The latest information I could find about Whirinaki gives its population as 200, 90% of which are Maori. The local school is Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Te Tonga o Hokianga. Hope I got that right, quite a mouthful, huh? It is a Kura Kaupapa Maori school which teaches fully in the Maori language.
The name means "to lean against a support".
Historically, the area was raided by Te Roroa in 1810 or 1811, during the Musket Wars, during which all inhabitants of Opara village were killed.
We were surprised to find two churches, one in Jackson Road and the other Chris spotted while we enjoyed a cup of coffee from our flasks after visiting there.The first looked very impressive as it towered above the road.
But it wasn't so impressive up close. Nice coloured windows, though.
We spent quite some time wandering around the graveyard. On our travels visiting the churches of the north, wherever there was a graveyard attached to the church, we invariably found the graves of more interest. Here I found many that captured my imagination. Some seemed right at home in rural Whirinaki, others looked slightly out of place:
Little St David's church, was much more modern and spotless. There was even a little dog house with a cross on top and after we'd been there a few minutes the master of the dog house came along to check us out.
As we were discovering, the inside of many of the churches in the Hokianga feature beautiful timber, in this case the pews and humble forms for the faithful. The curtain across in front of the altar was something I've never seen before.
So two churches this Sunday. Next week we will be in Rawene.