Destination view


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

Kemp House

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.

Stone Store

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.

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