Welcome to Kerikeri

Kerikeri is an idyllic town in New Zealand’s ‘winterless north’. Kerikeri is a ‘must visit’ town during your travels, full of charm, character and friendly locals with its central Northland location, you will find it easy to fill your plans for a day, a week or a month.

Either take a 40 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 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.

Kerikeri, in the Bay of Islands is a wonderful part of the world a place of historical significance, and an escape from it all with a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Where Maori met missionaries and history changed forever.

As visitors and travellers you will enjoy the vibrant town of Kerikeri, one of New Zealand’s top visitor destinations. Kerikeri is a gateway of choice to the Bay of Islands, which boasts 144 subtropical Islands accessible from Paihia. Has a strong community atmosphere with excellent Public and Private Schools and a diverse range of products and services and is home to many of New Zealand’s successful Businesses, Artists, Horticulturalists and Sports people, as well as home to local and international casual workers who pick and pack the fruit, all drawn to a more relaxed lifestyle and our warmer climate.

Kerikeri is a beautiful, vibrant and progressive town and with it’s rich history is known as the “Cradle of the Nation” having the country’s oldest wooden building – Kemp House 1821 and the oldest stone building – Stone Store 1832. With two of the country’s oldest surviving buildings situated in a riverside setting, with walks and cafes, this is ‘must do’ for anyone.

With a warm sub-tropical climate there is something here for everyone with much to offer in outdoor activities, forests, coastal walks, championship all weather golf courses, lakes, waterfalls, maritime playground, beaches, fishing, diving, yachting, great experiences waiting to happen along with attractive shops, delightful restaurants and cafes, high quality award winning wineries, a collection of art and craft centre’s, a marina, a civic centre, a picture theatre and surrounded with an abundance of scenic attractions.

With an increased interest in tourism to the Bay of Islands, Kerikeri has established motels, chalets, lodges, bed and breakfasts, home-stays, back-packer hostels, camping and holiday parks, some introducing sophisticated, relaxed hosting and resort style well-being centre’s to pamper guests, all awaiting your arrival to our unique Kerikeri.

Kerikeri, 1945

History - Powerful & Engaging

Kerikeri has been a part of the European history of New Zealand from the beginning. The first European to visit the area was Captain Cook, who named the region the Bay of Islands in 1769. Until the founding of Auckland and Wellington, the Bay of Islands was the centre of European activity in New Zealand.

Samuel Marsden after meeting Te Pahi, the paramount chief of the Ngati Rehia of Kerikeri, who was one of the earliest Maori to start trading with the early Europeans, went back to the Church Missionary Society in London and a decision was made to set up a mission in New Zealand. Marsden and accompaniments arrived back in the Bay of Islands on 23 December 1814 and anchored just outside the Kerikeri Inlet. Here Marsden held NZ’s first church service on Christmas Day. Today you can visit Marsden’s Cross which was set up to commemorate the event.

Kerikeri Mission was founded by the Church Missionary Society in 1819 under the protection of Ngapuhi Chief, Hongi Hika and overseen by Kororipo Pa, Hongi’s stronghold. The terraced pa site, Kororipo, which overlooks and shelters the Kerikeri basin, was once a stockaded fortress, but not in European times. When the missionaries lived here in the early 1820’s, it was the site of an unfortified village where some of Hongi Hika and Rewa’s people lived. The Church Missionary Society bought 13,000 acres thereabouts from Hongi Hika and Rewa in 1831. This is the land on which Kerikeri stands today.