Take a relaxed tour of Kerikeri, a small town rich in history. In the early 1800s it was home to the Māori chief Hongi Hika, who allowed the early European missionaries (led by Reverend Samuel Marsden) to establish a mission station here. Explore the grounds, home to New Zealand’s oldest standing European buildings: the Stone Store and Kerikeri Mission House (Kemp House).
The iconic Stone Store stands at the edge of the Kerikeri inlet, offering a unique shopping experience with an interactive story space upstairs. See how the early settlers lived and learn about the building’s many lives as a trading post, library, barracks, school and general store.
Built in 1822, Kemp House is the country’s oldest surviving building, surrounded by English-style cottage garden and orchards. Hear the story of the first missionary families and see their personal items and furniture preserved over the years.
Reverend Marsden is said to have planted the first grapevines in New Zealand in 1819, and today wine is one of Kerikeri’s primary industries. Visit Ake Ake vineyard, a family-run boutique operation set just outside Kerikeri, and sample their organically-grown wines, which include Chambourcin, Pinot Gris, Syrah, Chardonnay, Tempranillo and Sauvignon Blanc. Tour the vineyard and see how the grapes are grown before tasting their range.
Your tour of Kerikeri concludes with a visit to the Makana Chocolate Factory where you can watch delicious chocolates, truffles, caramels and toffees being made by hand. Taste samples of their wares, all made from high-quality ingredients in small batches, and of course shop for gifts – or just indulge yourself!