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