Looking for things to do in Kerikeri? You’ve come to the right place. As THE Kerikeri backpackers we know all the best things to do in Kerikeri. Read on…
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Kerikeri – gateway of choice to the Bay of Islands and New Zealand’s Far North. Rich in history, and surrounded with an abundance of scenic attractions, there are always plenty of things to do in Kerikeri, one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations.
With a warm sub-tropical climate, attractive shops, delightful restaurants and cafés, high quality wineries and a profusion of art & craft centres, holidaymakers and travellers will find no shortage of things to do in Kerikeri. You can enjoy the many splendours of the Bay of Islands and Far North region from this central location.
Kerikeri's Stone Store (left), Mission Station (centre) & St James Church, 3 easy things to do in Kerikeri.
One of the easiest things to do in Kerikeri is visit the world famous Kerikeri Basin. It’s within easy walking distance of the town centre and is the location of New Zealand’s oldest buildings – the Kerikeri Mission Station and the Stone Store. Alongside these are such other historic sites as Rewa’s village, Kororipo, and St James Church. Exploring these places will take you back to the beginnings of New Zealand’s colonial history.
On the lawn in front of the Kerikeri Mission Station.
St James Church is located on the site said to have been chosen for the building of Kerikeri’s first church by the Maori chief Hongi Hika. It was never built there, but the second chapel, started in 1829, was. It later fell into disrepair and St James Church, which opened in 1878, was built alongside.
If you venture a little further afield, you’ll find Waitangi, with its famous Treaty House, and the adjoining resort town of Paihia – both just a short drive from Kerikeri. At the same time as browsing around Paihia, you might like to take the ferry across to the old port of Russell. There’s a wide range of recreational activities on offer, and like Kerikeri, there’s ample opportunity to savour the history of our earliest colonial years.
A little inland from Kerikeri are the forests of the mighty Kauri – Puketi, Omahuta and Waipoua (home of the legendary Tane Mahuta). Close to these magnificent forests is the isolated Hokianga Harbour, with its sandhills and the fishing village of Opononi visited by the dolphin “Opo” one golden summer nearly half a century ago. Also on the harbour are the little wood built towns of Horeke, Rawene, Kohukohu and Panguru – all treasure houses of the Far North’s historic past.
Also just a short drive from Kerikeri are the country villages of Ohaeawai and Okaihau. At Ngawho Springs, on the road to Kaikohe, are the hot mineral baths known the world over for their medicinal qualities. Twenty minutes north of Kerikeri is the quaint rustic town of Kaeo, site of New Zealand’s earliest Wesleyan Mission Station. And then, under the towering Taratara Rock, lies the beautiful and picturesque Whangaroa Harbour.
These are some of the many unforgettable experiences awaiting travellers to Kerikeri. And how easy is it to get there? Simple. Either take a 35-minute flight from Auckland to Kerikeri’s “Bay of Islands Airport” or choose one of several coaches travelling between Auckland and Kerikeri. Alternatively, drive north from Auckland for three and a half hours up the eastern arm of the Twin Coast Highway. Whichever way you choose, you’ll find a warm welcome awaiting you on your arrival.
Things to do in Kerikeri #1: Visit the Stone Store, oldest stone building in New Zealand.
Here’s a list of things to do in Kerikeri…
- Stone Store – oldest stone building in New Zealand (1832).
- Kemp House – oldest wooden building in New Zealand (1822).
- Rewa’s Village – replica Maori fishing village.
- Discoverers Garden – native plant garden.
- Kororipo Pa – Hongi Hika’s pa overlooking the Stone Store.
- Rainbow Falls – scenic reserve
- Mahoe Farmhouse Cheese – traditionally made, samples, sales.
- Spectrum Glass Studio – stained glass, sandblasting, kiln fired glass.
- Kerikeri Flora – lavender gardens and nursery.
- Keri Macadamia – orchard, processing and sales.
- Rainbow @ Redwoods – garden centre, gifts, florist.
- Art and Craft Market.
- Smiths Gifts and Garden Magic and Watergarden.
- South Pacific Palms – palm and cycad nursery.
- Wharepuke Subtropical Gardens – rare and unusual plants.
- Taraire Water Gardens – native bush world.
- Bug Rock Springs Trail Rides.
- The Parrot Place – parrots from around the world.
- Rangemore Llama Farm – farm tours.
- Kerikeri Golf Club – all-weather golf course.
- Kerikeri Tennis Club – floodlit, Astroturf.
- Heliops – heli-fishing, scenic flights over the bay.
- Northern Bays Kayaking.
- BOI Cruising “Grandma” – day or overnight, 50 ft yacht.
- Fullers Bat of Islands – world famous tours and cruises.
- Sailing – Whangaroa on “Snowcloud”.
- Art Upstairs – working studio and gallery.
- Fibres Studio – Pacific style clothing, furnishings, tapas.
- Homestead Pottery – hand thrown, decorated stoneware.
- Art @ 113 – exhibitions, tuition, working gallery.
- Origin Art and Craft Co-op.
- Kerikeri Club – bridge, snooker, pool, darts, bar.
- BOI Icecream Co – 100% natural, 50 gourmet flavours.
- Bishopswood Estate – boutique distillery.
- Makana Confections – the ultimate chocolate experience & free samples.
- Living Nature – NZ natural skincare factory, gift shop and clinic.
- Marsden Estate Vineyard Restaurant.