Kerikeri, Northland. History & beauty side by side

History and beauty sit side by side in Kerikeri – in New Zealand’s ‘winterless north’.

New Zealand's oldest building
New Zealand’s oldest building

The Stone Store, under the care of the Historic Places Trust, is part of the Kerikeri Mission Station, (1819) and is one of  New Zealand’s oldest buildings. In the group that I was being shown through it,  and the oldest building, Kemp House, (built 1822) one of the English tourists said to her travelling companion: ‘It’s not that old is it?’ ‘They really struggle’ her friend replied, ‘it’s not that long ago.’

As a kiwi of five generations I wanted to retort – “you stupid woman, where do you think you are? This is the newest country to be found and inhabited by you Brits! This newness is just one of our many points of difference to all we  willingly left behind. If you want ‘old’ stay at home you stupid woman.’

Luckily, for my peace of mind,  I kept my mouth shut – no doubt I too have said, or thought, stupid things in other people’s countries too!

Side by side with this European history sits Maori history – the mission was under the protection of one of Northland’s  great Ngapuhi chiefs, Hongi Hika.

All this sits in the beauty of the area: the orchards, wineries and thriving arts community that it is well-known for, and along the Kerikeri River.

On the other side of the river and tidal inlet, is Rewa’s village, a replica Maori fishing village. It’s well worth visiting  this volunteer-run, not-for-profit organisation this  to see the native plant garden and learn the use of  the various plants.

See many other stories about the area on the Northland category – see these photos for other ideas of things to do while staying in the area – from buying fudge or chocolate, check out the kauri products or some ceramics – don’t forget Wharepuke for food and ec0-accommodation and Living Nature for your natural beauty products.

old bridge IMG_8864 livingnature kerikeri kerikeri IMG_8839 kauri workshop IMG_8717 kauri wkshIMG_8718 ceramics kerikeri choc factory fudge IMG_8701 guided tour IMG_8804 info tunaIMG_8843 bird IMG_8849 tuna IMG_8842

New Zealand's oldest building
New Zealand’s oldest building

rewas village IMG_8852 rewa IMG_8853 oldest floors IMG_8819 organ piano IMG_8816 public art kerikeri pukeko IMG_8705

Author: Heather - the kiwi travel writer

Nomadic travel-writer, photographer, author & blogger. See more on and Amazon for my books (heather hapeta)