Activities to do and things to see in and around Kerikeri, Bay of Islands, New Zealand
Famous for growing fruit and vegetables, the road leading into Kerikeri is bordered by orchards. It is about 3 hours drive north of Auckland, surrounded by fertile farmland and has some of the most historic buildings in the country.
It was here that the first permanent mission station in New Zealand was established (1822), it is now the oldest wooden structure still standing in New Zealand and still contains some original fittings and chattels.
The Stone Store
The Stone Store, a former storehouse, is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, construction having begun on 19 April 1832. Its full of the type of goods that used to be bartered in the store, including muskets and blankets, as well as diaries and other missionary relics.
Though this building is the oldest recorded building in New Zealand, the Blacksmith's Cottage next to the Pear Tree Restaurant was built before this, as contruction work for the Stone Store was done here.
A mock up of pre-European Maori village.
Walking / Tramping
Just up behind the Stone Store is a marked historical walk, which takes about ten minutes and leads to Kororipo Pa, the fortress of the famous Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika. The walk emerges near the St James Anglican Church.
Across the river is a scenic reserve with several marked tracks. The 4km Kerkeri walkway leads to the 27m Rainboz Falls, passing by Wharepoke Falls and the Fairy Pools.
The Māori name for these falls on the Kerikeri River is Waianiwaniwa which means Waters of the Rainbow. You can also reach the Rainbow Falls from Waipapa Rd. (and a ten minute walk).
The Bay Of Islands has been renowned for its game fishing since being popularised by the American author Zane Grey in the 1930s.
Arts and Crafts
There are dozens of arts and crafts enterprises in the Kerikeri area and the Art and Craft Trail has become well known to tourists. This involves a visit to about 20 arts and crafts outlets in the area.
The Bay of Islands is a very beautiful and popular sailing destination. There are 144 islands to explore and many operators providing all sorts of sailing adventures, mainly departing from Paihia and Russell.