Huntly is known for many things; one of New Zealand’s largest power stations, its rich mining history, its beautiful lakes, and scenic walks, and the last remaining D*E*K*A sign.

Situated on both sides of the Waikato River, approximately 93 km south of Auckland and 32 km north of Hamilton, the town is linked by the Tainui and Rail bridges.

There is a lot to do in Huntly. If you’re spoiled for time, Huntly offers scenic walks that range in length, each one providing unique views of the town. If you are a speed junky Huntly is the home of the Huntly Speedway, with Hampton Downs race track and the Meremere dragstrip further north. For the people with a sweet tooth and who love a good coffee, you can take your pick from any of the cafes and bakeries down Main Street.

Created by Lyonel Grant, Te Ahurei O Waikato portrays the people of the Waikato.

The central figure is thrusting a sacred stake into the land confirming that it belongs to them and they to it.
The flowing water acknowledges the spiritual life forces of the Waikato River contained within the canoe shape, linking the Waikato tribe to their ancestors in the Tainui canoe, while the posts represent Waikato sub-tribes.

Te Ahurei O Waikato is located in a park between the Huntly Power Station and the Waikato River.

In the early 1840’s Reverend Ashwell established a Missionary Station, Kaitotehe, across the river from Taupiri Mountain. While Ashwell was there, the local Maori pointed out a coal seam further to the north. This coal was later tested and proved to be useable coal.
A small mine, Kupa Kupa, was developed on the west side of the river, south of Huntly. The coal from this mine was used during the Waikato Wars to fire the ships used by the British.
During this same war Rahui Pokeka, as Huntly was then known, a stockade had been built on the riverbank, not for soldiers, but for animals and stores. This was sited in the middle of today’s Main Street.

Main Street in 1910 looking south
Huntly Post Office in 1910. Now the site of the library.

After the war, some of the soldiers were granted land in our area. Most of the grants were 50 acres/20.2 hectares and were on the east side of the river. This was the beginning of the European settlement of Huntly.

In 1870, a settler, James Henry arrived to take up the position of Postmaster. He named the town “Huntley Lodge” after his home in Scotland. Eventually, the “Lodge” was dropped, and then the “e”…. Huntly.


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