(Pop 4878) is the largest town in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of
New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north
of Auckland, and 80 km north of Whangarei.
It is often described as the Cradle Of The Nation, being the site of the
first permanent mission station in the country and it has some of the most
historic buildings in New Zealand.
A rapidly expanding centre of sub-tropical and allied horticulture, Kerikeri
lies at the western extremity of the Kerikeri Inlet, a north western arm of
the Bay of Islands, where fresh water of the Kerikeri River enters the salty
Kerikeri has a long, colourful history. The region’s oldest historic site is
Koropiro Pa, but Kerikeri is also
home to two precious colonial buildings.
Kemp House (the Kerikeri Mission Station), New Zealand’s oldest
standing European building, was built in 1821 to house the Reverend John
Butler. It contains a fascinating collection of furniture and household
items owned by the succession of missionary families who lived there.
Right next door is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, the
Stone Store, originally constructed
to hold mission supplies but used mainly as a Kauri gum trading post. It
still operates as a retail store, though now it sells ‘Kiwiana’ products. A
trip to nearby Rewa’s Village will
reveal a mock-up of a pre-European Maori village.
Kerikeri has a thriving retail economy with two large supermarkets and many
small retailers and a range of cafes and restaurants offering foods from
around the world.
Kerikeri was the first place
in New Zealand where grape vines were planted and the plough was first used
in New Zealand at Kerikeri, by Rev. J. G. Butler in 1820.
Kerikeri is served by regular daily various
bus and coach services to and from
Auckland, Kaitaia, Paihia and Whangarei and by Air New Zealand Link with
regular daily air services from Auckland.
There are no passenger train services from Kerikeri to Paihia, Kaitaia,
Whangarei or Auckland.