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Pacific Coast Highway road trip: East Cape Te Araroa

Raukokore Church

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Waihau Bay church cemetery overlooking Waihau Bay Waihau Bay church cemetery overlooking Waihau Bay
Waihau Bay Anglician church

Extraordinary and breathtaking. Take a photo of the Anglician Raukokore Church as it stands  alone on a rocky outcrop.The church is unmissable with its striking location against the sea and headland it is positioned on. The church doors are usually open.

Donations are welcome and respect the open access when entering the premises. The simple picket fence surrounding the graveyard is equally interesting with its gravestone markers. The Catholic church opposite was once marked with an enormous whale arch which is now located in the Whakatane Museum.

The Anglician church is a historic category 1 building and, as described by Heritage NZ is, ‘Christ Church, Raukokore is strongly linked to the Whanau-a-Apanui people. Duncan Stirling built many churches in the East Coast and was subsequently married, in 1896, in this church.

He married Mihi Kotukutuku, daughter of Maaka Te Ehutu and Ruiha Rahuta, Kaumatua of Whanau-a-Apanui. Stirling knew little Maori but reinforced the links between the Anglican Church and local Maori through his marriage and his skill as an architect/builder.’

Waihau Bay church interior
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