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Waipu

Waipu is a small town in Bream Bay, in the Northland Region of New Zealand, with a Scottish heritage. The population was 1,491 in the 2006 Census, an increase of 222 from 2001. A highlight of the town's calendar is the annual Highland Games held at New Year. Just outside the town are the Waipu Caves, which contain a significant population of glow worms. This cave system represents the largest commercialised cave on the North Island.HistoryWaipu was the centre of a significant Presbyterian settlement led by Rev. Norman McLeod, a Presbyterian Minister who led his people from the Highlands of Scotland to New Zealand via Pictou and St. Ann's in Nova Scotia and Australia. Five shiploads containing over 800 settlers arrived at Waipu in the 1850s. For more details about the original European settlers, see the Rev. Norman McLeod entry.Waipu BranchIn 1914, a railway branch line from the North Auckland Line was surveyed to Waipu to serve agricultural activity in the area. Construction of the line was delayed due to World War I, but by 1920, 25 men were employed in the construction of formation. However, by 1924, private motor vehicles were becoming more common and railway lines to sparsely-populated rural areas accordingly became less necessary. Due to the lack of significant industrial activity in the Waipu area, the branch line was no longer seen as economic and construction was cancelled before any rail tracks were laid. However, a new railway line, the Marsden Point Branch, is currently proposed for construction and will follow a route similar to that of the abortive Waipu line.
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