Hikoi Rangihoua (A Kiwi Camino): A Pilgrimage

You are invited to join us for a four-day walking pilgrimage from Vaughan Park Anglican Retreat Centre, Long Bay, Auckland to Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands, Aotearoa, New Zealand. On Christmas Day, 1814, at the invitation of Ngāpuhi Chief, Ruatara, an English clergyman, the Rev. Samuel Marsden landed at Rangihoua with his pioneering missionary party. With the help of Ruatara, he was able to establish a Christian mission in the area. Our Chapel at Vaughan Park is named in honour of Ruatara. It faces north towards Tai Tokerau, the tūrangawaewae of Ruatara. Pilgrimage is rooted in a combination of ancient roots and contemporary openness.

Participants will discover an understanding of how pilgrimage enables one to understand at a deeper place the journey of life and faith. It offers opportunities for spiritual formation to people as “the spiritual discipline of walking with eyes and ears open, body and soul connected”. It will give time to ‘pause, ponder, plan anew’ for our lives as walking with others is a good antidote to our individualistic ways of society today.

The Hikoi will provide a mechanism for people and churches along the way, to offer the gift of hospitality, friendship, kindness to pilgrims. There will be a chance for discussion to occur naturally between different people of different faith traditions and none. The Hikoi will facilitate a further deepening of relationships, respect and understanding between ‘tangata whenua’ and initiate an ongoing conversation about the beginnings of the current place of Christianity (and faith in general) in NZ and furthers historical interest in it.

The Pilgrimage will be led by the Rev. Dr Allan Davidson, the Rev. Josh Jones, the Rev. Kerry Davis and the Rev. Iain Gow.

$450 includes accommodation, bus travel and some catering

Sunday 3rd—Thursday 7th December 2017 (6.00 pm start)

Registration and full payment is required by 31st October 2017
(Earlier registration would be appreciated)

Outline for Hikoi Rangihoua

  • Hikoi commences at Vaughan Park at 6:00pm – with chapel service followed by shared meal and overnight stay
  • Bus to Towai St Michael All Angels and on to Ruapekapeka Pā site with Māori welcome and historical presentation
  • Bus to Ngati Manu Marae, Karetu. Cultural immersion experience and stay overnight
  • Walk from St Andrews, Taumarere to Opua via the Twin Coast Cycle Trail (8 km/ 1.5 hr)
  • Walk Opua to St Pauls Church, Paihia via the Opua/Paihia Coastal Walkway (6 km/ 1.25 hr)
  • Afternoon and evening free to explore Paihia/Russell sites of interest – Waitangi, Christ Church Russell, Pompallier House… under own arrangements
  • Back Packers shared style overnight accommodation in Paihia

Walk to Waitangi Forest Track entrance via Waitangi Grounds (5.5 km/ 1.25 hr)

Walk Waitangi Forest Track to Kerikeri Kororipo Heritage Park (17 km/ 3.75 hr)

Explore the Heritage Park Stone Store, Kemp House, Kororipo Pā, Rewa’s Village and St James Church. Briefing by local Kaumātua

Dinner and evening programme at Kaeo- Kerikeri Union Church’s new church and community facility. Engagement with local community

Back Packers shared style accommodation overnight in Kerikeri

  • Walk to Rainbow Falls via Kerikeri Walkway. (2.8 km/ 0.5 hr)
  • Bus to Oihi Rd. Walk to Rangihoua Heritage Park (Marsden’s Cross) and be welcomed onto the site and briefed by local Kaumātua (1.3 km/ 0.25 hr)
  • Explore the Park and end our Hikoi with a service on the beach
  • Fullers Ferry pick up from Rangihoua Bay and transfer to Paihia. Return bus trip to Vaughan Park

Questions and Answers

All bedding will be provided except at Marae where you will need a sleeping bag or blanket as these are not available (sheets and pillows are provided). Bring a towel.

We will transport luggage between accommodation stops. Bring a day pack to carry water/snacks, raincoat etc.

There is quite a lot of walking on gravel surfaces, also beach and rock sections. Tracks can be very muddy in wet weather, shoes need stiff soles and a good depth of tread.

A moderate level of fitness required. The terrain is quite undulating, particularly Opua to Paihia and through the Waitangi forest. Combining this with over 25 km distance on one day makes it somewhat challenging. We recommend if you are not walking regularly, to train in the weeks leading up to the Hikoi. A suggested training regime for non-walkers for the three weeks before the Hikoi as follows…

Week 1 – 5 km (1 hour) twice a week
Week 2 – 10 km (2 hours) twice a week
Week 3 – 15 km (3 hours) twice a week

Backpacker’s style – shared sleeping areas, a mixture of amenities with shared rooms and separate from sleeping areas.

Sleeping bag/blanket

On each day hike you will need:

  • Sturdy walking shoes or boots, with good socks.

Small backpack with the following:

  • Waterproof raincoat
  • Warm top (polar fleece or similar, not cotton)
  • Sun hat
  • Sunblock
  • Refillable water bottle, at least 750ml
  • Cash/EFTPOS card
  • Plasters, minor first aid items
  • Any medical requirements, e.g. asthma inhalers
  • Snacks/scroggin

We also suggest:

  • Sunglasses
  • Insect repellent
  • Torch
  • Bathers & Towel
  • Camera
  • Pocket Bible

Shorts are best for walking. Jeans are not a good option particularly in wet weather


Whilst Vaughan Park will take all reasonable precautions in the arrangements for the Hikoi, you will be participating at your own risk and will be required to sign a Disclaimer to this effect as a part of registration.

Your question not answered here?

Contact Geoff Harper: 09 634 6188 or 022 306 0767

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