If you are on the South side of the Harbour, follow the signs to Rawene or The Ferry on SH12.
If you are on the North side of the Harbour come over on the Ferry, which sails every hour, on the hour, after 9.00 a.m. The return Ferry sails on the half hour until 7.30 p.m.
At the top of the ridge on which Rawene is built, as you come from SH12, you will see on your left the Rawene Hospital. The Hokianga has an unique Health System, instituted by the legendary Dr. Smith and still providing health services throughout the Hokianga.
Rawene was an early European settlement and a number of historic buildings survive. Clendon House, on the right opposite the Pharmacy, was built in 1860 and is now operated by the NZ Historic Places Trust. It is open to the public during the summer, from 1 November to 30 April, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Saturday to Monday.
Next down the road is the Masonic Hotel (1875) and next to that is the Old Court House, now the Rawene Library, open from 10.00 a.m. to midday on Thursdays and Saturdays and behind the Library is the Old Gaol.
Further down the road on the other side is the Post Master’s cottage, and to the left along the waterfront at the end, is what was originally the Harp of Erin Hotel (1850), later a Methodist Parsonage, then the first hospital in Rawene and in more recent times a café.
Heading in the other direction along the waterfront, past the Boat Shed Café (for now) and past the ‘back gate’ to Clendon House, there is the Old Lane Store, now operated as a Bed & Breakfast.
Further along, on the left, you will come to the Mangrove Boardwalk, a delightful way to find out about the mangroves which now cover many acres of tidal flats in the Harbour and to observe the birds and animals which live in this strange world.
You can end your exploration at the Boat Shed Café and Craft Shop, where Craig and Kirsty take great pride in their coffees.