Great swimming beach and sunsets just 15 minutes south
A short drive away Whakapirau has great views across the harbour to Pahi, wonderful sunsets and a sheltered sandy beach that is great for swimming & kayaking. There is also a wharf great for fishing or just watching the boats come in and go out.
Right beside the wharf is the striking historic North Kaipara Butter Factory (1904), built to receive milk from harbour side dairy farms. Within ten years or so roads and vehicles had improved to the extent that the building took on a new role as the local hall and back in the day locals would row across from Pahi for dances.
Whakapirau ‘stinking place’ was named for an infamous Maori battle (1825) where Hongi Hike massacred local Ngati Whatua leaving their bodies to rot along the harbour and river banks. The tapu was lifted from the land by gathering most of the koiwi (bone) into an ossuary, built to place these remains at rest.
In a colonialist, and disturbing turn of events, these bones were later gathered, crushed and used as fertiliser on a local vineyard and other properties. A local Pahi man still remembers his grandmother talking about occasionally seeing human remains in the mud flats and mangroves into the twentieth century.
At the top of the hill is the St Albans Anglican Church which is a harbour landmark and seen clearly from Pahi. The cemetery alongside the St Albans Anglican Church (1896) contains the graves of a number of members of local families, both Maori and Pakeha.