Thirty Seven Days On North Island 14

11 February 20

Posted at 1:10

Puhoi (population 450) is situated just north of Auckland and just off of the SH1, for New Zealand a busy road which is under a lot of development but as soon as you turn off the road you are in a sleepy rural area. Within a few kilometres is Puhoi, a hamlet really centred around a ford on the river Puhoi and a grand pub dating back to 1879. The large impressive colonial building , originally called the German Hotel, is now appropriately named the Puhoi Pub and Hotel. It is a proper pub and prospers from day trippers out from Auckland along with construction workers from the tunnelling and road improvements on the SH1.Puhoi PubPuhoi Pub

Puhoi dronePuhoi from above

Other than the pub Puhoi is really quaint with a little general store, library, community hall and a couple of quaint tea rooms and tiny shops and of course a school. The houses are spread around the surrounding hills, lots of farms etc. Along Krippner road (named after the Bohemian who originally owned all the land on which Puhoi stands), is a small farm where Pete and Debbie have their home and where Puhoi Cosy Cottage also now resides. The cottage is where we are staying.puhoi cosy cottage 2Puhoi Cosy Cottage

Pete and Deb bought the cottage on New Zealand’s equivalent of Ebay in 2008 for $7,500 (£3750). It was built in 1915 and located in Fleet Street, Newton, Auckland. Originally used as the office for The Pelican Club, a whorehouse. It now had to be removed from its site to make way for a parking lot.

Having bought the cottage Pete and Deb had the challenge of transporting it to Puhoi, then when the finally got it on a low loader to their land they discovered that it would not fit up the long, very steep drive. So the cottage was cut in two and transported up the hill to its current site, down the hill from their own house and next to an unusual tin house. It then took nine years of blood sweat and I’m sure some tears for the cottage to be restored to the amazing and unique quirky cottage it is today. We will spend the next few days exploring the area including Orewa, the nearest coastal town.Puhoi Cottage DronePuhoi Cosy Cottage from drone

Yesterday Puhoi’s small population of 450 increased significantly when there was a days filming here for a new BBC series called Mystique. The general store was closed all day and its signage, along with that of the library opposite changed. From dawn till dusk the place was bustling with everything and everyone that goes with a film production. It was interesting to see and of course the pub did well out of it even if it doesn’t feature in the programme.Mystique Film set

Puhoi changes for a day to the film set for BBC series Mystique