Kerikeri Mission Station and Stone Store

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Built in 1821 by the English missionaries, it is the oldest European building in New Zealand and the origin of the British involvement in building the nation. It came under the protection of Hongi Hika the most influential Maori leader in the Bay of Islands.

While there the guide and information boards taught us a lot about the history of the region, often bloody , the archaeological significance and surrounding natural features. The mission house itself could be anywhere in Britain. It is of a Georgian design, well preserved, and decorated as it would have been over the years it was occupied. The gardens are delightful.

The Stone Store, New Zealand’s oldest stone building, was built later in 1836 as a wheat store for missionaries. It has national and international significance as the oldest surviving commercial building in New Zealand and had a role in the development of trade internationally as a kauri gum business. The store contains artefacts and displays of its history, and sells a range of heritage-related merchandise. It is worth going just to learn of its history, soak up its ambience and picnic at the beautiful lake close by.

Tip: If you are a National Trust member, take your card. The place is owned by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and they have a reciprocal arrangement with the NT and so entry is free for you.

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