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
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.
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.
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.
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.