Kerikeri is a popular tourist destination in the famous Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand. Often described as the Cradle of the Nation, it is the site of the first permanent mission station in the country, and has some of the most historic buildings extant in New Zealand today.

Stone Store at left, St James at rear, and the Mission House on the right

Located in the Winterless North, Kerikeri is a rapidly-expanding centre of sub-tropical and allied horticulture, and retirement homes. It lies at the very western extremity of the Kerikeri Inlet, where fresh water of the Kerikeri River tumbles into the salty Bay of Islands. Kerikeri is an ideal central base for day trips south-east to tourist areas such as Paihia and Russell and westward to the mighty kauri trees in the Puketi Forest.

For a time, Kerikeri had the town slogan It's So Nice They Named It Twice which was written in the Visitors' Book at the youth hostel by an anonymous backpacker in the early 1980s. With lush vegetation, modern appearance and a progressive community, Kerikeri was judged Top Small Town of New Zealand in 2001.

Get in

By air

  Kerikeri Airport (IATA: KKE) (also called Bay of Islands Airport), Wiroa Rd (a few km west of town). Air New Zealand operates up to five flights a day from Auckland Airport, which take 45 minutes.

By car

Kerikeri is a pleasant three-hour drive north of Auckland, via State Highway 1 and the last 12 km on State Highway 10.

By bus

The Northliner Express and nakedbus coaches travel daily between Auckland and Kerikeri via Whangarei and Paihia.


Rainbow Falls
  • Fairy pools, These delightful pools were given to the nation by Caroline Little who was captivated by them in 1928 on her first visit from China.
  • Rainbow Falls, on the Kerikeri River, so called because the Maori name for them, Waianiwaniwa, means Waters of the Rainbow. You can drive almost to the falls; they are to the north of the main town.
  • Dawn chorus. A rewarding experience. Just before dawn, at Manginangina in the Puketi Forest, thousands of native birds join voices to welcome the day, and there are very friendly birds which come regularly for breakfast.



Arts, crafts and gifts






Cobham Road
State Highway 10
Kerikeri Road
Homestead Road
Village Mall



Visitors can relax for a drink with their friends at the Kerikeri RSA, Citrus Bar or Homestead Hotel, or at the cafes and restaurants which have bars or are BYOs. The Cottle Hill Winery (Cottle Hill Drive) and Marsden Winery (near airport) offer local wines.


Thousands of backpackers visit Kerikeri every year. Kerikeri has a surprisingly large static population of backpackers, and no wonder, because the facilities for them are first class without a corresponding tariff. The major camper/backpacker destinations in Kerikeri are Aranga Holiday Park, Gibby’s Place and the Youth Hostel (all right in town), Hone Heke Lodge (near the schools), Hideaway Lodge (near airport) and Pagoda Lodge in Pa Road.

A very wide range of accommodation is available, including Heron Hill Hospitality, Aratika Lodge, Darcy Lodge, Donna’s White House, Kerikeri Lodge, Woodlands, Villa Maria, Palm Grove Motel, Abilene Motel, Kerikeri Court Motel, Kauri Park Motel, Kerigold Chalets, Homestead Motels, Ora Ora Resort, Kemp Lodge, Orchard Motel and Kingfisher Retreat.




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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 13, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.