Historical cemeteries


Within the Whangārei District, there are cemeteries which are no longer open for burials but have a historical significance.

Kioreroa Cemetery is the final resting place of over 800 of Whangārei's early European settlers. The cemetery is located on State Highway 1, Raumanga, directly opposite Tauroa St.

Closed in 1946, a memorial was unveiled in October 2009 listing the names of those buried here.

Kioreroa Cemetery Plan(PDF, 2MB)


Kioreroa is one of the oldest cemeteries in the Whangārei District. Opened in 1882 and closed in 1946, the cemetery is the last resting place of over 800 of Whangarei's earliest European residents.

In 1961, the council of the time applied for an Act of Parliament to remove the headstones for easier maintenance, which was granted on condition that trees were cleared, lawns were sown and a memorial erected recording the names of those buried in the cemetery.

This was not carried out and the site remained neglected. In 2007, Council allocated funds for the improvement of the site and installation of a memorial.

The memorial was unveiled in October 2009 and additional names and corrections were added to the memorial in 2014.

Mission Ground Cemetery is located at the end of Selwyn Ave, adjacent to the entrance of Whangarei Craft Quarry.


Although inter-denominational, the site was named the Mission Ground Cemetery as it was originally established by the Melanesian Missionary Society before falling under the jurisdiction of the Whangarei Borough Council.

Sadly, the cemetery fell into neglect after burials stopped in 1940.

In the years that followed the headstones were removed and cemented to the concrete strip which can still be seen alongside the footpath. This solution was not popular and the site became known as Tombstone Alley.

Later, the headstones were completely removed and many were buried at the Kioreroa Cemetery. 

The cemetery today

In 2011, a memorial was unveiled by members of the Whangarei community.

Coinciding with the memorial, a book was also launched called 'In Memoriam, Mission Ground Cemetery 1840-2010'.

Compiled and edited by Joan Leversedge, and designed by Whangarei District Council, the book is a collection of stories about the lives of those known to be buried at the Mission Ground cemetery. 

You can contact her at joan.leversedge@xtra.co.nz to organise a copy of the book.

As part of our Historic Cemetery Programme, the site has recently had a bollard fence, trees planted and signage installed.

The historic Ngunguru Cemetery is located in Tongatu Road, Ngunguru. This cemetery can only be accessed by foot at low-tide from Tongatu Road beach.

This cemetery was vested to the Whangārei Borough Council in 1955 and closed in 1981.

Know more about this site?

We want to hear from you.  We are currently working on a management plan to make improvements to this cemetery. If you have a personal connection with this cemetery or any information about the history of the site then please get in touch with us.

Whananaki Cemetery is located off Pukekawa Road, Whananaki South on the Pitokuku Point.

The cemetery was closed and vested to Council in 1970.   

In recent years we have carried out preservation work including new signage, removal of several large pine trees, and clearly marking burial plots and the boundary.

Whananaki Cemetery Map(PDF, 135KB)


Whangārei Heads Cemetery is located in Munro Bay and can be accessed at low-tide by boat or by foot from the northern-end of McLeod Bay.

Many of the early pioneers to the area were buried here, from 1864 to 1956 and the cemetery contains many beautiful old gravestones.

The cemetery was vested to Council in August 1968.