Off the Beaten Track to... Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin
If you are on the North Island, then a side-trip to the Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin will satisfy the curious historian within you. To find the Basin, you will need to locate Kerikeri in the Bay of Islands and head approximately 30 minutes away from Paihia towards the Kerikeri Inlet.
The Kororipo-Kerikeri Basin is culturally and historically one of the important places in New Zealand because it is where the country's two major cultures first met and lived, worked and traded together. Unlike many other early meeting places between European and indigenous people, Kerikeri has remains much the same as it did in the early 19 th century.
Kororipo pa was the centre of the 1820s Musket War campaigns, which changed the New Zealand landscape and populations. The pa (fortified village) was named Kororipo for the 'swirling waters' or whirlpool, which it, and the buildings, overlooks.
Things to Do
- Historic Buildings – Visit Kororipo (a strategic coastal pa site), the Mission House 1822 (the oldest building in New Zealand) and the Stone Store (1836).
- Picnicking – Picnic sites and barbecue areas are available in the Kerikeir River Scenic Reserve on the north side of the Basin.
- Discoverers' Garden – View native plants and discover their traditional Maori uses.
- Rewa's Village – Visit a traditional Maori village cared for by the Society for the Preservation of the Kerikeri Stone Store Area.
- Walks – There are numerous short walks in the area, mostly leading to historical sites including:
- Akeake Reserve Track
This loop track begins at Opito Bay and enters the Akeake Historic Reserve. The track leads to a small beach in the Te Puna Inlet and to a pa site on Tareha Point.
- Hongi Hika Walk
Take a 1km track through gum trees and regenerating native forest to the Kororipo Pa. The pa served as Hongi Hika's coastal fortified settlement and played an important role in New Zealand's musket war campaigns.
- Kerikeri River Track
This easy 3.5-km walk follows the north bank of the Kerikeri River and crosses through regenerating forest. After passing remnants of a power house, you'll come to the Wharepoke and Rainbow falls.
- Kororipo Pa Historic Walk
An 800m track leads to the Kororipo Pa which served as a coastal fishing village, a fortified base for war parties and a trading post.
- Marsden Cross Track
Take the Marsden Cross Track to view the cross that commemorates the first mission settlement and first Christian service conducted in New Zealand.
- Pa Road Walk
The track links Pa Road to the Basin via a council walkway and bridge over the Wairoa Stream on to the Hongi Hika Reserve.
Useful Kerikeri Links
To help plan your Kerikeri holiday in the Bay of Islands choose from the main categories below: