. It lies at the head of the Mahu­rangi Har­bour. The thriv­ing town is grow­ing with a pop­u­la­tion of more than 3000 per­ma­nent res­i­dents. The set­tle­ment was founded in 1853 by John An­der­son Brown, who named it af­ter his birth­place, the vil­lage of Wark­worth, Northum­ber­land, in the United King­dom. Early in­dus­try in­cluded log­ging for kauri and other tim­bers, flour milling and boat-build­ing. The first port­land ce­ment man­u­fac­tur­ing works in the south­ern hemi­sphere was es­tab­lished near the town in 1884. The ru­ins still re­main and the mine is now a pop­u­lar lo­cal swim­ming hole. The gen­eral area in and around Wark­worth is known as the Kowhai Coast, named af­ter the na­tive tree. The town’s an­nual Kowhai Fes­ti­val is one of the largest com­mu­nity fes­ti­vals in the coun­try, run­ning for about a week in spring. One of the most prom­i­nent fea­tures of Wark­worth is the Mahu­rangi River, an es­tu­ary, which runs right through the town­ship, where it then joins the Mahu­rangi Har­bour and flows in to the Hau­raki Gulf. On the east­ern side of the river is the Mahu­rangi East penin­sula, with the sea­side towns of Snells Beach and Al­gies Bay. It is here that the scenic Kawau Is­land is found, no­table for its his­toric Man­sion House, once the pri­vate re­treat of Gov­er­nor Ge­orge Grey. East of Wark­worth and north of Mahu­rangi East lies Tawha­ranui Re­gional Park which is man­aged by the Depart­ment of Con­ser­va­tion. Nearby is Matakana, fa­mous for its vine­yards, cafes, farm­ers’ mar­ket, craft shops and new cin­ema com­plex.

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