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Kamo, New Zealand facts for kids

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Local authority Whangarei
Population 7,038 (2013)
North Kauri
East Tikipunga
Southeast Otangarei
South Whau Valley

Kamo is a small township north of Whangarei, approximately five minutes drive from the Whangarei CBD. The name is a Māori word meaning "eyelash", but has also been said to mean "to bubble up", referring to hot springs in the area. Mount Parakiore is a volcanic dome rising 391 m to the northwest of the town. It is about one million years old, and part of the Harbour Fault which also includes Mount Hikurangi near Hikurangi, and Parahaki in Whangarei.

The population was 7,038 in the 2013 Census.


Coal mining was an early industry in the area. Tunnelling first started in 1875, but it was not practical to carry the coal over the unmetalled roads to Whangarei wharf. In 1882 a short railway line was completed between Kamo and Whangarei to carry the coal. This was one of Northland's first railways. The railway still exists as part of the North Auckland Line. The mine closed in 1955, with the seams worked out. Limonite was also quarried at Kamo.

A Wesleyan church was built in 1881, the Anglican All Saints Church in 1886, and a Presbyterian church in 1911. The first Roman Catholic church in the Whangarei area opened in Kamo about 1881.

Kamo became a Town District in 1884, at which point it had a population of 410, slightly smaller than Whangarei.

The town was known for its hot springs in the early 20th century, although several people died of suffocation in covered baths between 1901 and 1920. The iron-rich water was promoted as a health tonic.

In the early 1960s the boundaries of Whangarei city expanded to include Kamo.

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