Sunday, April 4, 2010

East Cape Church

It was late afternoon when I finally drove into the tiny East Cape settlement of Raukokore. The sun was shifting seaward and the wind was blowing a gale. But I was determined to stop at this cute little historic church - the well known Raukokore Anglican Church that has become something of a landmark on the Cape.

I had seen the church a decade before but had not been able to get inside. Unfortunately that was the case on last year's trip too. It was solidly locked. The church sits on a small elbow of land that juts out into Papatea Bay, just up from the shore on a grassy rise; and if it wasn't for its somewhat remote location, it would probably be one of the most photographed churches in New Zealand. It's just across the road from the Catholic Church, which was once marked by a huge whalebone arch - a relic of the old whaling days, which saw much of this area settled. The whalebone arch is now housed for safe-keeping in Whakatane Museum.

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