Learn about the history of the Northland’s Maori people and New Zealand’s first European settlement on an afternoon tour of Kerikeri. Meet your guide at the Paihia waterfront, where you’ll board your coach for the approximate 20-minute drive northwest.
Your first stop on your 3-hour tour is just outside of town at a family-run winery called Ake Ake. Here, take a break to sip organic wine and taste coffee before heading back into Kerikeri.
With your guide, visit two of the country’s oldest buildings dating back to European colonization. At the Mission House, hear about the Maori chief Hongi Hika, who led the Musket Wars, and learn of the work of the island’s first European (Pakeha) missionaries. See displays about Reverend Marsden, a missionary who planted the area’s first grapevines. You can purchase gifts and souvenirs at the Stone Store, the country’s oldest stone building, which stands next to the Kemp House.
Then get a taste of local delights at Makana Confections. Watch the manufacture of chocolate and sample a few pieces before re-boarding your coach for the return drive to Paihia, where your tour ends.
Optional Upgrade: 2-hour sightseeing cruisePreface your afternoon sightseeing tour of Kerikeri with a Bay of Islands cruise in the morning. Departing Paihia Wharf, listen to onboard narration about the sights and area history throughout the 2-hour cruise.
You’ll glide past Black Rocks and make a brief stop at Marsden Cross, then get a look at Roberton Island (Motuarohia). Keep your eyes peeled for marine life including whales, seals, dolphins, penguins and sea birds that inhabit the coastal waters.
Your cruise ends back in Paihia, where you have time to purchase lunch (own expense) before departing to Kerikeri.