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.
View of the Kerikeri Basin
It is internationally significant because unlike many other early meeting places between European and indigenous people - which have changed over time - Kerikeri remains much as it was in the first half of the 19th century.
The site offers a variety of easy tracks, and in 2010, a newly constructed footbridge will join the north and south sides of the Kerikeri River.
The three places of importance are Kororipo, Ngapuhi chief Hongi Hika's strategic coastal pa site; the Mission (or Kemp) House (1822) the oldest building in New Zealand; and the Stone Store (1836), built by the Church Missionary Society which had been invited by Hongi Hika to establish a mission.
Kororipo pa was the centre of the 1820s musket war campaigns, which changed the New Zealand landscape and populations. The pa was named Kororipo for the ‘swirling waters’ or whirlpool, which it, and the buildings, overlooks.
Kerikeri is in the Bay of Islands, on Northland’s East Coast, approximately 30 minutes’ drive from Paihia, and at the head of the navigable, cork-screw Kerikeri Inlet.
Parking, picnicking and barbequing are available in the Kerikeri River Scenic Reserve on the north side of the Basin, accessed via the Heritage Bypass, Waipapa and Landing Roads. Public toilets are there too.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust operates the historic buildings, which are open to visitors daily except on Christmas Day.
On the north side of the Basin visitors may also view the Discoverers’ Garden, where native plants and their traditional Maori uses are identified. The garden is cared for by the Society for the Preservation of the Kerikeri Stone Store Area, which also operates Rewa’s Village, offering a sample of a traditional Maori village.
Plan and prepare
Dogs are not permitted on the walking tracks in the Kerikeri Basin due to the risk they pose to kiwi and other wildlife.
Help stop kauri dieback
Kauri dieback disease is killing our native kauri. It spreads by soil movement, but you can help prevent it.
- Stay on the track and off kauri roots.
- Clean your gear before and after visiting kauri forests.
Visit the kauri dieback website for more information on how you can help.
Guides and commercial tourism providers