Top 3 Places to Eat in Kerikeri

Kerikeri is a tiny town where you can experience the rich mixed history of New Zealand all in one place. Even better, it’s a place where you can taste and experience the food in Kerikeri.

Top 3 places to eat in Kerikeri

Food at Wharepuke

Food at Wharepuke was created in 2008, when a family discovered the sub-tropical gardens in Kerikeri. They turned an old army barracks into a restaurant and cafe, and the surrounding gardens into a food source. This restaurant serves a fascinating mix of Thai and European cuisine, with local vegetables and meat as the main ingredients in a delicious cultural blend.

We recommend an appetizer of bread with homemade lavash, and a main course of pork belly with soy ginger dressing.

Ake Ake Vineyard & Restaurant

For a taste of the culture and livelihood on Kerikeri, search for the Ake Ake Vineyard & Restaurant. The vineyard grew out of a few grape vines planted on the block in front of what would eventually become the restaurant. The restaurant is bistro-style, and diners enjoy locally made and grown food on an outdoor eating deck. The bistro serves food according to season, perfectly matching each dish to the wine. The vineyard grows its own vegetables and meat sources.

The Black Olive Restaurant

The Black Olive Restaurant prides itself on its pizza blended with Northland style cooking. You can eat on an outdoor deck, within an indoor dining area, inside an outdoor garden, and let your kids at the children’s playground. Their specialty is pizza, of course, and you can choose from pizza bread (garlic, olive, herb) to the more culturally traditional styles (fungi, kiwi, kaimoana), to the more familiar tastes (pepperoni, vegetarian, black olive special).

Eat Well in Kerikeri

This small town offers more than enough to please your traveling palette. Enjoy the relaxed, clean atmosphere of the town and top off the experience with good food.

This entry was tagged .

Top Travel Tourist Attractions in Kerikeri

Kerikeri is a subtropical town in the Northland of New Zealand. As a small town, it has all the blends of its mixed history very close to one another. With a fascinating twist, the elements of Kerikeri history reflect the elements of New Zealand history as a whole and the changes that happened within the different stages of this nation’s growth. Take a trip to the top travel tourist attractions in Kerikeri, and appreciate the way each part belongs to and defines a part of Kerikeri and New Zealand history.

Top Travel Tourist Attractions in Kerikeri

Mission House

The Kerikeri Mission House is simply built and wooden, constructed from 1821 to 1822 by European missionaries (Church Missionary Society from London) and Maori carpenters. This was done under the protection of Hongi Hika, a Maori tribal leader. The Mission House is a symbol of the early European arrival and the impact they had, even though the station closed down in 1848. It has been carefully renovated to preserve this part of Kerikeri history.

mission house kerikeri

Stone Store

What they call the “Stone Store” is the oldest of Kerikeri’s stone buildings that is still standing today. From 1832 to 1836, it was used as the storehouse of the mission house that was constructed around the same time. Despite the closing down of the mission house, it kept its original purpose as a shop in both private and public hands. Visit the Stone Store for a feel of the new, more permanent housing and building that affected the traditional Maori land.

the stone store kerikeri

Aroha Island Ecological Center

If your interest is the Kerikeri wildlife, the Aroha Island Ecological Center is the place to go. It is a full 12 hectares of sanctuary, with a large cross-section of New Zealand animals and birds within it. If you take the 12-kilometer trip there, you can take long walks on the shore or in the bush, or sit watching the birds. If you’re lucky, you might even see the North Island Brown Kiwi, a shy and ebird. It’s the perfect natural rest stop and learning environment.

Rewa’s Village

The Stone Store and Mission House may be old, but the Maori tribes are older. Rewa’s Village shows a perfect replica of what a Maori tribe would have looked like before the Europeans arrived. It showcases hundred-year-old trees, the strong grass houses they lived in, the bright and intricate patterns of the tribal designs. You can walk around, learning and appreciating the culture and beauty of Kerikeri history, and how it changed and grew to be the Kerikeri you see today.

Kerikeri: A Town of History and Natural Beauty

Kerikeri is not a traditional tourist spot, where you shuttle from point to point. As you visit each of the top travel tourist attractions in Kerikeri, take your time. Ask questions about their history, about how the original inhabitants lived life, how life changed when the Europeans came. Ask about their myths and legends. When in Kerikeri, enjoy the way history and the present are so intimately connected in this subtropical town.

What Wikipedia has to Say About Kerikeri in Regards to Tourism

Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia that show how important tourism is to Kerikeri, New Zealand.

Kerikeri, the largest town in Northland New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 km north of the northern region’s largest city, Whangarei. It is often called 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 the country.

The local Kerikeri slogan is “It’s So Nice They Named It Twice”. In the early 1980s, an anonymous backpacker wrote those words in the Visitors’ Bok at the Kerikeri Youth Hostel. It was brought to the attention of the then editor of the local newspaper, the Kerikeri Chronicle, who gave it publicity, and it quickly became adopted as a quasi-official slogan. Kerikeri is a former winner of the “New Zealand’s Top Small Town” title bestowed annually by North and South magazine, and this has since been the main focus of most tourism marketing of the town.

Historic Sites in Kerikeri

Mission House, Kerikeri

Originally called the Mission House, and then for more than 100 years Kemp House, but now again called Mission House, this is the oldest wooden structure still standing in New Zealand. A much visited and photographed building, it is administered along with the Stone Store (see below) by Heritage New Zealand.
It was built by the Church Missionary Society for the Rev John Butler (New Zealand’s first clergyman) who became the first occupant in 1822, but only for a short while. There was a succession of occupants until 1832 when the mission blacksmith James Kemp and his wife Charlotte moved in with their family.
The Kemps acquired ownership of the house and surrounding land in 1859 by trading land they owned at nearby Kororipo Point. From then on the Mission House became Kemp House and it remained in the Kemp family until 1976 when it was given to the Nation by Ernest Kemp, a great grandson of the missionary James Kemp and Charlotte Kemp.

mission house kerikeri

St. James Church

St James’, the wooden church on the hill above the Stone Store, is the third built in the area, and second on this picturesque site overlooking the basin. The missionaries’ first little combined chapel and school was built near the water and dedicated on 19 April 1824. It was replaced in 1829 when a 38 ft by 18 ft (11.5 × 5.5 metre) lath and plaster structure was erected on the present site of St James. It came complete with a town clock which was later incorporated in the Stone Store.
The new and slightly larger St James, built of weatherboard and battens, was dedicated in 1878. It was another 85 years before the church was extended to its present-day size to cater for a growing congregation (1963). In 1968 a damaging tornado hit Kerikeri with enough force to skew St James’ off line. Services had to be held elsewhere until a major repair and restoration was completed. The church bell came from HMNZS Black Prince, a light cruiser which had served with the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The Stone Store

The Stone Store, a former storehouse, is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, construction having begun on 19 April 1832. The keystone above the door bearing the date 1833 is thought to have been carved by the stonemason William Parrott who cut the Sydney sandstone in situ, but construction of the building was not actually completed until mid-1836.
Stone was used because the missionaries needed a vermin-free, fireproof area for their supplies and provisions, and for improved security from inquisitive Māori. There was a plan to build a mill where the bridge exists now, and to protect the flour produced from locally grown wheat in the store. But the mill never eventuated, and the millstones brought out from England went inland to Waimate North instead.
Curiously enough, when work started on the building, Māori were already moving out of the district, and when it was finally completed there were very few Māori remaining at Kerikeri. Furthermore, there were rumblings within the missionary community that Kerikeri was becoming the backwater of missionary activity, eliminating the need to store goods and provisions there. It was considered a folly at the time, but one that blesses Kerikeri today.
Over the years, the Stone Store suffered the cumulative effects of adjacent traffic movements and the ravages of normal wear and tear. Costly remedial work was required and in the 21st century a bypass was constructed and opened on 23 June 2008, to divert traffic and protect the building for posterity. The old stone store bridge was completely removed in the second half of 2008. The reasons for removal of the original bridge are controversial, and there was a groundswell of protest from a number of local residents. The bridge was removed regardless and the debate over whether this was the correct course of action has yet to be resolved in the minds of many residents. The building has been restored to its original state, but does not include the tower on the roof containing the clock removed from the chapel further up the hill, which was removed as a safety measure a long time ago.

the stone store kerikeri

Rewa’s Village

Rewa’s Village was constructed opposite the Stone Store in 1969 as a community effort to faithfully recreate a kainga (unfortified village) which existed when Europeans arrived in New Zealand.
It was named after Ngāpuhi chief Rewa (also known as Maanu), who was one of three chiefly brothers originally belonging to the Ngai Tawake hapu; the other two brothers being; Te Wharerahi and Moka ‘Kainga-mataa’ who used to live here in the 1820s-1830s.
Kainga were sited close to fresh water and local fishing waters or gardens, and sometimes near fortified pā such as Kororipo which was just over the water.
Rewa’s Village has all the features of a true kainga, including a marae area, chief’s whare (house), kauta (cooking shelter), whata (bench where food was placed), tall whata, weapons store, pataka (raised food store), enclosure for the tohunga (a wise person who advised the community on just about everything), rahui (a post marking tapu or out of bounds limits), whare made of bark, waka tiwai (fishing canoe), bird snare, hangi pit (ground oven), genuine historic canoes, family enclosure, rua (storage area ) for kumara (sweet potato) and a paepae haumati (the basic toilet system which was flushed twice daily by the tide) .