Dargaville facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Victoria Street in Dargaville (2015)
Heart of the Kauri Coast
Dargaville (Māori: Takiwira) is a town located in the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the bank of the Northern Wairoa River in the Kaipara District of the Northland region. The town is located 55 kilometres southwest of Whangārei.
It is noted for the high proportion of residents of Croatian descent. The area around it is one of the chief regions in the country for cultivating kumara (sweet potato) and so Dargaville is known by many locals as the Kumara Capital of New Zealand.
The town takes its name after timber merchant and politician Joseph Dargaville (1837–1896). Founded during the 19th-century kauri gum and timber trade, it briefly had New Zealand's largest population.
The area became known for a thriving industry that included gum digging and kauri logging, which was based mainly at Te Kopuru, several kilometres south of Dargaville on the banks of the Northern Wairoa river. The river was used to transport the huge logs downstream to shipbuilders and as a primary means of transport to Auckland.
Dargaville also has the longest unbroken stretches of sand beach in New Zealand, and is largely drivable from one end to the other. This beach is home of the famous local shellfish delicacy called the toheroa, which was over-harvested in the 1950s and 1960s causing the population of the shellfish to decline enough that public gathering of the shellfish is now prohibited.
Dargaville is also the gateway to the Waipoua Forest, a protected national park and home of the biggest specimens of Kauri tree in New Zealand, Tane Mahuta (Māori, meaning "Lord of the Forest") being chief amongst them.
Dargaville is situated by the Wairoa River, with boat moorings adjacent to the city center. The river is tidal when it passes through Dargaville.
Köppen-Geiger climate classification system classifies its climate as oceanic (Cfb).
|Climate data for Dargaville|
|Average high °C (°F)||23.6
|Daily mean °C (°F)||18.8
|Average low °C (°F)||13.9
|Precipitation mm (inches)||73
|Source #1: Climate Charts (altitude: 15m)|
|Source #2: Climate-Data.org (altitude: 22m)|
Dargaville is on the junction of State Highways 12 and 14.
North of the town, the Donnellys Crossing Section railway was established to provide access to other logging activities. The first portion of this line was opened in 1889, it reached its greatest extent in 1923, and after operating isolated from the national rail network for decades, it was connected with the North Auckland Line by the Dargaville Branch in 1940. The Donnelly's Crossing Section closed in 1959, but the Dargaville Branch remains in use by a tourist venture, having been closed by KiwiRail since October 2014.
The area around Dargaville is now predominantly a farming region and supports extensive dairy, beef, and sheep farms, as well as a thriving plantation forest industry.
Other attractions are the Kai Iwi lakes some 25 kilometres north of the town, and Pouto Peninsula. Baylys Beach is the local beach, just 13 kilometres from the township, and offers over 90 kilometres of rugged west coast surf.
Dargaville had a population of 4,794 at the 2018 New Zealand census, an increase of 543 people (12.8%) since the 2013 census, and an increase of 339 people (7.6%) since the 2006 census. There were 1,812 households. There were 2,325 males and 2,469 females, giving a sex ratio of 0.94 males per female. Of the total population, 936 people (19.5%) were aged up to 15 years, 840 (17.5%) were 15 to 29, 1,785 (37.2%) were 30 to 64, and 1,233 (25.7%) were 65 or older. Figures may not add up to the total due to rounding.
Ethnicities were 70.7% European/Pākehā, 35.7% Māori, 7.4% Pacific peoples, 4.4% Asian, and 1.4% other ethnicities (totals add to more than 100% since people could identify with multiple ethnicities).
The percentage of people born overseas was 13.3, compared with 27.1% nationally.
Although some people objected to giving their religion, 41.1% had no religion, 43.9% were Christian, and 6.3% had other religions.
Of those at least 15 years old, 282 (7.3%) people had a bachelor or higher degree, and 1,161 (30.1%) people had no formal qualifications. The median income was $22,200. The employment status of those at least 15 was that 1,440 (37.3%) people were employed full-time, 549 (14.2%) were part-time, and 171 (4.4%) were unemployed.
Dargaville High School is a secondary (years 9–13) school with a roll of 480 students. The school opened in 1921, but was destroyed by fire in 1937 and rebuilt the following year. Dargaville Intermediate is an intermediate (years 7–8) school with a roll of 183 students.
Dargaville Primary School and Selwyn Park School are contributing primary (years 1–6) schools with rolls of 335 students and 109 students respectively. Dargaville Primary was established by 1877. In 1879, it had a roll of 16, which grew to 155 in 1899. Selwyn Park celebrates its 50th Jubilee in 2008.
St Joseph's School is a full primary (years 1–8) school with a roll of 70 students. It is a state integrated Catholic school.
All these schools are coeducational. Rolls are as of July 2016.
NorthTec polytechnic also has a campus in Dargaville.
- Amelia Batistich, writer, was born here in 1905
- Joey Carbery, Irish international rugby union player
- Robert Hornblow (1861–1937), the town's mayor from 1919 to 1925
- Dion Nash, New Zealand cricketer, attended Dargaville High School
- Mike Perjanik, musician, record producer and composer
- Winston Peters, New Zealand politician and leader of the New Zealand First party, attended Dargaville High School
- Lana Searle, New Zealand radio & television host, attended Dargaville High School
- Mark Taylor, All Black
- Frank Watkins, World War II RNZAF pilot
- Mark Williams, singer and recording artist
- Brian Froggatt, New Zealand Paralympian athlete and powerlifter
- Richard Hammond, musician, bass player.