Even today, boats from the Bay of Islands can sail inland from as far as Kororipo and anchor in this attractive place. That is why for over 500 years it was an important landing and meeting place in the north.
The pā was a strategic site for northern Māori, culminating as the fortress and headquarters of famed and feared Māori chief Hongi Hika. Nobody passed Kororipo Pā without permission.
From 1822 Māori and Europeans lived side by side to trade and learn from each other. It was the important status of this place that attracted European missionaries, and under agreement with Hongi Hika, they erected a stone store for trading and pit-sawn wooden house for the Kemp family. Kororipo became a meeting place where Māori and Europeans came to trade, talk and learn, and where missionaries tried to convert Māori to Christianity.
Today, these are New Zealand's oldest European buildings, and their stories are brought to life with guides. Explore Kororipo Pā, once the fortress and headquarters of the famed and feared Māori Chief Hongi Hika. He is an important figure in New Zealand history and was a skilled leader in war and trade.
Another option is to stroll along the treelined paths in Rewa's village, a replica pre-European Māori fishing (kainga) village named after Ngāpuhi chief Rewa.
Kororipo Heitage Park is located at the head of the Kerikeri inlet and stands above the Kerikeri basin. You can get there by car or by walking.
The walk from the centre of Kerikeri township takes about 20 mins – follow the Te Araroa Trail signs from Kerikeri Road. A footbridge crosses the river.
If you are travelling by car or campervan follow Kerikeri Road to the roundabout, then turn left onto the Heritage Bypass. Follow this across the flyover bridge then turn right at the roundabout onto Waipapa Road. Continue to the intersection and turn right onto Landing Road. Follow the road to the bottom of the hill, the carpark is on your right.