Our Historic Village
To tatou kainga hitori
Intriguing features of Puhoi include:
The Church of Sts Peter and Paul Puhoi, designed by architect James Wrigley, was built by the Bohemian settlers, and opened on 10th August, 1881 at a cost of 264 pounds. The altarpiece, a copy of a 1724 painting by Anton Schindler in the church at Littitz, was commissioned from Pilsen artist Johann van Herzog and completed in 1885.
The Convent School
The school now houses the Puhoi Heritage Museum and Puhoi Playgroup. It was opened in 1923, replacing the public school that had served the community since 1872.
The Puhoi Centennial Hall
The Hall, originally funded by shareholders, was opened in 1900. It was renamed at the 1963 centenary of Puhoi and gifted to the people of Puhoi. This remarkable public facility continues to be used to this day for almost every sort of celebration and event.
The Landing Memorial Stone
Erected in 1988, the Memorial Stone commemorates the site where two nikau whare were built to house the first group of settlers. The Stone displays the settlers’ names and the names of the ships that brought them. It pays tributes to Te Hemara Tauhia, whose help was vital, to Captain Krippner who led the effort, and to the people whose colossal efforts established the village in the most challenging of bush conditions.
The Puhoi Store and the Puhoi Hotel
These historic landmarks stand on the sites of the first buildings, which had been erected by John Schollum. The store, which sold virtually everything and bought produce from the settlers, also housed the Post Office.
The Puhoi Town Library
This building was originally the Puhoi District Roads Board Office. It became a library in 1923 but the contents were destroyed by a flood in 1924 – the water level is marked on the building. It was used for various purposes until the present library, one of the smallest in New Zealand, opened in 1976.
The Puhoi Wharves
In 2009 two smaller landings were built to replace the long-gone utilitarian wharf that, with its steamer service, was the gateway to Puhoi’s river lifeline until the main road improved.
The Puhoi Pioneer Memorial Park
In 1934, at the 71st anniversary of Puhoi, the reserve was dedicated to the memory of the Puhoi pioneers, to acknowledge their incredible labours in the establishment of the settlement.
The Logging Dray
Restored by the Puhoi Historical Society in 2006, the dray commemorates the timber trade which dominated the settlement’s early years and ensured its survival.
3 km from the village, the cemetery is the resting place of the original settlers and, latterly, other inhabitants.