Wellsford & Te Hana
According to local tradition, the name Wellsford is an acronym based on the surnames of the first families who settled in the region: Watson, Edger, Lester, Levet, Simpson, Foster, Oldfield, Ramsbottom and Dibble.
Wellsford is a busy little town on State Highway One. It serves the local farming community and as such has a plethora of lifestyle and agricultural businesses. It's a great place to refuel on your way north - you'll find a number of cafes, fast-food stops, restaurants and supermarkets.
The huge Kaipara Harbour lies to the west; the exhilarating surf beaches of Pakiri, Mangawhai Heads, Langs Beach and Waipu Cove are to the east. And the town is ringed with a pastoral haven of farms and lavish lifestyle blocks. Hunting and fishing are popular in the area, but the excellent Wellsford Golf Club also has a well-deserved following.
Ten minutes north of Wellsford is the tiny settlement of Te Hana. This is now the home of the award-winning Te Hana Te Ao Marama Maori Cultural Centre, a replica of a 17th century Maori village which houses a huge contemporary marae or meeting house, weaving and carving studios and an art gallery.
The centre offers qualmarked marae accommodation, indigenous Maori village tours, cultural shows and event hire. There is a range of tours available - a favourite is the Starlight Tour. This includes a powhiri (traditional welcome to the village), hangi (Maori earth-pit steamed food), spectacular Maori cultural performance and guided tour through the evocatively-lit village at night. Starlight Tours are available upon request for groups of ten or more.For further information:
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