Historical Port Albert
The tiny village of Port Albert is about 10km northwest from Wellsford on the Oruawharo River. It holds great historical significance for the descendents of the Albertland settlers. It was to be a centre for the non-confirmist church settlement sponsored by the Albertland Special Settlement Association that was set up in Birmingham, England, in 1861. In October 1862 the sailing vessels Hanover and Matilda Wattenbach arrived at Auckland with the first settlers, who went by various routes to land surveyed around the Arapaoa, Otamatea and Oruawharo Rivers. About 3000 Albertlanders had arrived in Auckland by 1865 but after hearing stories of extreme hardship suffered by those that had settled in Port Albert, most decided to remain in Auckland. More immigrant ships followed but isolation and difficulties of access hindered the settlers progress and the original plans for a township at Port Albert were abandoned. But during the late 1800s, Port Albert had two stores and two boardinghouses as well as its Methodist Church and town hall and was regularly visited by steamboats coming up the Kaipara Harbour from Helensville. To get there take State Highway 16 at Wellsford then turn right on to the Port Albert Wellsford Main Highway. Follow this road until you come to Wharf St. At the end of Wharf St there’s public toilets, a children’s playground and parking for boaties.