It was after we left Rawene that the navigator (guess who?) told Chris to take a left instead of a right and we ended up heading towards the east coast instead of travelling west around the top of the Hokianga Harour to its northern shore. Ah well. It just meant we saw a few extra churches.
But before we went astray we took a short detour to Mangungu Mission, another place maintained by the Historic Places Trust. The mission was established in 1828 as the second Wesleyan Mission in New Zealand. The house was built in 1838 and there is also a smaller house which is inhabited, probably by the caretaker. The Mission is famous as having been the scene of the largest gathering to discuss and sign the Treaty of Waitangi in February 1840.
In the mid 1850s the house was moved to Auckland to be used as a Methodist parsonage and later sold to private owners. Upon the deaths of the owners, it was purchased by the Historic Places Trust and returned to its present site.
It was raining when we arrived but we dashed from car to the front verandah of the house to take photos and took the rest out of the car window.
The rain became a bit persistent so it was a matter of spot a church, stop and dash out for a quick shot and scramble back into the car. In one there was a huge cobweb. I’m so glad Chris spotted it before I walked into it! I think it was the very old one on the top left, which was the only one that was opened., and where we found the English and Maori prayer book that gave us a hint as to where we were. It was a long time since anyone had been in that church I think.
It was getting late, time for us to think about where we would find a bed for the night!