Orientation & Geography

Oceania, New Zealand, Northland

Whangaroa is a locality on the harbour of the same name in Northland, New Zealand. Whangaroa is 8km north-west from Kaeo and 45km north from Okaihau. The harbour is almost landlocked and is popular both as a fishing spot in its own right and as a base for deep-sea fishing. The harbour was the scene of one of the most notorious incidents in early New Zealand history, the Boyd massacre. In October 1809 almost all the crew and 70 passengers were killed as utu (revenge) for the mistreatment of the son of a local chief who had been in the crew of the ship. Several days later the ship was burnt out after gunpowder was accidentally ignited. Relics of the Boyd are now in a local museum. In June 1823 the first Wesleyan mission in New Zealand was established at Whangaroa, though it was destroyed by fire in 1827. In March 1828 the famous Ngā Puhi chief Hongi Hika died here.