Kerikeri was the site of New Zealand's second mission, established by Samuel Marsden in 1819 with the unlikely blessing of Hongi Hika, a Maori chief renowned for terrorising North Island tribes. Sitting on the Kerikeri inlet is the iconic Stone Store which is New Zealand's oldest stone building (1833). Alongside is Kemp House which is the country's oldest wooden structure built by John Butler in 1822. Both have been fully restored and invite visitors to explore. Hongi Hika's fortified pa lies across the water and also welcomes visitor. Today Kerikeri is known for its fruit orchards and fine arts and crafts.
Kemp House also known as Kerikeri Mission House is New Zealand's oldest European building. Built by the London-based Church Missionary Society in 1821 to 1822 with the help of local Maori, it was situated under Ngapuhi Pa and was under the protection of the local tribal chief Hongi Hika. The 2 storey Georgian designed building was built primarily from Kauri. You can visit Kemp House on guided tours, highlights include the garden which has been cultivated since 1820 and is in a similar style to the original garden, as well as furnishings and personal wares from the last missionary family to live here, James Kemp and his wife Charlotte, who went on to purchase Kemp House after the missionary closed and ran a Kauri gum business out of the historic Stone Store.
The Stone Store is New Zealand's oldest stone building and was completed in 1836. It was designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by William Parrot an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales. Originally designed to be the base for the missionaries trading post and for storage of their produce, as this wasn't profitable, the store was used for other purposes. These included a brief stint as the missionary library and as the magazine and barracks for Governor George Grey's troops during the first Maori war, it eventually was bought by the Kemp family who used it as a kauri gum trading store, then a general store. Today you can see artefacts and displays of its history, and purchase heritage-related gifts.
A popular style of touring is to take a preplanned self drive road trip. After a thorough consultation with you we expertly plan and create your self drive tour around New Zealand. These tours allow you the freedom to explore at leisure with the comfort and security of pre-booked activities and accommodations. Route suggestions, APP guidance plus local support mean your New Zealand vacation is in safe hands. See self drive ideas here
If you prefer to let someone else do the work then an escorted small group tour might be for you. Our sister company at New Zealanbd Coach has a range of hand picked small group itineraries are ideal if you prefer to travel in the company of like minded people. Tours are limited to a certain number of participants which means different accommodation options, exclusive activities and of course a knowledgeable guide ensures you get to see the best of New Zealand. See small group tours here.
A private guided tour offers true flexibility and the security of a knowledgeable local guiding you all the way. Well planned itineraries ensure you see exactly what you want to see but with your own driver-guide you can adapt to suit the day or your preference. 100% tailor-made to suit you a private tour is a great option when travelling as a small group. All our self drive itineraries can be replanned and priced using a private driver and guide, so if it is what you fancy just contact us to discuss.
All North Island touring ideas - See here to explore the diverse North Island - itinerary suggestions.
All South Island touring ideas - Iconic scenery and landscapes await on this made for touring island. See itinerary suggestions
All Nationwide touring ideas - See the best of New Zealand on these all encompassing touring itinerary ideas