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Address: 5050 Whanganui River Road, Jerusalem 4576, New Zealand
Phone Number:
+64 6-342 8190
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour

St Joseph's Church Hiruhārama/Jerusalem is known as New Zealand's most...

St Joseph's Church Hiruhārama/Jerusalem is known as New Zealand's most photographed church. The first church was destroyed by fire in 1888, so this is the second church building on the site. In 1992 it was given a 'B' rating by the NZ Historic Places Trust. The Sisters of Compassion have been present at Jerusalem since 1883 when Suzanne Aubert established a convent school. They are kaitiaki (guardians) of the church, old convent, and grounds, and have always worked in partnership with the local tangata whenua. The old convent has good facilities for independent (self-catering) groups, including showers and large community rooms. Accommodation is dormitory style, with single beds, a cot and bassinet. There are up to 20 beds. Please bring your own bed linen / sleeping bags. Catering is not provided so please bring your own food. There is a per night charge

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 19 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 13
  • 4
    Very good
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
Tranquil Contemplations

The history of this church and convent is still ongoing as the Sisters of Compassion wait to see if their Foundress becomes a Saint! The wooden church gleams with the care and... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 16 April 2016
Elizabeth D
Maroochydore, Australia
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19 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 18: English reviews
Maroochydore, Australia
Level Contributor
275 reviews
104 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2016

The history of this church and convent is still ongoing as the Sisters of Compassion wait to see if their Foundress becomes a Saint! The wooden church gleams with the care and love that keeps it in pristine condition. Inside there are tradional style Maori weaving and paintings. The floral altar decorations were made from local grasses and plants. The... More 

Thank Elizabeth D
Taupo, New Zealand
Level Contributor
155 reviews
85 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2016

It is so peaceful up here and so quite, I just lovely all the native birds ,the river, all the lovely walk's you can go on and the sister's are lovely..

Thank Merv-Taupo
Manawatu-Wanganui Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2016

A very spiritual place that can't help but impress. A little snapshot in time and a great reminder of how simple life was.

Thank Suzieb827
Level Contributor
47 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 January 2016

This place has amazing history - it has been painted since the current photo - a must stop if you are driving the Whanganui River Road

Thank StratfordHeritage
Bay of Plenty Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
69 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 April 2015

After walking the Matemateaonga track we took the Whanganui Tours shuttle to transport us back to Whanganui. Little did we know that Valerie, our driver, would stop along the way and point out some of the important historical spots along the valley. One of the major attractions was the facilities of the Sisters of Compassion in Jerusalem. We had stopped... More 

2 Thank 8623PaulineS
Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
57 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 April 2015

The sister's lodge, now a museum of sorts and a retreat in the small settlement of Jerusalem is a fascinating trip into some history in this rural environment near the Whanganui River. Along a pathway you come to the historic church which is loving kept and maintained. A must see if you are in the area.

Thank CathyandKen O
New Plymouth, New Zealand
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 March 2015

The buildings are old but it is a credit to the people who look after the buildings and the grounds and gardens. Worth the visit. My feelings are that a lot of tears would have been shed at this place. Possibly much sad history.

Thank Wayne J
Hamilton, New Zealand
Level Contributor
300 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 February 2015

It is very hard to compare a place like this out-of-the-way convent on the magnificent Whanganui River with more commercial or even scenic 'attractions.' This convent screams: "tapu (sacred)," "historical," "iconic," and "contemplative." It is living church with a deep history. I rate it up there with some of the Orthodox monasteries I visited in Romania in 2014. To visit... More 

Thank MykieHamiltonL
Warkworth, New Zealand
Level Contributor
27 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 November 2014

A wonderful place to stay for a retreat or a workshop - as I did. My second visit to the Sisters. Would recommend

1 Thank Glenys W
New Zealand
Level Contributor
204 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 October 2014 via mobile

Also great to spot St Joseph's Church as you make your way along the River Road. The church is wonderful as is the convent, have a look if it is open. There is also a library hub which is full of treasures.

Thank sallysage

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Caloundra, Australia
over a year ago

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?