It has a remarkable architectural heritage including many stately homesteads, with contributions by outstanding New Zealand architects like William Gummer, William Rush, James Chapman Taylor and Ian Athfield. The Village grew up around St Luke’s Anglican Church, built in 1874 from native timbers rimu and kauri and designed by Napier architect Thomas Cooper in the style of English wooden churches familiar to the local settlers. A 20th Century landmark is Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church by New Zealand architect John Scott, which opened in 1960.
Some of the heritage buildings are now boutique accommodation, like Rush Cottage. Some, like Duart House and Keirunga Gardens, are community facilities. Immigrant Allan McLean built Duart House in the style of Duart Castle in his native Scottish home on the Isle of Mull. Duart House is now a venue for weddings, concerts and conferences. Keirunga House and Gardens is a hub for local arts and crafts including spinners, weavers, painters, potters and quilters. Keirunga houses a gallery workshop and theatre space for the local arts community. A model railway group operates rides for children once a month in the gardens.
When the gentility and serenity of Peak House (which was built in 1967 and boasts the most spectacular views of the Bay) is blended into the vibrant village spots, you effectively create a microcosm of Havelock North itself and understand why more and more people are moving here. As one resident said: ‘The place is growing all the time but in a way it’s not. I don’t think it can get any bigger … but it probably will’.
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