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Encyclopedia > Kerikeri
The Kerikeri Mission Station, with the Stone Store at left, St James at rear, and Mission House on the right

Kerikeri, the largest town in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand, is a popular tourist destination about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 80 kilometres north of Whangarei. It is often described as the Cradle Of The Nation, being the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and it has some of the most historic buildings in the country. Historic Kerikeri buildings -- Stone Store, St James, and Kemp House. ... Historic Kerikeri buildings -- Stone Store, St James, and Kemp House. ... Russell, Bay of Islands Kerikeri, Bay of Islands Location of the Bay of Islands The Bay of Islands is an area in the Northland region of the North Island of New Zealand. ... North Island The North Island is one of the two main islands of New Zealand, the other being the South Island. ... Auckland, in the North Island of New Zealand, is the largest urban area in New Zealand. ... Whangarei (the initial consonant is pronounced F as in fa-nga-ray) is the northernmost city in New Zealand and the regional capital of Northland Region. ... A Mission station is a location for missionary work. ...

A rapidly expanding centre of sub-tropical and allied horticulture, Kerikeri lies at the western extremity of the Kerikeri Inlet, a northwestern arm of the Bay of Islands, where fresh water of the Kerikeri River enters the salty Pacific Ocean. Kerikeri (airport) is located at 35°16′S, 173°55′E . According to the 2001 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings, the resident population was 5,016, an increase of 15.9% since the 1996 census. Provisonal results from the 2006 census indicate that the population is still growing with an increase to 5,930 [1]. Concern has been expressed that this article or section is missing information about: horticulture as used in anthropology, a label for agriculture as used in small-scale societies. ... The Kerikeri River rises in the Puketi Forest inland from Kerikeri and flows into the western extremity of the Bay Of Islands in northern New Zealand. ... The New Zealand government Department Statistics New Zealand conducts a census of population and dwellings every five years. ...

It is a far cry from the village established by New Zealand's pioneering missionaries. They called it Gloucestertown, or Gloucester Town, but neither name endured. The Māori word Kerikeri is correctly pronounced almost as Keddi Keddi, or even Kiddee Kiddee, but the town's name is generally pronounced Kerry Kerry. Māori or Te Reo Māori, commonly shortened to Te Reo (literally the language) is an official language of New Zealand. ...


Origins and naming

Where the name Kerikeri originated is not exactly known, and there have been many conflicting definitions given over the years. It is likely Kerikeri derives its name from the river and in fact, after visiting the area in 1815, John Nicholson wrote "the river that discharged itself into the cove was called by the natives Tecaddiecaddie....". But where did the river get its name? April 5-12: Mount Tambora explodes, changing climate. ...

The definition of the word Kerikeri most widely known by pākehā (New Zealanders of European descent) is 'dig dig', or 'to keep digging'. It is known that Māori had extensive gardens in the area when Europeans arrived. Pākehā is a term generally used to describe New Zealanders of Anglo/European extraction, but some Māori may use it to refer to any non-Māori person. ... Languages Māori, English Religions Māori religion, Christianity Related ethnic groups other Polynesian peoples, Austronesian peoples The word Māori refers to the indigenous people of New Zealand and their language. ...

Another definition derives from Kerikeri te ana wai - "the churning or boiling over of the waters". That would have aptly described the freshwater river tumbling into the salt water over the falls which were then higher (being blasted early in the 1900s to accommodate a bridge). However, some Māori say it derives from hukerikeri which means "bubbling up", and there is a sad reasoning behind this. Hongi Hika, a famous or infamous chief depending on whether one fought with or against him, is reputed to have fathered the child of a captured slave at Kororipo Pā. As this was unacceptable to the tribe, the baby was placed in the water to drown but persistently rose to the surface, hence the "bubbling up". // First flight by the Wright brothers, December 17, 1903. ... Hongi Hika (1772?–1828) was a New Zealand Maori rangatira (chief) and war leader of the Ngapuhi iwi (tribe). ...

What are now called Wharepuke Falls, upriver from the Stone Store Basin, were called the Kerikeri Falls until the 1930s when given the name Wharepoke which referred to the large adjacent area of native bush. A French doctor, Messier Lesson, visited Kerikeri in 1824 and wrote that among stomach ailments suffered by Māori was "gravelle" (gravel) which they called Kiddee Kiddee. He said it was also the word for a cascade of water. Temperate rainforest on Northern Slopes of the Alborz mountain ranges, Iran A dense growth of softwoods (a conifer forest) in the Sierra Nevada Range of Northern California A decidous broadleaf (Beech) forest in Slovenia. ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ...

To cloud the issue there have been some persistent claims that the falls referred to by the missionaries as "The Kiddikiddi" were what we now call the Rainbow Falls. That is impossible because although Nicholson visited and referred to Tecaddiecaddie in 1815 it was not until 1822 that the Rainbow Falls were "discovered" by the missionaries Francis Hall and James Kemp. 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ...

Tourist slogan

The local Kerikeri slogan is "It's So Nice They Named It Twice". In the early 1980s, an anonymous backpacker wrote those words in the Visitors' Book at the Kerikeri Youth Hostel. It was brought to the attention of the then editor of the local newspaper, the Kerikeri Chronicle, who gave it publicity, and it quickly became adopted as a quasi-official slogan. In December 2000, North and South Magazine voted Kerikeri as "New Zealand's Top Small Town'. This has since been the main focus of most tourism marketing. The 1980s refers to the years of and between 1980 and 1989. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

Historic sites

Mission House

Mission House, Kerikeri

Originally called the Mission House, and then for more than 100 years Kemp House, but now again called Mission House, this is the oldest wooden structure still standing in New Zealand. A much visited and photographed building, it is administered along with the Stone Store (see below) by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 340 KB) Summary Kemp House, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 340 KB) Summary Kemp House, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... Mission House The Mission House at Kerikeri in New Zealand was completed in 1822 as part of the Kerikeri Mission Station by the Church Missionary Society, and is New Zealand’s oldest surviving building. ... The Historic Places Trust is a non-profit trust which advocates for the protection of heritage buildings in New Zealand. ...

It was built by the Church Missionary Society for the Rev John Butler (New Zealand's first clergyman) who became the first occupant in 1822, but only for a short while. There was a succession of occupants until 1832 when the mission blacksmith James Kemp and his wife Charlotte moved in with their family. The Church Mission Society (formerly the Church Missionary Society) is a voluntary society working with the Anglican Church and other Protestant Christians around the world. ... 1822 (MDCCCXXII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... 1832 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ...

The Kemps acquired ownership of the house and surrounding land in 1859 by trading land they owned at nearby Kororipo Point. From then on the Mission House became Kemp House and it remained in the Kemp family until 1976 when it was gifted to the Nation by Ernest Kemp, a great grandson of the missionary James Kemp and Charlotte Kemp. 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... 1976 (MCMLXXVI) was a leap year starting on Thursday. ...

St. James Church

St James', the wooden church on the hill above the Stone Store, is the third built in the area, and second on this picturesque site overlooking the basin. The missionaries' first little combined chapel and school was built near the water and dedicated on April 19, 1824. It was replaced in 1829 when a 38ft by 18ft (11.5 x 5.5 metre) lath and plaster structure was erected on the present site of St James. It came complete with a town clock which was later incorporated in the Stone Store. April 19 is the 109th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (110th in leap years). ... 1824 was a leap year starting on Thursday (see link for calendar). ... Lath seen from the back with brown coat oozing through Lath and plaster is a building process used mainly for interior walls in the United States until the late 1950s. ...

The new and slightly larger St James, built of weatherboard and battens, was dedicated in 1878. It was another 85 years before the church was extended to its present day size to cater for a growing congregation (1963). In 1968 a damaging tornado hit Kerikeri with enough force to skew St James' off line. Services had to be held elsewhere until a major repair and restoration was completed. The church bell came from HMNZS Black Prince, a light cruiser which served the Royal New Zealand Navy with distinction until it was decommissioned in 1960. In British usage, weatherboarding is the cladding or ‘siding’ of a house consisting of long thin boards that overlap one another horizontally on the outside of the wall. ... 1878 (MDCCCLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... 1968 (MCMLXVIII) was a leap year starting on Monday. ... Five ships of the British Royal Navy have been named HMS Black Prince, after Edward, the Black Prince (1330-1376), the eldest son of King Edward III of England. ... HMNZS Te Mana The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) is the navy of New Zealand. ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ...

Stone Store

The Stone Store, Kerikeri

The Stone Store, a former storehouse, is the oldest stone building in New Zealand, construction having begun on 19 April 1832. The keystone above the door bearing the date 1833 is thought to have been carved by the stonemason William Parrott who cut the Sydney sandstone in situ, but construction of the building was not actually completed until mid-1836. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (642x809, 355 KB) Summary The Stone Store, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (642x809, 355 KB) Summary The Stone Store, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... Kerikeri is a popular tourist destination in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand, about three hours drive north of Auckland, and 60 kilometres north of Whangarei. ... April 19 is the 109th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (110th in leap years). ... 1832 was a leap year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... 1833 was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... The Sydney Opera House on Sydney Harbour Sydney (pronounced ) is the most populous city in Australia, with a metropolitan area population of over 4,200,000 people, and 151,920, in the city limits. ... Red sandstone interior of Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona, worn smooth due to erosion by flash flooding over millions of years Sandstone is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of sand-size mineral or rock grains. ...

Stone was used because the missionaries needed a vermin-free, fireproof area for their supplies and provisions, and for improved security from inquisitive Māori. There was a plan to build a mill where the bridge exists now, and to protect the flour produced from locally grown wheat in the store. But the mill never eventuated, and the millstones brought out from England went inland to Waimate North instead.

Curiously enough, when work started on the building, Māori were already moving out of the district, and when it was finally completed there were very few Māori remaining at Kerikeri. Furthermore, there were rumblings within the missionary community that Kerikeri was becoming the backwater of missionary activity, eliminating the need to store goods and provisions there. It was considered a folly at the time, but one that blesses Kerikeri today.

Over the years, the Stone Store suffered the cumulative effects of adjacent traffic movements and the ravages of normal wear and tear. Costly remedial work was required and in the 21st century a bypass is being constructed to divert traffic and protect the building for posterity. The building has been restored to its original state, but does not include the tower on the roof containing the clock removed from the chapel further up the hill which was removed as a safety measure a long time ago.

Rewa's Village

Dwelling, Rewa's Village, Kerikeri
Dwelling, Rewa's Village, Kerikeri

Rewa's Village was constructed opposite the Stone Store in 1969 as a community effort to faithfully recreate a kainga (fishing village) which existed when Europeans arrived in New Zealand. Kainga were sited close to fresh water and local fishing waters or gardens, and sometimes near fortified pā such as Kororipo which was just over the water. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 330 KB) Summary Dwelling, Rewas Village, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 330 KB) Summary Dwelling, Rewas Village, Kerikeri (16 January 2005. ... For the Stargate SG-1 episode, see 1969 (Stargate SG-1). ... A pā or pa (pronounced pah) was a type of Māori village or community fortified and built for defence. ...

Rewa's Village has all the features of a true kainga, including a marae area, chief's whare (house), kauta (cooking shelter), whata (bench where food was placed), tall whata, weapons store, pataka (raised food store), enclosure for the tohunga (a wise person who advised the community on just about everything), rahui (a post marking tapu or out of bounds limits), whare made of bark, waka tiwai (fishing canoe), bird snare, hangi pit (ground oven), genuine historic canoes, family enclosure, rua (storage area ) for kumara (sweet potato) and a paepae haumati (the basic toilet system which was flushed twice daily by the tide) . A Maori word now common in New Zealand English, marae refers an area of land where the Wharenui or meeting house (literally big house) sits. ... Taputapuātea, an ancient marae at Raiātea in the Society Islands, restored in 1994. ... Detail from the carved ridgepole of a house, Ngāti Awa, circa 1840. ... In Maori culture, a subset of tapu, placed on a location where a drowning has occurred. ... A waka displayed at the Otago Museum, Dunedin In the Māori language and New Zealand English, waka are Māori watercraft, usually canoes. ... Hangi is a New Zealand Maori word for a method of cooking in an outdoor pit oven. ... Binomial name Ipomoea batatas Linnaeus The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas) is a crop plant whose large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. ...


Art and Craft Trail

There are dozens of arts and crafts enterprises in the Kerikeri area and the Art and Craft Trail has become well known to tourists. This involves a visit to about 20 arts and crafts outlets in the area, and the reputation of the quality of the art available has spread far and wide.


Countless backpackers visit Kerikeri and the Bay of Islands every year. Kerikeri has a surprisingly large static population of backpackers, as the facilities for them are first class without a corresponding tariff. The major camper/backpacker destinations in Kerikeri are Aranga Holiday Park and the Youth Hostel (right in town), Hone Heke Lodge in Hone Heke Road (near the schools and the Stone Store, Kemp House and Rewa's Village), Pagoda Lodge and Hideaway Lodge.


Although the water at the Stone Store basin is a part of the Bay of Islands where overseas yachties tie up regularly, especially in the hurricane season, Kerikeri township does not have a beach. But not too far away there are wonderful swimming beaches, at Matauri Bay which boasts excellent views of the Cavalli Islands, Te Ngaere and Tapuaetahi . Situated 30kms north of KeriKeri, in the Bay of Islands, Matauri Bay is one of the most beautiful places in New Zealand, with over a kilometer of beautiful white sand and crystal clear water. ... The Cavalli Islands are a small group of islands of the east coast of the North Auckland Peninsula in northern New Zealand. ...

Dawn chorus

It is a mystery why so many Kerikeri people have never heard the musical birdcalls at dawn in their own backyard. Something to do with the time perhaps! Just before dawn, at Manginangina in the Puketi Forest, hundreds of native birds join voices, and there are very friendly birds which come regularly for breakfast. Truly an unforgettable performance.

Fairy Pools

These delightful pools were gifted to the nation by Caroline Little who was captivated by them in 1928 on her first visit from China. She chose the name of the pools, no doubt because this most magical area suggests that if you stay still enough and quiet enough you may see fairies emerge from the surrounding bush to swim in the beautiful pools. See for yourself. Year 1928 (MCMXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (link will display full calendar). ...


The Bay Of Islands has been renowned for its game fishing since American author Zane Grey put it on the map in the 1930s. But there are smaller fish in the bay as well, and charter operators are busy all year round. Big-game fishing, sometimes called Offshore sport fishing or Offshore game fishing, is a form of recreational fishing, targeting large bony fish such as tuna and marlin in the open sea, often some distance from land and, in some fishing grounds, out of sight of land. ... Zane Grey (January 31, 1872 – October 23, 1939) was an American author best known for his popular adventure novels and pulp fiction that presented an idealized image of the rugged Old West. ... The 1930s (years from 1930–1939) were described as an abrupt shift to more radical and conservative lifestyles, as countries were struggling to find a solution to the Great Depression, also known in Europe as the World Depression. ...


Kerikeri Airport on the western perimeter of the town is a busy commuter link with Auckland, and has a very active Bay Of Islands Aero Club, and flying schools (Quantum Aviation Training School). Joyrides and charter flights (Quantum Aviation) are available, and if you feel like doing something extraordinary, there's always tandem parachute jumping Kerikeri Airport is an airport in Kerikeri, New Zealand (IATA: KKE, ICAO: NZKK). ... Schematic map of Auckland. ... The Apollo 15 capsule landed safely despite a parachute failure. ...

Kororipo Pā

Kororipo Pā stands at the head of the Kerikeri Inlet which was known as Te Waha o te Riri (the inlet of war) not long after the missionaries arrived.

Leisure activities

The Waikeri Garden Club thrives with a mixed membership of well over 100 keen gardeners. The club meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month at The Kerikeri Club, Cobham Road, commencing 10.30 am. Interesting speakers are invited to attend, and members are asked to bring a plate for a shared lunch afterwards. During the warmer months visits are often made to a member's garden after the meeting. Members enjoy trips during the year - one-day, three-day and sometimes longer. This article does not cite its references or sources. ...

Rainbow Falls

Rainbow Falls, Kerikeri

The Māori name for these falls on the Kerikeri River is Waianiwaniwa which means Waters of the Rainbow. They are one of the most visited attractions in the district. You can drive almost to the falls, but the best way is to walk from the Stone Store basin. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 340 KB) Summary Rainbow Falls near Kerikeri (15 January 2005. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (993x660, 340 KB) Summary Rainbow Falls near Kerikeri (15 January 2005. ...


The Kerikeri Cruising Club at Doves Bay is very active due to the unsurpassed boating waters on Kerikeri's doorstep, up with the very best in the world. The club has modern facilities including a large marina which doubled in size in 2003. Great emphasis has been placed on nurturing junior sailors in the club and this has paid handsome dividends. The Kerikeri High School sailing team has been New Zealand schools' champion several times, and when representing New Zealand has defeated the Australians in cross-Tasman series (their last victory being in October 2003). Many Kerikeri sailors have gone on to Olympic Games or world championship and international match racing circuits, and had a hand in New Zealand winning the America's Cup in 1996. 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The five Olympic rings were designed in 1913, adopted in 1914 and debuted at the Games at Antwerp, 1920. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ...

Shopping, and dining out

Kerikeri has a thriving retail economy with two large supermarkets and many small retailers. A Farmers Market offering fresh locally grown produce is held every Sunday morning in the Post Shop carpark and has proved to be a very popular event. Kerikeri has several restaurants offering authentic foods from around the world.

Steam driven sawmill

Not quite perpetual motion, but this mill provides its own fuel and is a great favourite with tourists and steam engine buffs alike. The whole mill is powered by a large steam plant which is fired by waste wood from the trees being milled.


As well as the marvelous beaches at Matauri Bay, Te Ngaere etc, and various places to swim in the Kerikeri River such as the Fairy Pools, Kerikeri has a modern swimming pool with diving facilities. Although sited at the Kerikeri High School it is a community pool.

External links

  • http://www.kerikeri.co.nz


  1. ^ 2006 New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings - Provisional Counts

Coordinates: 35°13′S, 173°56′E Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ...

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