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Turakina is a rural New Zealand village steeped in history. The area was home to Ngati Apa and the first Eurpoean settlers were predominantly Scottish. At one time the village was called Leithbridge and had its own town board.
Many of the original European buildings have now gone from the village but several early cottages, the old coachouse and 2 lovely old churches remain. On the road to Koitiata is the Tini Wiatara marae. The first children’s health camp in New Zealand was on the Leithbridge farm on the Turakina Valley Road.
Turakina village is only one part of this diverse area. The Turakina Valley, Koitiata (Turakina Beach) and the Ratana Paa settlement are all close by.
The village is home to the oldest Highland Games in New Zealand which began in 1864 and which is still staged on the last Saturday in January each year.
The area around Turakina is a predominantly farming area with many farms still in the hands of the original families. Other local businesses serve these farming communities.
Turakina is 10 minutes from Marton and 15 minutes from Wanganui city or 35 minutes from Palmerston North.
Turakina has an active tennis club, great primary school,Playcentre, a CWI group, the Turakina Caledonian Society, Koitiata Volunteer Fire Brigade to mention just a few.
Highlights & Attractions
- Service station, pubs, cafes, Scottish shop, antique shop.
- Nearby beach
- Bush walks off of the valley road
- Camping ground at Koitiata
- Two picturesque churches
- Annual Highland Games and other Scottish activites run by the Turakina Caledonian Society